Friday, August 07, 2009

Pobra de Caraminal

Headed into shore in Pobra de Caraminal at a relatively early hour. We visited the tourist information centre for directions to the natural pools and waterfalls the area is famed for and were helped by a very nice girl who explained that they were approximately ½ hour walk from the car park and ‘very far’ away from where we were. She was right. We walked and walked for two hours up a very windy road. I was carrying Macsen in the knapsack and Emma was on her bike. She had some difficulty riding up the hill so Seb attached a sail-tie to the front of the bike and she balanced while he pulled – a very effective way to travel with a 3-year old and much less work than carrying her. Seb pretended to be the Pjotter and Emma was thus our dinghy, the Spikkel. Since then they have coined a new verb and when she needs to bike up a hill she now asks “Papa, will you Spikkel me please?”

After a two hour walk past several very vicious sounding dogs we finally arrived at the car park described. The long windy road was full of very clear signs to the pools but as soon as we reached the woods, the signs stopped and we stood before several paths with absolutely no idea which way to go further. After several attempts along various paths we finally found one that continued up the river and after approximately two hours we finally arrived at the pools. They were worth it. It was raining a little and we were completely alone with a waterfall falling down into a series of deep pools of clear fresh water. Stupendous! I don’t think it is possible to feel cleaner. After a good swim we headed back along the long path home. This time it took us the expected ½ hour to get back to the car park but we still had the two hour walk down the windy road and the rain was coming down a little more steadily that was comfortable. After approximately ½ hour a car stopped next to us and out stepped the girl from the tourist office and her boyfriend and they very kindly offered us a ride back to the boat. What a relief! At the bottom of the hill, we stopped for a coffee and well-deserved ice-cream before heading back to the boat. Emma had biked about 6 km over the course of seven hours without any complaints!

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