After spending all of November in the Netherlands, last Friday it was time to move on. We wanted some warmer weather and a place with a relatively low number of coronavirus cases per capita, so we settled on Portugal. It has been Steffen’s dream to see the bog waves of Nazaré, so it was off to Nazaré that we headed. Unfortunately Nazaré is about 2300km from Breezand, traveling through Belgium, France and Spain that all have high numbers of cases and strict lockdowns. So we prepared ourselves (mentally and physically) and set off with the plan to get on the highway in the Netherlands and get off in Portugal. And we did it!
Day One (Dec 4): We left the rental house in Breezand on Friday morning around 10:30am and drove all the way through Paris. We did hit a lot of traffic getting through Paris, but were glad to have gotten that far the first day. We didn’t see anyone at either of the borders: the Netherlands-Belgium and Belgium-France, so it was very smooth.
Day Two (Dec 5): After “camping” at a large truck stop along the highway, we headed out in the morning in hopes of reaching the France-Spain border. After many hours of driving and one lunch stop where I cooked pasta in the camper, we made it just short of the border. It was late, pitch black and pouring rain. There was also thunder and lightening, so we were super happy to find the last spot at a truck stop, nestled between two large trucks. There was a serious storm, but we were all able to rest somewhat. And had made a lot of progress! Oh, and Nikolaus visited us! How he got through that storm, I’ll never understand….
Day Three (Dec 6): We all woke up early because of deafening hail and Nikolaus excitement! After opening gifts and then getting scared s**tless when a thunder and lightening storm was literally above our camper, the hail was so hard it shook the whole camper and we couldn’t hear each other. Seriously frightening. Then we got on the road and easily crossed the France-Spain border. There were snow flurries and heavy rain through the first part of Spain, but then things got calmer. We crossed the Spain-Portugal border without trouble and eventually found a safe truck stop about 2 hours outside of Nazaré!
Day Four (Dec 7): We had just a few hours left in the drive, so took our time in the morning. The view from the truck stop was beautiful! And Steffen decided it was time to say goodbye to his beard. Then we hopped in the car and headed to our rental, where we will be staying until January 10th. The last two photos are from our apartment balcony.
I just want to say a huge thank you to Steffen for driving every kilometer of those 2300 km! He really is a rockstar. And to the girls for being patient during the drive and up for the adventure. We were all happy to arrive to stretch our legs, take a long warm shower and enjoy some more space. And now we get to explore the area for the next month!