Week 5- If all else fails read instructions!

Monday 10th November 2014.

A visit to Cáceres today - by bus. From just across the road outside the campsite it is a €1.00/person bus trip into town that takes just 15 minutes. Such a pity “just across the road” involves climbing the slope of a very high footbridge crossing six lanes of roads before descending to the bus stop. Still going by car is an absolute no-no as there is absolutely nowhere to park, our Dutch neighbours tried and drove round and round for an hour before giving up.

When you do arrive by bus you realise it is well worth the effort, a UNESCO World Heritage site Cáceres is described by them thus:-

“. . . The city's history of battles between Moors and Christians is reflected in its architecture, which is a blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles. Of the 30 or so towers from the Muslim period, the Torre del Bujaco is the most famous . . .”

Tuesday 11th November 2014.

An absolutely nothing day today, cold, rainy, miserable. To cheer ourselves up we went shopping and bought some more of the expensive Jamón Ibérico de Bellota and had a “picky in front of the telly night", great.

Wednesday 12th November 2014.

We came to this area for two things the first was to see Cáceres and the second to visit the Roman remains at Merida. This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site called by them the “Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida” and described on their web site:-

“ . . . The colony of Augusta Emerita, which became present-day Mérida in Estremadura, was founded in 25 B.C. at the end of the Spanish Campaign and was the capital of Lusitania. The well-preserved remains of the old city include, in particular, a large bridge over the Guadiana, an amphitheatre, a theatre, a vast circus and an exceptional water-supply system. It is an excellent example of a provincial Roman capital during the empire and in the years afterwards . . .”

There is so much to see and do that it is simply not possible to do everything in a day but fortunately one ticket gets you into every Roman attraction and is not time limited so we intend to go back at least once, possibly twice.

Thursday 13th November 2014.

Is it or isn’t it Moving day? The weather forecast is awful so it took a long time to decide if we should move or not as we would be moving from a site where we had our own shower, toilet etc just three steps from the van but with views and surrounding area pretty grim to one where the showers and toilets are quite a distance but the views are great. In the end the great views won.

We are now back in Portugal and this year - 2014, we have travelled from here, the most south western country to the most north easterly (Norway) in western Europe and back again to Portugal and Camping Alentejo.

Friday 14th November 2014.

Quite a lot of rain last night although this morning, if you looked to out of one side window there was a clear blue sky, look out the other side and there was thick black rainclouds. It has been bright sunshine one minute and heavy rain the next all day long. Rather than go out I downloaded and installed a new operating system on my computer, the new and, according to Apple, super dooper new OS X Yosemite. The instructions apparently say you should back everything up and do this and do that but being a man I didn’t read the instructions although if anything had gone wrong I expect I would have read them then.

When we were at this site earlier in the year twice a week the site owner organised an evening campers get together at this time of year, however it’s too cold to sit outside in the evening so he organises a monthly meal in a local restaurant. Tonight was the night. We started with a traditional bean and vegetable soup, that was followed by Bacalhau with rice, then by baked lamb with chips. Fourth course was “secret of the black pig” a pork dish served with more chips and the sixth course a choice of sweets (some had two puddings, some actually had three) finally coffee. The bill came to the princely sum of €13.00 per head - Oh yes that included beer, wine, bottled mineral water and the tip - £10.39 how cheap is that????

Saturday 15th November 2014.

Not a sparkling day, lots of rain, although we did get one load of washing done but the icing on the cake was an afternoon (see note above about cold evenings) “Happy Hour” with the other campers. Every couple takes a bottle and some nibbles which are put in the middle and shared, so good wine, good food and good company. Only problem is drinking during the day - I was ready for bed by eight.

Sunday 16th November 2014.

Despite last nights early night when the alarm went off at 08.15 it was turned off and we went back to sleep for another hour. The only other excitement today was buying a rabbit and following (well Sue did) an old Portuguese recipe for Coelho de Cebolada or Sweet And Sour Rabbit With Onions. It was nothing like a Chinese sweet and sour but possibly the most delicious rabbit I can remember eating.The recipe is HERE on the food page.

As we have a good internet connection, tonight I updated the operating system and maps on Desmond the Garmin Dezl navigator. It is a large download so it took some time and afterwards when the computer informed me the installation was complete I disconnected Desmond from the computer and turned it on. Ten minutes later nothing had happened only the initialization page had appeared, another ten minutes nothing. Starting to panic I did everything I could think of - still nothing.

Oh Bugger. Time to find and read instructions. It took around thirty minutes or so to search through my files and then the Garmin web site to find said instructions and download them. Just as I was frantically searching through them for a clue as to what went wrong the screen changed to one that stated - installing updates. Within ten minutes the navigator was back operating as normal.

All hadn’t failed and there was absolutely no need to read instructions - they are where they should be in the computer trash can.

Last updated Sunday 21st June 2015                                                                                © S W Ghost 2015