With rain forecast for the next 5 days we decided to leave the North Spanish coast and head South. If it was going to rain, then it might as well be warm rain. First we stopped on the Aire in Leon (you can see us just to the right of the sign). This was outside a good supermarket and a C&A! But it rained....
.... So we headed into Portugal, over the mountains covered in snow!
Eventually we arrived in Braganca....creatively described in the guide book as a 'walled citadel on its isolated hilltop'. The castle was quite impressive and the Aire in a beautiful location, but the other side of town was a sprawling modern city.
In the guide book was a Border Castles Tour and as Tim is reading all of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels then we went and took a look at some of the locations important in defending the Portuguese border throughout history, including the Peninsular Wars. First to the two towers of Pinhel, a region now noted for its wine.
Then to the Aire at the well preserved Vauban fort at Almeida. A lovely overnight spot, protected within the fort walls. The dark photo shows some of the horses that were allowed to roam free in the fort.
Compared to our France Aires book, there appear to be very few Aires in Portugal but the one at Bequerenca is noted for being in a particularly beautiful spot. When we arrived we parked by this weir and walked over a footbridge and around the village, where we saw a lady doing her washing in a stream. On our return the river had risen and the old man gathered in his goats and left.....so we moved the van and a good move it was as the following morning the river had broken its banks and flooded the car park...... And still the rain continued!