The 10th of June, Portugal’s National Day.
Holliday on a Thursday, it is just the perfect excuse to travel for 4 days.
Travelling in family sometimes is tricky, right? Especially when you have dogs on the family!
So, what… this will never stop anyone from traveling.
After the usual logistic challenges, packing everything for 2 kids, 2 dogs and 1 husband, my wife Liliana, finally set the GO light…
We departed from Lisboa (Lisbon) around 12 o’clock to Leiria, on our way we stopped over at Batalha Monastery… It took us just over 1 hour to make the journey.
Built to fulfil a promise made by King João I, on the battlefield on August 14th of 1385, for the occasion of Aljubarrota Battle, to Virgin Mary.
A mandatory visit site whenever I am in the region, either on a tour from Fátima or Nazaré, Santa Maria da Vitória Monastery, also known as Batalha Monastery it keeps has a symbol, of Portuguese victory over the Spanish.
Looking forward the monastery main entrance at the right side, we have an equestrian statue of D. Nuno Álvares Pereira “Santo Condestável”, the most important figure of Portuguese army.
Will you have better words to describe this fantastic piece of architecture, or is just me to think “AMAZING”?
No doubt that our ancient architects were great masters. Today you can find a tomb of Mateus Fernandes the Elder at the church main entrance.
At the right side (not with out paying a small entrance fee) you can visit the great Portuguese kings and queens’ tombs. The most famous is from D. João I e D. Filipa de Lencastre (king and queen). Along the Founders Room we can find Almeida Negreiros paintings. The fifteen works that make up the altarpiece that Almada imagined include several primitive paintings (from the 15th and 16th centuries), namely the iconic Panels of S. Vicente. Since their discovery, and throughout the 20th century, these panels generated a very intense public interest.
Still inside the monastery, at the Capitulo Room, we find the tomb of the Unknown Soldier with Guard of Honour, it is always a pleasure to cherish the surrender moment. The strong sound of the soldiers’ boots hitting the stoned ground, on camouflage uniforms. I can´t describe so, I leave you a video. https://youtu.be/DuU6C9Mv1ts
Before leaving Batalha, we still must visit a part of the monastery, the Unfinished Chapels.
Another masterpiece of architecture D. Duarte’s pantheon, started around 1434, the impressive structure in octagonal design with an axis entrance and 7 radiant chapels.
With the unfortunate death of King D. Duarte in 1437 and his architect Huguet in the following year, the construction stopped until nowadays.
“What about a selfie, In this unique place? Say Cheese…” (click)
Another half hour drive, we arrived to Tamanco camping, so amazed, that I even forgot to take pictures from our beautiful “palace” inside look. So, I kind of cheated and took from the neighbour’s smaller Yurt.
Tamanco camping first impression was, a small park, surrounded by trees, almost empty of tents and caravans, a small sign on old log with a hand, is pointing the check in area…
…Wow “what a space you got here mister” – what I found later to be the common living room.
The vintage look, a rounded table with a chimney hanged on the ceiling, a shell with books and some good-looking handmade blankets. At the end of the room a football table. “Hum, this will just suite my kids, especially Bruno”
Where we are, finally in vacations, with two kids and two dogs. Let us get some rest…
– Pai, Pai… (Portuguese word for Dad) Let us go to the swimming pool…
From that moment it was nonstop, from swimming pool to walking the dogs, cleaning the yurt and…Oh my God, we got to the end of day one, completely exhausted.
The next days we have planned to visit nearby towns but… Tamanco camping site was so cosy that we just throw away our plans.
A deep forest landscape gives you the feeling of being in a peaceful retreat.
The fresh air, the absence of industrial materials in the construction of the countryside, makes us want more.
Everything, including the kitchen available for the yurts, uses recycled materials. Where there is a container for recycling and leftover food that is then used to fertilize the garden.
In this camping, nothing is lost, everything is transformed.
