Day 5, Quinta Chão d'Ordem to
Pinhão by way of Parque Arqueológico
(Ancient Rock Art in Inferno Canyon)
Above Left: The back view of Quinta Chão d'Ordem as we leave for the last time. We had a wonderful stay there.
Above Right: We bought this bottle of Branco Port from the Proprietors, just before we departed. The stone label goes with the theme of the ancient rock art in this area. The port is great.
Above Left: We're headed to Foz Côa where the Park Headquarters is located for the area's Rock Art locations.
Above Right: This is the Park Headquarters. Terry is in the foreground putting on sunscreen.
We will catch a ride in a 4x4 vehicle with an English speaking guide. There are four or five rock art sites. The Rock Art access is protected and available only through reservation or appointment. Our Self Guided tour hostess set this up for us. We will be attended by four Germans (most who speak English), and one Belgian (who speaks English and was originally going to be here on bicycle, but the booking process got messed up for him).
Above Left: The Park's Emblem on the side of our 4x4. This emblem comes from a very light etching made about 4,000 BC. The etching is about the size of a jar lid and very subtle. It was the subtleness of the art that took so long to be recognized. Anyone can see and recognize art carved by a hammerstone and bone (or antler).
Above Right: Descent into Inferno (Hell) Valley. All of the jackets and sweaters came off in about 10 more meters.
Above: What we saw. Some of these will not show up in the 400 pixel web photograph.
Above Left: Bulls.
Above Right: Horses.
Above Left: We were on a tight timeline. The Rock Art Tour ended at about 1100 Hours and we were supposed to catch our train back to Pinhão at the Pocinho Rail Station at 1220 Hours. We weren't in a hurry but we did not stop for photos. We made it in 35 minutes. Also, since Pocinho was the start/end of the line, the train pulled in at 1200 hrs and waited until 1220 to pull out, we were able to load the bike at a leisurely pace.
Above Right: Beautiful Blue (Azure) Tile Art Work about Grape Collection on the wall of Pocinho Station.
Above Left: The bike is secure in the cargo hold.
Above Right: Terry is relaxed and waiting for Dennis to sit down.
Above Left: The Douro River, valley, and passing tourist boat.
Above Right: A typical Railroad Depot and a One Minute Stop.
Above Left: A river tributary and bridge crossing.
Above Right: A Port-Wine River Barge converted to a river ferry boat. We were supposed to ride one of these Barges downstream, back to Porto. It would have been relaxed and romantic but it takes seven hours and does not leave Pinhão until 0900 (it puts one into Porto at Rush Hour and one still has to get from the boat to their place of stay). At the last minute, we decided to return to Porto on a train with a three hour total ride time.
Above: Two azure tile images of Port-Wine River Barges (on the walls of the Pinhão Rail Station).
Day 6, Ride Train from Pinhão to Porto
Above: Our last look at the Pinhão Train Station.
Above Left: A passenger and her cat.
Above Right: A typical river view for quite a while. As we neared Porto, we left the company of the Douro River.
Above Left: What was formerly the beginning of the Merchant's Street in Porto. We performed a little walk because the last time we were here it was dusk or night. This time it is Sunday and everything of nearby interest is closed.
Above Right: Sophisticated Tiles on another former Merchant's House.
Above Left: The Crest of Santa Casa (we believe to be a former Merchant Home but now to be a Clinic or Hospice).
Above Right: Another Porto downtown street scene (in the old city).
Above Left: Our taxi, one of two taxis needed to leave for the Airport (in a timely manner). This was a RIP-OFF. I'm not getting into it, but ... (see the adjacent Lesson).
Lesson: When one has four bags of luggage, and one has the hotel pre-arrange a Taxi pickup time, REMEMBER to request a Taxi large enough to carry four bags and two people.
Above Right: We are safely at home. We arrived home to snow flurries and some snow in the yard. Later, we are going to a casual neighborhood get-together. The flowers are from our yard and the wines are hand carried from Portugal; Douro Branco Port (Quinta do Portal) and Dao Red (Casa de Santar), Yum!
A Perfect Ending to a nearly perfect Bicycle Travel Adventure!