Sunday 22nd June 2008
Vila Cha – Viana do Castelo – Caminho – Valenca
„… I live in a big labyrinth under the Earth. The labyrinth is all mine. It has two entrances, one by the sea, the other at the top of a high mountain. Inside the labyrinth there are only stairs, stairs everywhere, instead of passageways. I move down these stairs like body surfers move on the waves, I mean I surf on the stairs on my belly. I go once to the surface and I meet an old professor. The professor is unfolding a parchment and explains to me that it is a very ancient map of the labyrinth. He is searching for something on the map but he does not want to tell me what. Bored, I go away and meet my first ex-husband, who tells me.
„It is such a pity that you live under the Earth now, if not, we could go to Greece with some friends and spend 3 months there. „
I tell him to come with me. We surf down a street on our bellies and I bring him to a wonderful little beach in my labyrinth under the earth.
„You see, I don´t need Greece…“
At that moment I hear somebody crying awfully. The crying woman runs up to me and tells me to go to a certain street on the Earth, up the hill, by number 13. I leave the labyrinth and go there. I find the house. The woman lives there with her partner. They are a love couple but from different religions, and the population does not allow them to be together. Everytime they leave the house together, they throw stones at them. He lives like a recluse now, never leaving the house. I feel so sorry for them that I start throwing big stones at all the other houses around, destroying all the windows and doors…“
We are parked for the night in Valenca, in the very North of Portugal, by the Rio Minho, which is apparently the border between Spain and Portugal. It was very strange as the first sign post „Espanha“ began to appear again… we left Spain more than 3 weeks ago, have driven 2500 kilometers, always towards North, and suddenly we are again at the border of Spain! I think not many neighbouring countries, at least in Europe, have this kind of geographical interaction…
Anyway, we have left the sea now, driving East along the Rio Minho. We had wanted to stop before, to stay some more nights by the sea at the top of Portugal, but somehow the places didn´t look right to me, not inspiring. One, Viana do Castelo, could have been good, but as so often in the last few weeks, we arrived there in the middle of festivities, with barrages and fences and policemen and spectators everywhere along the town streets. Again we lost our nerves and again I have no idea how we managed to leave the town without an accident. Really Kevin has become incredibly good at driving our motorhome, many times it is only a question of millimeters! But it is very stressful and I have the feeling that Kevin is quite fedup with all that and just dreams of empty highways to Nowhere….
Susan commented that it seems there are many people everywhere we are. Yes, Susan, we have noticed it too! The whole population comes out and lines the route, everywhere, and applauds when we pass by, walking, biking, driving, however! We are big stars in Portugal, and we didn´t even know it!
So we are in Valenca now. There is a big fort here, just in front of our parking. It seems quite interesting to me and I should be able to make some sketches tomorrow. We will then have to decide how we want to go on with our journey. Until now it was quite simple, we simply followed the coast Northwards. We have to drive back down now… one thing is for sure, we will have to change my beloved strategy of small romantic and wild roads if we want to survive the trip, we both and the motorhome. If the roads don´t become better, and until now they didn´t, we will have to take the dream highways from Kevin and hope to find interesting stuff along the way… this thought depresses me quite a lot, I must confess!
At least we succeeded to find a Wifi internet connection in the town, in front of the Library, and I could write some mails. It was nice to have peace around to write some words to friends and family, but well, it was extremely hot inside the motorhome and anyway the power was limited. Spoiled people always miss something, you know…