On one of the park’s paths there is an old trailer, where we can pick up some food and fruit produced in the farm’s own vegetable garden. Some are even free 🙂
In this park, we can choose between staying in a tent, a caravan, a yurt, a tube or a bungalow.
It all depends on your choice and taste.
So, I invite you to visit this park and choose for yourselves.
No doubt you will be extremelly sattisfied, with any of them!
The pool accepts about 20 people. It has toilets and showers.
All infrastructures built in the park have skylights to make use of sunlight. A very ecological park.
The Park is run by a Dutch couple, Mrs. Irene and Mr. Hans. Both appear to be in their 50s and look like busy ants. Always running from side to side, taking care of animals or checking in/out, washing the pool (every morning with a high-pressure machine to keep everything disinfected) or taking care of dinner. Some real warriors who must work summer to hoard for the winter. Yes, the park is closed in winter, probably because the weather in this part of the country during the winter is not very friendly for campers and to have their well-deserved holidays. By the Land Rover RV, I saw at the entrance, they must also like to “get the house on the back” and go on the adventure. It is case to say that they speak the same language as us at Aventurix.
The early hours of Saturday, brought the rain and this time the rooster almost did not sing, but the sound of rain hitting the cover of the yurt was enough to wake me from my always light sleep, were not me fireman and sleep always on alert (there are days).
During the morning we were undecided between advancing our departure 1 day or waiting for the weather to improve and stay. It was not an easy decision, with two kids and two dogs.
After breakfast closed inside the yurt, I looked at Liliana, she looks at me, we were both desperately in need of a coffee.
We went to the park bar and found a very friendly couple who had helped us the day before to take care of our dog, while I was in the pool with the kids, Luis and Paula, also them with a dog, Fi, a beautiful cream dog, unfortunately paraplegic, that they made a point of giving a lot of affection and love.
After a few minutes of pleasant conversation, the weather began to improve, and the sky there sketched some smiles of sunshine.
An idea came up:
– What if we had a barbecue?
– Sounds like a good idea – Luís answered!
– Well, then, we must go shopping…
And there I went to get my tank, I picked up Luis and we went to get lunch at Pingo Doce.
As it could not fail to be, in the good Portuguese fashion, Sardinhas, the queens of the barbecue Portuguese. Bread, salad plus something else, ah and the salt… let us go back to the park, not before me and Luis have a nice dispute to see who paid what … things of Portuguese people ahahah!
Let us turns on the heat. Because i was so stubborn to use only the branches and natural waste on the park floor, it took us more than an hour to have a minimum heat ready because everything was still wet from the rain of the dawn.
I must say that the park facilities really helped this task.
In the end rewarded, for the sardines were wonderful. We put a few more things at the table, Paula who is a vegetarian, brought a little Alheira and a vegetarian chorizo, plus a few mushrooms plus a pepper and when we found out, we had in front of us a real feast. It was not easy to handle so much food. Of course, in the middle still fell some showers, to bless the barbecue, but in the end, we had lunch with a stupendous sun and had a lot of fun.
Perhaps this is the true spirit that leads us to camp, the possibility of finding simple people and exchanging fantastic experiences, especially when accompanied by good food and a good beer or even better with a good Lambrusco, brought by Luis. Thank you very much Luis and Paula, for the excellent company.
And just like that, what seemed like a lost day, it became an excellent and pleasant day of sun and camping with another afternoon by the pool! Perfect!!!
Sunday, the day to pack up and go home, of course I had to let the kids go say goodbye to the pool. Just a little more…. Bruno said!
I strongly advise all who like to be surrounded by nature, the campsite “O Tamanco”!
It is a simple and selfless space, without great luxuries, but with all the necessary services to stay a few days, without having to leave the park. I almost forgot, do not forget to be at 9:00 at the park entrance to meet the baker that brings every day fresh bread and some cakes and croissants!
Thank you, Irene and Hans, for welcoming us so well! See you next time…
If you wanto to know more about “O Tamanco” click here!