Rain and Caldas da Rainha


It rained this morning but this didn’t dissuade the girls from going outside and playing in the sand. Eventually when we’d all got it together we drove down to Sao Martino, a small seaside town about 20 minutes away. There’s not much there; a few restaurants, a sandy beach, ice cream. It felt like a seaside resort in the UK in the 1980s, except it was sunny. In between bursts of rain, that is.
After a while there, we drove over to a supermarket, and this thrilling journey was enough to get both girls to sleep. On from there we went to Caldas da Rainha, a much more picturesque Portuguese town with narrow, wing-mirror-destroying streets, and a big park for the girls to play in.

(Portugal also has lots of free parking, or at least you just leave your car pretty much wherever you feel like it, and it’s still there a few hours later.)

We stopped by a large, grand building that was going to seed; lots of broken windows and delapidation. There also seemed to be a sign that my poor Portuguese translated as saying the institution opened 10 years ago, which is either dreadful translation on my part or dreadful planning for somebody else. Still, next to the building was a big play area with sand, slides, climbing frames and swings, and even a zip line that didn’t break our kids.

After an hour or so, they were at their limit. We had them in a cafe where they screamed at us for ages, and then we drove home, Destroyer constantly saying no to everything, until we were at the villa. Then she behaved (for a while) as I took a work call, before we all went to dinner at another Portuguese restaurant with hardly anything for vegetarians on the menu. Well, to be fair they had 26 different fish and one vegetable curry, but that’s one more vegetarian choice than every other restaurant for the last few days.

And there’s chocolate mousse. Portuguese chocolate mousse makes me forgive a multitude of sins.

Home to bed by 10:30 for the girls.Gin to follow.


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