One thing we now realize in spades, is that travel to Europe from the Island is a big journey. After being up for 24 hours, we walked in the door last night, so happy to be home! I’ll spare all the gory details of the challenges of changing travel in a world that is exploding with tourists as people feel comfortable to be travelling again. Longer waits for Air Canada to change flights, difficulty finding decently priced hotels at the last minute for our revised schedule, and long lineups at the airport to get through security and passport control (@Alison, take note!) are just a few, but it doesn’t really matter; we are home. We landed in Vancouver as the sun was setting, and we had a beautifully coloured skies with the mountains; it felt really good to be on the best coast again! The only downside is that we will miss the sunny, warm skies of Portugal. It seems like spring/summer is still waiting to arrive here!
But we now can relax and take stock of our vacation in Portugal. For sure it didn’t end the way we wanted, and we would have loved the paddle journey down the Douro. But we had a chance to see it, twice, and it’s really a gorgeous area. It’s fascinating to see all the patchwork of vineyards; there are so many, and the oldest date back to the late 1700’s. The river is now very different than when they brought all the wine down the river to Porto in ‘rabelos’. Its waters are busy with cruise boats and pleasure craft; wine is transported by truck. We will relive some of those visual memories with a port tasting party in the near future!
The time we spent in the countryside, away from the cities, was peaceful and gave us insight into the more rural part of Portugal. It’s gorgeous, complete with winding roads, up and down hills and mountains. Our taxi ride to the train from Barca d’Alva was more of a rally race by a very experienced taxi driver; I never had the guts to take corners and downhills as fast as he did; it was fun until my stomach felt a bit queasy!
The two weeks we spent exploring other towns, cities and countryside of Portugal were wonderful. We have many happy memories and new experiences from this time together. These are the memories that we will cherish.
We now get to look forward to many adventures here at home; glamping in Loytää, a paddling trip to the Broken Group, more camping and of course day-to-day biking, paddling and hiking, just to name a few.
Life is Good!