Sunday, November 12, 2017

Nov 12

As we sat down for dinner at a cafe on along the Douro River with a view of Porto, we noticed a podium being set up. In the distance, the Ponte Luis 1 Bridge arched across the water, the lower level barely wide enough for the driver of our yellow double decker tour bus to squeeze across as the pedestrians on the narrow sidewalks dove towards the railing to avoid being smacked in the face by one of the mirrors. If they’d been more ambitious, they would have climbed to the top of one of the hills on either side of the river and walked across the wide upper level with only a train in the middle and broad views of the other 6 bridges that criss-cross the river. . As the plates of roasted potatoes in garlic and steak topped with picked cauliflower and carrots - better than it sounds but not nearly as good as the similar orders of “meats and sides” we’d had for 1/4 of the price at the churrasqueira attached to our campground near a beach a bit to the south of town - arrived, we heard the engines revving. One by one, Cars from the RallySpirit 2017 were announced in Portuguese and assembled on the sidewalks in front of the cafe. From the looks of the cars, it was a pre-1975 or so rally class with Porsches, Alfas, Minis, BMW’s, Triumphs and even a few Fords and Toyotas. While the drivers and their navigators were in full race suits and looked a bit road weary, it was hard to tell if and where they’d been racing.

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