11. Mar, 2020

Portugal 10/11 March

We’re going on a cruise.πŸ˜€ We are visiting Portugal, Spain, Morocco and Gibraltar, three new countries, one new continent and three new European regions, I’m ecstatic.πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

However, there’s this coronavirus epidemic creeping into Europe and causing some concern but the cruise is going ahead even though there’s a temperature check before we can board the boat in Malaga.

We touched down in Malaga and boarded the coach to the port. As we were driving into the harbour area, I was checking out the location of the ECs and the beach Virtual that I was interested in for the last day. The place was packed but we got to the dockside ok and attempted to board the boat. I measured 32.5C so I was below 37.8C and they let me on. The fact that if my temperature was correct, I would be suffering acute hypothermia meant nothing to the crew.πŸ€” Obviously the digital thermometer was reading incorrectly but I was getting on the boat so didn’t really care.

So we set sail and had a day at sea before docking in Porto, some way out of the city. We bought a cheap coach ticket and as we waited in the long queue, I thought sod it and left my wife holding my place. I ambled over to the 3.5/4 Atlantico trad and quickly worked out how to access it. So my first cache in Portugal and the coach hadn’t gone yet.πŸ˜€

In the city centre, we spent a day sight seeing with me picking off a few caches where I could. In between eating and drinking, I found five trads and two Virtual caches. The first virtual was the 1.5/3 Torre e Igreja dos Clericos, at the top of a very tall tower. A €6 donation allowed me to climb up a series of stone steps to the tower top. I had to take some photos of specific objects to qualify. That’s me at the top of the tower in the photo.

Later on in the day, we just happened to be down near the banks of the River Douro enjoying a glass or two of port each. πŸ€” The First in Porto virtual was nearby and once I had taken the necessary photos of the Rabelo fishing boats, it was time to get back to the boat.

Porto 2 Virtual 6 Trads

We‘ve been having our temperature taken for the past couple of days and now the Moroccan authorities want us to fill in disembarcation forms which we are told is normal procedure.

We‘ve docked in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. We can see the city climbing in front of us and decided to take the tourist bus as it stopped right in front of the boat. In hindsight this was an error on my part. We told the driver that we wanted to go to the castle and got the thumbs up. 

We wound our way up to the top of the city with me checking my bus map and my geocaching app. It looked good so far. However the bus started going in the wrong direction and we had a 90 minute tour of the city including passing the Lisbon football stadiu until we arrived back at the top of the city!

What we weren’t told was that we had to get off here and then get feeder buses onto the other routes. By this time, we were peeved with buses and just decided to walk for a bit.

We eventually came to the site of a cache, the trad St Nicholas Church/Igreja de São Nicolau so I was off the mark. We decided that we’d had enough of Lisbon and decided to work our way back to the boat. However we did manage to walk past the straightforward multi Ingreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha (Lisboa) on the way.

After lunch on the boat, my wife went for a siesta giving me an hour to see if I could get a couple more caches. About a mile along the front was the Terreiro do Paço Virtual Reward 2.0. I worked out the info and sent it off to the CO. I had had so many plans for caches in this city, so many virtuals but it had all come to naught.

It was time to go back to the ship but there were a possible two trads on the way. First up was LISBOA. Terminal de Cruzeiros / Jardim do Tabaco, such a clever cache that was well worth a fave  point. The next was the easy Welcome to Lisbon cache right next to the cruise terminal. I suppose it was a disappointing day. We had seen a lot of Lisbon from the bus but we didn’t get the explore off the beaten track as we like to do.

Lisbon 1 Multi 1 Virtual 3 Trad