Stuck in Pinhao on the Douro River

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We docked yesterday (Friday) in Pinhao, Portugal with side trips to the village of Lamego and the Sandeman Winery where the port wine is made. The bus ride to the winery was a winding, twisting journey that brought tears to some of the ladies on the bus!

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Shrine of Lamego at the top of the hill

Lamego is home to the Santuario de Nossa Senhora dos Remedios (Virgin Mary).  Someone told me that I couldn’t take photos inside the chapel after I had already taken one. Oh, well. I wasn’t going to delete it.

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Another Forbidden Photograph

We rode the bus down to the church instead of walking down the 267 steps. The monastery with its cloister is very photogenic.  I hope you like it.

 

I did meet one a fellow passenger, Mick, from the UK. Mick retired 30 years ago as a UK Constable Homicide Sergeant.  We hit it off right away talking about the job. Cops are the same everywhere. He is an active member of his retired officers association and working to get better benefits for widows of police officers.

We boarded the buses again and stopped at the Quinta de Siexto, the Sandeman Winery.  Our tour through the wine making process was conducted by a young woman dressed in a Zorro outfit, hat included.  The outfit is actually representative of students from the Coimba University we had previously visited.

We learned that our voyage up the Douro River has ended. According to Viking the waters around the next two locks are too swift and the Viking Osfrid is not going any further.  Instead Viking offered a 3 ½ hour bus ride (each way) to the last stop in Salamanca, Spain with hotel accommodations overnight. We said no thank you!  We would stay with the boat.

We had the morning free so I grabbed my camera and decided to explore the sleepy town of Pinhao.  As I walked off the boat I noticed several fishermen, poles out and lines in the water. I walked over to them and one of them had hooked a fish. He was trying to net the fish and keep his line tight and the fish was winning.  I put my camera down and I offered to net the fish for him. We were successful in landing the fish and then I asked him to pose for a photo.  He was beaming from ear to ear and proud of his catch.  He wanted to show me the big one he caught earlier and lifted the live net up revealing a nice fish. I congratulated him and continued on my walk.  There were other fishermen fishing but I didn’t see any success.04142018_Pinhao-Portugal_Roberto_Fish_750_6422_resize

 

I walked across the foot bridge to the other side of the Pinhao River and along the edge of the Douro River.  The bank is lined with tourist boats, large and small with crews getting ready for a busy weekend crowd. I walked to the main bridge and crossed the Douro River and then back into the village.  The main street is lined with souvenir shops, cafes and a nice bakery.  The railroad station is on the opposite side of the street.  I walked through town photographing old doors, old buildings and anything I thought that caught my fancy.  I walked back across the Pinhao River and along the bank where locals have small garden plots.  One resident I said good morning to in Portuguese, “Bon dia” and he replied in English.  I guess he knew I was an American. He was hoeing his garden and offered me a hoe if I wanted to help.  I passed and continued my walk.  I finally reached the ship and before I knew it, it was time for lunch!

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We opted for the ship day tour on Saturday and as it turned out we were the only couple who did so.  Viking insisted on going ahead with the tour anyway so we had two tour guides, a bus driver, and a 40-passenger bus all to ourselves.  MA made great friends with the local lady guide and used her Portuguese at every opportunity.

Met a new couple at dinner, from Las Vegas.  They were a lot of fun and we had a lot in common.  Our other new friends from San Francisco had gone with the Salamanca group but we will all hook up tomorrow (Sunday) and Viking has planned a wonderful day outing including lunch for everybody.

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