Up the Coast and Inland
Our coastal stop in the Alentejo province was a little white and blue town called Porto Covo. In high summer this would be a great spot but with the wind and the rain, the Atlantic waves were rough and the beaches looked less than inviting. But we walked around the town, along the beach front and down to the little fishing harbour. The rough weather meant that not one boat was left in the water, having been all pulled up out of the water. We saw lots of lobster pots piled up, but we have yet to see any lobsters for sale. No doubt we couldn't afford them anyway!
Time to head inland again. On the way we pulled into a little village for some bread for lunch, hoping for some delicious 'barra rustica', a French-type stick but with a lovely crunchy crust that we had been used to buying all through Spain and in the Algarve. The only bread available was a loaf which we have since discovered is traditional Alentejo bread with the end of the dough pulled up in a little top-knot over one end of the loaf. What a bread! Very tasty but... the knife almost can't get through the thick crust and the inside is quite chewy. Good, solid and filling! We found a place to have lunch next to some of the cork trees that grow in plantations and also randomly by the side of the road. Many of them have been 'harvested', with the bark cut away often leaving a very dark red trunk showing. Needless to say there are lots of souvenirs made out of cork in the shops from place mats to strange little figurines.
But the rain followed us.