Elsa & Guys 2020 Brazilian Adventure travel blog








21 January

Well got up this morning to rain....? Excuse me! I didn't order any of that thank you very much. But it's still warm. Breakfast...then an uber to Convent do Penho. We've seen it from a distance. It looks like a huge group of white building sitting atop a stone mountain. Quite how it was built is beyond me. We went over the really long bridge to the island on which the convent is; Vitoria is a group of 5 (I think) islands connected to each other by bridges. You don't seem to be able to walk over the bridges though which is a little irritating as if we'd wanted to walk back, we couldn't. Anyway, over the toll bridge we go, driver gets lost....oops. He didn't follow the damn instructions on waze or maps or whatever app he's using. Don't think he's been there before. We arrive though and he drops us at the bottom of a cobbled hill. I mean it's really steep. Think Clovelly or Porlock hill and then some. And cobbled. There's a few little shops at the bottom...you've guessed, postcards on sale! We start walking up and there's a kiosk selling tickets for minibus up and down the hill. 5 Reals both ways some take it. If we don't want to get its own that's fine, it's not expensive. Up we go. Oops, just to the top of the roadway, not right to the top. The road when the convent was built, must have just been a donkey track. How else would they have gotten all the bricks etc up there and even when they'd got them this far, it must have been real tricky building up at the top. There's long flights of steps, all cobbled around the side of the 'rock'. I mean, it really does look like a boulder but not one whose size you could imagine. It's incredible. Up and up...... Nearly at the very top and really, Guy doesn't want to go any further, heights and all that. I go on up on my own and enter the convent....well! Amazing! Have to go down and persuade Guy to come up which he does. I find it quite odd that in this on the whole, Catholic country, the people seem to be really disrespectful in their religious buildings. Uncovered shoulders (yes, I'm old fashioned I think, but I thought you had to be covered in a Catholic Church), times change I guess. They're taking selfies inside at the alter whilst others are trying to pray. It's all very weird. But it is very beautiful inside. On the way out, there's a monk blessing people if they want. There's a queue so we go out by the entrance we walked in. Just get down to the bottom of the steps, find the loo and it starts to rain again. Get the minibus down. It's absolutely throwing it down now. Wait under cover for a few ins till it eases then a potter into the shops. Had a beer; well it's rude not to when it's 11:30! Not really much else here but we walk down the road just to see. There's a fort but we can't go in because its military but it's at the bottom of 'convent 'rock where there's another old unused small cobbled track upwards towards the convent. Then using google maps, we see if there's anything else...shops etc? Follow directions towards a shopping mall. Not! It's closed down. There is a supermarket though. And a MacDonalds and a few other shops which are a bit abstract. After wandering for a while, order another uber to take us back. Because we don't speak Portuguese, it can be a challenge so we decide that MacDonalds is an easy place for us to be noticed so standing outside, we order. Wait and although I have the notice to say he's arrived, we can't see him. Go to google translate and explain where we are. The get a note saying he's cancelled the job just as Guy walks along the main road a bit to look for him. Order another but translate my outfit description and that we don't understand Portuguese and again, where we are. This one arrives exactly where he should. I look at my app and find the other one charged me 4.50 cancellation. I objected and had it refunded! He wasn't where he should've been....idiot! Get back. Go into the shopping mall and have a look around. The weather isn't really the weather to go walking in. Decide to have a easy meal tonight. We're a bit fed up with going to restaurants. Buy a cooked chicken crown and some salad and some croissants with jam in the middle, yum! And some salad dressing too. Don't have any cutlery... Go across to our hotel and find there's packs of plastic knives and forks so we're sorted! Watch the end of a short series we were watching (The Messiah) and have dinner. Then watch another film after packing. Off early in the morning. Breakfast starts at 6 so we're going to go down just after then.

Can't sleep so actually, I'm writing this in the night. No point in going to sleep now; it's 4:45am! Who needs sleep anyway? I'll probably drop off just as the alarm goes off!

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