Friday, June 23, 2006

DAY 10 - 20.6.2006

The clouds were still there when we woke up. Because we had made some changes for our route the day before, our schedule for today was mostly driving. Because we didn't have an idea what the roads were going to be, we couldn't make good estimates when we arrive in Portugal. So our plan was to drive straight to Portugal. First place in there was going to be the natural park of Peneda-Geres.

As we kept driving the weather was getting better. Actually we didn't want that because it was much nicer to drive in a bit cooler car. We stopped at one place to eat some lunch. It was quite small gas station and of course no one spoke english. It didn't matter as we succeeded to get some food for our stomaches and some hand waves of what direction we could find a mailbox. The mailbox was in a small town right next to the gas station. It seemed like a ghost town because it wasn't as green as the towns near coast. And we didn't really see many people there.

Anyways, around 6pm we finally crossed Portugal's border. The road went through the mountains so about an hour we had to go up and down the hills. But it didn't matter as the views were spectacular! The national park of Peneda-Geres is located near the north border. We thought we would get there in good time, but once again we were wrong:) We had to ask few times for directions as we kept driving through small villages. In those small villages people didn't really speak english, what a surprise.

After we got on to the right road, we ran into another problem. The road was in very bad condition and the altitude was once again chainging quite much. So our average speed was pretty low. We started to think about how big mistake this was until we made it to this big lake between the mountains. Now we knew what's so special in Peneda-Geres. The scenery was amazing. We had to stop quite often to take a picture. Around 8.30 pm we parked our car near the village of Geres. There was beautiful lakes and rivers so we felt it was a nice place to spend the evening. We walked around the place as long as we still had sunshine. Sun in Portugal comes down around 10 pm so we had to be quick to see as much as possible. The national park was very good for hiking. I wish we could have had time for about a week and just hike around there and sleep outdoors. When the sun set down we went for an evening swim before going to sleep. The water was very bright there and also very clean! We took some pretty night pictures after the swim. It was just so nice to sit back there and watch the scenery in perfect silence. I couldn't avoid of starting to think my girlfriend and how perfect it would be to have her there beside me. Too bad there's just few thousand kilometres between us:( Miss you, Leena!

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