oak oak oak cork cork cork….

No that’s not some bird call. It is the dominent scenery in this part of Portugal.  Next time you pull a cork from a bottle of wine think of these poor trees: naked and shivering without their bark in the winter sun:

troaks

corkoak

There are so many cork trees here it is the major industry of the region.  Each oak tree is “peeled” every nine years (After the first 25 to 30 years growing up of course!) and the peeling leaves a distinctive red scar, fading to black then corklike whilst another nine years of growth builds up for the axeman.

When consulting my bird book, some birds are described as inhabiting “cork oak savanna” demonstrating just how dominant the industry is here.  It is different but begins to cloy after a while so not so many current photographs.

Here, however, are a few to catch up with what we did in Spain on the way here:

bomberos

Salamanca Cathedral from over the river Tormes where we stayed for a couple of nights on a free aire. (motorhome stopover site).

salamancathedral

However, the cathedral and the rest of the town came in to its own at night in anticipation of the Christmas holiday.

cathedralights

At night all the major buildings are floodlit showing off their splendid architecture.

christmlights

with a little help of course from the city council and Christmas.streetlights

 

During daylight hours it was just as beautiful.  We stopped a passing couple and asked if they would take our picture with the Plaza Mayor in thr background.  I was weakly explaining how my camera worked and the girl I had handed it to (Rebecca) said  “Its all right.  I have one exactly the same,”  Mumbled embarrased replies from me……

plazamayor

The man with Rebecca introduced himself as Oliver and was a student from South America studying in spain and Rebecca was Italian.  We had a great chat with these wonderful people and Oliver took a “Selfie” of the four of us on his phone and emailed it to us.

selfusalamanca

Meanwhile, back on the oak ranch..

We always chat with other motorhomers, especially those travelling in the other direction, to get a flavour of what to expect ahead.  We are getting very close to the festive season now and were beginning to get a little anxious about finding somewhere to stay over the holiday.  A couple with a very similar van to ours had been to southern Portugal several times at this time of year and recommended a campsite so we decided to book ten nights over the internet.  Ironically, it was cheaper and easier to book this through the Camping Club in Britain than to do it directly.  So..We are heading towards Lagos in the Algarve to be on a site by the 19th.

 

One thought on “oak oak oak cork cork cork….

  1. Hi John and Shilly, Buon Natalie from U.K. Excuse my Spanish!
    Good to read the blog and I hope Ian Maxted is following it too so that he can enjoy your manhole covers. We were in Salamanca a few years back, pre camper van days. Beautiful city but a rail and bus strike meant that we had a few interesting challenges getting back to Santander.
    Have fun
    Alan n Deb

    Like

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