Peso da Régua, Portugal 8/13

October 1, 2013

Finally, we were in Portugal and ready to experience a new culture. Our Spanish was allowing us to get by. Since one of the famous things in Portugal is Port wine, which comes from the Douro Valley and takes its name from the Douro River, it was recommended that we follow the scenic secondary road through the wine region. This turned out to be an adventure in itself since the road passes through many villages. The houses were built back when ox carts were the main transportation so when the road was modernized, widening it was impossible. Roads that look like they would be two lanes suddenly got very narrow because the line in the center basically just split the difference. This made for some real white knuckle driving around blind corners. In addition, there were fires burning in the mountains, some of which we literally drove through and the dense smoke required headlights. To our disappointment, this was not like touring Napa Valley where dozens of vineyards beckon you to come in and have a taste of their vintage.

We continued to the river town of Peso da Régua where we found safe RV parking in the main plaza. It even had free electrical hook-ups. We stayed for the two open markets in the morning. Picked up some nice pork ribs at a meat market and headed west, hoping to drive out of the smoke. We still wanted to find out more about Port.

The scenic secondary road through the wine region wound through miles of vineyards and the occasional olive grove.

The scenic secondary road through the wine region wound through miles of vineyards and the occasional olive grove.

Fires burning in the mountains created some dense smoke. In places the flames were along side the road.

Fires burning in the mountains created some dense smoke. In places the flames were along side the road.

Peso da Regua 21

Baskets, pots, and all sorts of hardware filled one open market. The other was all about food.

Baskets, pots, and all sorts of hardware filled one open market. The other was all about food.

Peso da Regua 23 Peso da Regua 24 Peso da Regua 25

The selection in these open markets is amazing.

The selection in these open markets is amazing.

Virtually everything including beans, rice, bread, olives, eggs, and cheese—everything is sold by the kilo or gram.

Virtually everything including beans, rice, bread, olives, eggs, and cheese—everything is sold by the kilo or gram.

We wished we had a wall to hang these braided onions.

We wished we had a wall to hang these braided onions.

Olives from the barrel. Monika drains the juice while I snap a photo.

Olives from the barrel. Monika drains the juice while I snap a photo.

This friendly butcher Francisco was a character. He even gave us a special chorizo sausage. We gave him a K&N Filters hat.

This friendly butcher named Francisco was a character. He even gave us a special chorizo sausage. We gave him a K&N Filters hat.

Ahh Portugal!! I think we are in the land of sausage, olives and great bread.

Ahh Portugal!! I think we are in the land of sausage, olives and great bread.

Where there are markets in Portugal, there are gypsies. This is the typical dress for an older female.

Where there are markets in Portugal, there are gypsies. This is the typical dress for an older female.

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