A walk in Gouveia


The sun came out, so let’s do some handwashing! Yay. See, this mobile life isn’t all visiting wonderful places, sipping coffee and eating pastel de nata.

Boring chores completed, we thought we’d walk down into Gouveia to find a coffee as a reward. After all it was at least one hour of exhausting chores.

Gouveia is an elegant little town with a baffling mix of styles. Robust Alpine-style architecture next to granite buildings and stairs that would look at home in Yorkshire, next to drab 1950’s concrete bus terminal, next to bright and cheery Portuguese coastal style. Crumbling old mill and other miscellaneous industrial buildings are just left to rot, while new buildings are built up the hill. Moss covers all the rocks, there are deep gutters next to steps as well as solar panels and palm trees. So it’s cold, rains a lot but it also gets warm and the sun shines. Did I say baffling?

Mmmm, contemporary architecture with typography. Happy place.

Despite being Easter Sunday, we found several cafés open (Atheist owners?) and settled on a nice one on the shady side of the main square. Jan prefers a larger black coffee with only one shot of coffee (Long Black or Americano in some countries). A lady in a café in Serpa explained that in Portugal this is called an Abatanado. Armed with this new word, we were then confident to order in other cafés without stumbling over our dodgy Portuguese to explain what Jan wanted. Only problem was that after Serpa, none of the cafés we went to had heard of an Abatanado. We have come to realize the Portuguese drink coffee short, strong, rich and sweet – anything else is just plain crazy! This time instead of trying to find the Portuguese words to explain what Jan wanted, the Old Man just came out with “ummm, a crazy coffee”. The instant response from the waitress was “Abatanado”.

After a further wander around town we then climbed back to the campsite up the very “hill” the satnav lady (sometimes referred to as Bitch) wanted to take us. S powered ahead probably so the recently eaten torte didn’t have a chance to settle anywhere.

A couple of days later and we are still at the wonderful mountainside campsite. The Old Man and Jan have headed off in search of early human rock paintings while we relax and have a break from doing things. OK, I did another load of hand washing, but that’s it. While we lounge in the sun like retired people, the retired people rush about doing stuff! We will rendezvous 100kms or so up the road.
D

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Categories: Portugal | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “A walk in Gouveia

  1. lvmx

    Thats the trouble when retired from work there’s not enough time every day ! all sounds/looks good.

  2. Gouveia is one of the few places I can remember that is steep in every direction. It doesn’t seem possible but it is. As we were leaving, we stopped at the local supermarket and there is the car park was a motor home which had been left with it’s brake off and had finished up running backwards over the edge so that it was standing on its end with its nose in the air – almost vertical. The local police and bombeiros were having a wonderful time. The owners and their dogs were not. We went on to see some terrific paleolithic rock carvings and the odd castle here and there. (Thank you S and D for not mentioning the tree-hugging-clothesline incident).

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