Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nov 5th last day in Portugal

I saved the best for last. Today I travelled back in time. At one o'clock in the afternoon I left Spain by zip line and landed one mile later in Portugal at 12:01 p.m.

Ana and Paulo had been keeping me busy all week and it was lovely. Ana asked me what I wanted to do. I checked all the brochures and found that there was a way to zip line from Spain to Portugal. What a thrill!
This morning we left for Alcoutim. Ana checked and we could take a local boat across the river and we would be right at the office for Limitezero, the zip line people. We were fitted with safety gear and helmets. Paulo and I and two people in charge of sending us off the hill got in a Jeep and drove almost straight up to the top of the hill behind the office. We received a number of safety instructions and had the gear tightened.  The guide took our picture and Paulo shot a movie as I was launched into space and flew from one country to another. I travelled back in time. I left Spain at 1:00 pm and landed in Portugal 59 minutes earlier at 12:01 pm. It was the thrill of the trip. I am so glad I did it.
Ana had my camera and took some pictures but I also bought the official one.

After the adventure we walked around town and then headed for Mertola a town farther north which has a beautiful restored castle.  Mertola is farther up the river and is the first bridge across the Guadiana River since Castelo Marim. The distance between the two bridges is 62 kilometres. This castle is quite old but it has been renovate quite a bit. There is a one section that has been excavated to show the ancient ruins. The gentleman at the site was very pleased to talk to us about the site and the history. We climbed the walls and took pictures from each side. The amazing thing is that attached to the Castelo is a cemetery that is in use today. In order to get to the castle all roads led upward. I was a little worried about the cobblestones going down as they can be quite slick and there are no railings or hand holds. Paulo went down and brought the car up as he saw cars coming up to the castle. 
We thought we were fine for time to get me to the airport early for the flight to Amsterdam. Paulo and Ana decided to take a route across country which would be a bit shorter but slower as there was no highway. After a few miles we decided to pretend we were in a video game as the roads resembled Mario-kart. It would say winding road for 600 metres, then it would be windy for 2 kilometres, straight for 600 metres and then windy for two more kilometres.  Every five kilometres it would announce winding road 600 metres. Paulo would say - what do they think the rest of the winding road is?
All of a sudden partridge would run across the road. Ana would laugh and more partridge would waddle fast across the road. We stopped because we saw deer very close to the road and of course partridge running between them. Ana said there was a partridge festival in Alcoutim - maybe they were running away. We also saw cork piled by the side of the road and Paulo stopped so I could take pictures of the trees. They peel the bark (cork) up to the first branches which makes the tree two colours. All this starting and starting made me a little late but European airports and schedules are different from Canadian. I dropped off my bag and said goodbye to Ana and Paulo. I went through security and had about 1O minutes before boarding. If I was in Canada I would be hurrying and worried. In Europe the waiting room hadn't opened yet. People were sitting in the hall waiting for the attendants to arrive and open the doors. Finally we boarded and my row was the only one with an empty seat.  We arrived without incident in Amsterdam and caught a train to Rotterdam and a taxi to Leonie's house. Quickly to bed after a long day.


  1. So much fun. We must zip line together some day! Thanks for the story.

  2. Once again this proves you would be the BEST partner in The Amazing Race!