13 Jun Exploring castles and joining the circus
Day 90 (7 June 2013) In the morning, we continue to head north. But not before checking out Beja’s castle and the old part of town.
The castle is well preserved and reminds us of some of the medieval Templar Knights movies. We are able to look into some of the chambers and are allowed to climb up into the tower.
Shortly after lunchtime, we head out of town.
We ride along more fields and cork trees lining the road. Some of the cork trees have been stripped and we can see the layer of cork right under the bark at the cutting line…which makes us wonder how anybody ever discovered this stuff and decided to put it into a wine bottle!!??
After several miles of riding, we spot another great looking castle towering over the town of Portel.
Undoubtedly, we have to go check this one out too!
We ride up the steep, twisted cobblestone road to the castle, to find it being wide open to be explored. The walls and a couple of the towers are still great in shape; unfortunately, on the inside of the castle walls, all the buildings are in ruins. Yet, we still have a great time exploring the castle grounds.
After checking every nook and cranny of the place, we head back into town and notice that the weather is changing to the worse. Rain clouds are heading our way.
We debate, whether we should keep riding and wild camp somewhere out of town. However, both of us do not really feel like riding anymore. Luckily, we remember, that there is a circus setting up right outside of town in a huge empty lot, so we decide to head that way and ask whether we could camp out with the circus folks.
As we arrive at the circus, we meet the show master, who is more than happy to have us stay at their site. He even suggests a spot right next to one of his big trucks, so we can stay out of the strong wind. He also offers us an extension cord and lights for our tent, should we need them.
As soon as we are done setting up camp, the wind picks up even more and it starts pouring rain. So we just hunker down inside our cozy little home for the night.
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