After breakfast at the hotel buffet, we were off to a family owned farm, called Rovisco Garcia. We rode through the farm’s various terrains in a specially constructed jeep, seeing the trees that produce cork, and learning how the cork is extracted. They also grow umbrella pines that produce pignoli nuts, grapes for wine and olives for olive oil on their property. In other areas of the farm, there are wild boar, chickens, some cattle, and a garden in which vegetables eaten by the family are grown.
Our group filled four tables for lunch, and a member of the farm family joined each table. Our table was accompanied by the mother, who had prepared most of the food: chicken pot pie, salad with farm grown carrots and tomatoes, and shoestring potatoes. For dessert there was melon, homemade strawberry ice cream, and chocolate mousse.
After lunch we were back on the bus, heading to medieval Óbidos, a town built on a hilltop the is completely surrounded by a fortified wall. Some in our group walked the top of wall’s entire perimeter. As there are no guardrails and many tales of people who have had serious accidents, we opted not to try that. While taking the orientation walk, we were treated to the town’s specialty drink. Called ginjinha, it is a sour cherry juice combined with alcohol and sugar, served in an edible chocolate cup, with a cherry. It was a delightful pick-me-up.
Our hotel was decorated in a medieval theme, with suits of armor in the hallways. The keys to our room were huge and heavy, and the locks seemed to have been made in medieval times, because they were a challenge to operate. Nick was able to open our door, and then he assisted Ann and Jeff, and Sherrill, whose rooms were on either side of ours.
Part of the fun of travel is getting to know people whose backgrounds are different from our own. We decided to go for pizza with Sylvia and Viggo. The couple lives in Vancouver, Canada, but Sylvia is originally from the Philippines and Viggo is from Sweden. They had never meet Connecticuters before!