One year – September 2015 part V

thumb_DSCN1032_1024

Pinhao station in the Douro Valley

thumb_DSCN0984_1024

Tranquil – and then some… from on land

thumb_DSCN1006_1024

Or from onboard a river boat…

thumb_DSCN1008_1024

Warm outside…

thumb_DSCN1021_1024

And on the inside for hot dogs…

thumb_DSCN1015_1024

More tranquility…

thumb_DSCN1022_1024

With port producers along the way

thumb_DSCN1019_1024

Just one of many famous names seen on the hillsides above the Douro

thumb_DSCN1026_1024

All quiet on the station

thumb_DSCN1030_1024

Until the train arrives…

A day along the Douro is a trip worth taking by train from Porto.

It’s a long day out, but having taken it, I can see why most recommendations are to split it over two days and have a night in a hotel or guest house.

Like most great train journeys, it’s one to take home in the memory rather than on a camera’s memory card.

The journey to Pinhao from Porto was a smooth one. We’d taken a couple of snacks and bottles of water with us for the journey, but once we’d got to Pinhao, taken a look around and bought the t-shirt I’d wanted to buy during the previous day’s visit to Sandeman’s wine lodge in Porto, it was time for a leisurely lunch down by the river and the area where the river boats pulled in.

In among the small boats of the kind we boarded later on in the day, the river cruise boats pull in to allow passengers time ashore to explore and then board again for another night and day of the same old, same old.

We took a two hour trip up the Douro on a small boat with a covered area and the added attraction of a port tasting session whilst we were afloat. As we’d been out in the sun and had coated ourselves with Factor 50 rather than Factor 30, I stayed undercover on the boat, as did the captain’s dog (who obviously knows a good thing when he sees it!).

The ride was a smooth one (as was the port), but once over, it was time to find a cold drink and an ice cream before taking another wander around Pinhao and then the short stroll to the station and the train back to Porto.

Although Pinhao had appeared to be a quiet place, the station platform suddenly filled up with people wanting the train down the valley.

When the train arrived, we found seats, emptied the water bottles, thought about the day, pondered another meal at the restaurant we’d found the day before and placed bets  as to how long it would take us to pack our bags before heading off on the next part of our road trip the following morning…

thumb_DSCN1038_1024

A local restaurant for local people and those in the know…

thumb_DSCN1037_1024

And a good place to chill out…

Advertisements

About Keith Rickaby

Fiftysomething writer and occasional photographer who has worked in the tailoring trade and the outdoor/travel clothing, equipment and footwear game. Past lives include working as an outdoor instructor, managing three bands and doing PR work through an agency or my own contacts. Was a student in the mid-90s and whilst I'm originally from the North East, I'm now firmly based in't Yorkshire...
%d bloggers like this: