Thursday, 5 July 2012

Costa del costly

Day 72 - 03.07.12 Estoril and Cascais
Gardens of the Cascais casino, Portugal
Having experienced all the delights of Sintra we could afford we decided to get back on the road again.  We had planned a chill out beach stop between Sintra and Lisbon to recharge our batteries and get water on board for hand-washing.  After another somewhat torturous drive we arrived in Estoril.  Our planned car park was full so we drove for a little while longer and stumbled across a cliff top scrap of land we could park on and hopefully not get bothered.

Beach and sea front in Cascais, PortugalWe set out for a walk around the area and discovered our local beach was a bit of a long walk for carrying water and also jammed packed with people.  The rest of the coastline is jagged rocks and cliffs.  We continued to walk along the seafront to Cascais, the more up-market resort a little further around the bay.  There we found a massive park with fountains and more bustling beaches.  Cascais is immaculately maintained and attracts a wealthy crowd to its plethora of swanky five star hotels.  The location is utterly stunning with crystal clear blue water and lovely sandy beaches, but somewhat ruined by the volume of people trying to cram themselves onto any available sliver of sand. 

Busy beach in Cascais, PortugalWe find a large shopping centre and decide to stop for a cheap lunch (Chris – Chinese buffet, Ali - Big Bob’s burgers) before heading back to the van.  Whilst the views here really are lovely, its not somewhere we’ll be staying. The supermarkets that aren’t ludicrously over-priced are really far from the van and driving here is crazy.  We can’t get water as hoped and we aren’t too enamoured with the safety of the parking spot we found.  Instead we drove to an out of town shopping complex to fill up on food and drink then got on the motorway to Belem. 

Belem is a waterfront suburb 6km outside of the centre of Lisbon.  We park up beside the river in an idyllic spot and settle down for the evening.  

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