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Travelling Spain with Two Dogs & a Parrot

With a good internet connection, I can work remotely from anywhere, so my husband Rob & I took advantage of this & are travelling Spain with our pets & everything we own packed into an estate car with roof-box.

Spain to Portugal
01 November 2018 @ 20:22

We've been in Spain/Portugal/Spain for over a year now, so time to continue with my story from November 2017.

Two nights before our departure from Galicia, our dog Roxy went out, running across the field barking at a car & came back whimpering & limping with a very nasty deep & long cut on her leg.  We'd previously taken our other dog, Max to a vet in Sarria when he had a flare-up of his ongoing ear infection (he's a Cocker Spaniel) & knew they had a 24 hour service.  however, the surgery was unlikely to be manned  at that time, 10pm & would we be understood on the phone?

I had to try & called.

Fortunately, the vet had an English speaking friend with her & they were both waiting at the surgery when we arrived.  Two hours later at midnight, Roxy's leg had been stitched & bandaged & she'd revived from the anaesthetic.  We gratefully thanked the vet & her friend Chris & paid the modest €90 for treatment which included a check-up in two days time.

On moving day, we'd packed-up the car in good time as our Air B&B hosts had promised to come see us off & we hoped to settle with a cuppa first.  But the boot was so jam-packed that the tailgate wouldn't close.  Worse still, it had caught part-way so wouldn't open with the key fob & we couldn't see a manual release.  Even worse still, we then noticed that one of the rear tyres was looking a little low & the pump was in the boot side panel & totally inaccessible, buried under everything...

We had to empty the boot over the back seats to a point where we could shut the tailgate properly, to re-open it.  Fortunately it was dry as the heavy rains of the day before had cleared & we could place all our possessions on the drive.  The pump was retrieved, the tyre inflated & everything re-packed, so we were a little fraught by the time our hosts arrived.  They brought us a lovely traditional tortilla dish :-)

Note to self - check tyre pressures before packing-up the car!

After popping to the vets for Roxy's bandage to be removed & a cone of shame issued, we had a good journey from Galicia over the border into Portugal. As holiday lets were expensive, I'd found a house (yellow this time) on a monthly rental near Amarante, an hour's drive east from Porto.

We had a great journey over the mountains, crossing a small river to mark the border on the motorway.  An immediate difference in Portugal was the need to pay tolls & we pulled over to register our credit card for automatic debit as we drove past the camera check-points.

We made good time with an anticipated arrival time just 30 minutes later than planned.  However, as Billy couldn't find the new address (surprise, surprise), we'd programmed him as far as the nearest big town, Amarante.  Leaving the motorway, but not going towards Amarante, we switched from Billy to Google.  All went well until we reached Ponte (how many 'Ponte's are there in Portugal & Spain?), but this particular ponte was closed, no-way across the river!

With a little frustration we reversed & took the first turn, uphill as it happened.  Trusting Google, we followed the directions with confidence & then we were instructed to make a turn.  The road was then steep downhill & cobbled - we subsequently discovered that most side roads in this area of Portugal used blocks of the freely available granite for paving.  However, as we'd had to inflate a tyre in the morning, Rob was worrying about his wheel.  We bumpily drove down a winding road between vine fields, very scenic in their Autumn colours, but Rob was tired, frustrated & beginning to get grumpy.  We stopped to check the tyre & all was OK so we continued.  We crossed the river (yaaay!) & climbed the cobbles up the other side.

I'd seen on Google that the house was down a lane, but when we arrived, it was a really steep slope off the side road at an awkward angle from the direction we'd arrived.  We parked-up & setoff on foot in the twilight.  The cobbles on the single-track lane soon gave way to grass & mud with high banks, but on we walked downwards, eventually arriving outside the yellow walls of the house.  The host's mother was there to greet us, an enthusiastic French lady who spoke a little Portugese, but no English.  She showed us everything & had lit a fire, although some information was undoubtedly lost in translation as I had very little Portugese & some schoolgirl French, but with a FrancoPortugEnglish mix, we got-by.

She was too much for Rob who departed back up the track to fetch the car & pets, but then she wanted to explain everything again to him.  Eventually I persuaded her to leave so we could unpack & eat.  The outside area was lovely & secure with high walls, a good concrete drive next to a large covered outside kitchen area & we settled into our yellow Portuguese home.

Like 2


Lizy said:
03 November 2018 @ 08:15

Great blog. Keep writing please.

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