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Stories / November 19, 2019

The People You Meet: Portugal Edition

Tour Advisor Liv visited Portugal in May 2019 and cycled the Castles and Wines of Portugal tour. She had an amazing time. One of the things she loved most was the people she encountered.

We had numerous adventures on tour. We visited ancient ruins bursting with history and intrigue. We ate wonderful food and drank extraordinary wine. But what really made the trip were the people. Fellow cyclists, our tour guides, a local leather tanner, the shopkeepers, hotel hosts, everyone I encountered greeted me with warmth and a smile.

The Guides

Jorge and Mário were our guides on the tour. They were exceedingly kind and knowledgeable about the culture and history of the places we visited along the route. You could tell they truly enjoyed their jobs, were proud of their country and excited to share what they knew.

Each day we would picnic somewhere along the route. Jorge and Mário would prepare lunch with local wines and a spread of traditional dishes. Here they are shown under a Holm Oak Tree a short walk from the megalithic monument, Anta Grande do Zambujeiro.

Travel Mates

Verô and Tank, a big-hearted couple from Oregon, were my fellow tour group members. They had been traveling around Europe for a month before capping it off with a cycling tour. We connected immediately upon meeting. We spent numerous hours cycling together each day and conversed well into each evening over wine and dinner. We formed a friendship that I look forward to nurturing over the years to come.

Here we are pictured in front of the Roman Temple of Évora.

The Leather Tanner

On tour, we visited a lovely gentleman who ran a leather processing factory in the small village of Nossa Senhora de Machede. He invited us in to demonstrate the process of tanning from start to finish. During the demonstration, he enthusiastically shared that the business that had been passed down through the family for generations and that his wife makes the finished products ( hats, shoes, wallets, pillows, etc.) He and our guide, Jorge, had a good laugh about how long it was taking him to repair something Jorge had brought to him. It was a glimpse into the close-knit community in which they lived.

Have questions about Liv’s trip? She’s got answers!


Tags from the story:

Portugal, Staff Travel

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