May 30, 2024

Driving to Obidos and Ericeira

After our busy day in the Douro Valley it was time to head south! Our first stop of the day was the Europcar desk to pick up our electric ID3. But wait… we were upgraded to a Polestar 2! We had looked at all of the charging stations and decided this would be a great chance to try an electric vehicle! All was well until we arrived in Nazare - If you haven’t watched 100 foot wave you really need to watch a couple episodes! In Nazare it was time to recharge. Using the MIIO app, it was no problem finding a station, but getting the car to charge was like a clown show! Rookies! Two young American college students were trying to do the same thing, and it was pretty funny that we could not quite get it. We had all foolishly assumed that we could swipe our credit card and charge away! (Pun intended.) Instead we had to create an account on the app and preload it with some $.

With the car finally charging, we headed out for lunch and some sightseeing! We found a great burger stand, which was just what we needed after a week of enjoying mostly native Portuguese food. From there we walked to the lighthouse and enjoyed the views of the beach. There are no 100 foot waves this time of year, but it was fun to see the sights from the show in person.

From Nazare we went to Obidos, this is a cool old walled town, supposedly the birthplace of Ginja. For me it also brings back memories of the early days of the internet and working with Amazon where the URL always contained obidos. Obidos was their original page rendering engine, named after a town in Brazil which is the swiftest part of the Amazon river. The town in Brazil was named after Obidos in Portugal. We walked the walls and enjoyed the sights from this little hill town.

After Obidos we headed to Ericeira for a two night stay on the ocean. We had a two bedroom apartment booked, which was upgraded to a four bedroom. Even better was that the parking ramp for the hotel had parking with free charging for electric vehicles! The hotel was lovely and we were too tired to do much more for dinner than eat at the restaurant in the hotel. The food was good.

The plan for the next day was a day trip to the hilltop castle in Sintra, the Peña Palace. As we get older we get smarter, so rather than hike up the hill we used the Bolt app (Uber competitor) to get a ride to the top! Eight euros later and we were there! We walked down, but more about that later. The Peña palace is a huge sprawling complex with miles of hiking paths, castle walls, and a tour of the inside of the castle (which we skipped). There are other palaces and castles very close by including the Moorish castle. We enjoyed the hiking and sites of the castles.

Then it was time to see what we missed on the hike up! Boy are we glad we took the bolt instead of walking! As we were headed down a particularly steep section we met a couple coming up, breathing heavy and sweating. He asked “how much further?” I responded, “where are you going?” Expecting either Peña Palace or Moorish castle, the reply instead was, “to the nearest Uber!!” I laugh every time I think about that!

Holly had several options picked out for lunch and we ended up with a really nice one. Then back to Ericeira and some restful time by the pool.

Tomorrow we head off to Algarve for the relaxing part of the vacation!