Back in the jug agane………

Well as holidays go, it went. Clearly I had not understood the itinerary. I distinctly recall Mrs. Ha saying we were doing a river cruise – Lisbon to Porto on the Douro. We didn’t.

Someone moved the Douro. It no longer runs from L to P. That’s now a motorway. The Douro has mysteriously moved and starts (or probably finishes) at Porto and goes inland. Lots of locks to negotiate. And we made a detour into Spain. Salamanca in fact. Wonderful place. But also not on the Douro. Is it any wonder I was confused?

Frankly holidays are like cameras. If you need to read up about them they are too complicated. I like to go from A to B. In fact I am usually happy to stay at A. Or B. I rarely want to go to C or any other letter. And certainly not following a guide.

Tourist guides lie. Did you know that? Our lovely guide told us (at enormous length) where we were going tomorrow and what we would do at what time. But I didn’t. Mrs. Ha and another refusenik played hooky every day. We arrived with the group as we had no choice. We worked out where and when we had to meet the bus. Then we legged it to do our own thing. The tourist guide said ‘provide you are back on time and enjoy yourselves, I am happy’. But her teeth were gritted and I swear she had her fingers crossed behind her back when she said it. She loathed me. I felt so good about it.

I took 1200+ photos. In fact as I was shooting RAW and jpeg in tandem I shot 2400+. I have to string them out a bit longer for blogging as I have all sorts of distractions to contend with. So here is just a sampler of what might or might not lie ahead. I have absolutely no idea where I took it. In fact I have little idea of where I have been. Dwr y felin, perhaps?

As the scenery was sooooo pretty I was fascinated by the locks. And here is my favourite lock shot.


What a mighty lock it was too. The marks reminded me of the fingers of Sadequain. Look him up if you don’t believe me. Of course Portugal was in colour but I converted it to black and white. Just to annoy the tourist guide.

If you are looking for a moral from this post it is this: never, ever go on a holiday where you are required (?) to follow the leader and listen to her (I suppose it could be a him) babbling away through a ‘whisper box’. I hurled mine away after less than 5 minutes. I can’t take photos and listen to a duck. So thank you, I had a lovely time. It was just the other 109 people who seemed less enthused.


27 thoughts on “Back in the jug agane………

  1. About the last thing I would consider as part of an enjoyable holiday would involve being part of a group. Any group. As a photographer I am horrified by images of 50 of my brethren crowded together to all get the same iconic shot of someplace…..and then all rushing off together again for the next icon. And having someone set the schedule for being where and when…..
    I am glad you were able to make yourselves scarce and do what you wished.

    • Steve, I deliberately set out to photograph things others don’t bother with. I have few truly nice views (although Shirley has some excellent ones) but I have a lot of flaky old doors 🙂

  2. I’m so glad that you and Mrs Ha are back safe in Hong Kong. It sounds as if your trip was just short of a nightmare but maybe I’ve read something into this post that is not really there. Anyhoo, I take it that your heart did well or reasonably so. Will look forward to more photos of Portugal.

    • Hello Yvonne. Not quite a nightmare but a little frustrating. My heart was ok. I still felt tired at times but that may be all the walking. I think the rate is lower than it was but still erratic.

      • That is the pits for you. My heart is no better either- just slower. I got a call today saying my cardio wanted to shock me this Friday. I told her that is a bit unplanned since no one had called to tell me of the appointment until today. I’m becoming more than disgruntled with those people. There seems to be a breakdown in communicating with the patient, nurse, and the MD.

      • I hope the treatment goes well with Yvonne. Let me know when you are safely home. The communication seems truly poor. Thinking of you today.

  3. Welcome back and that is one massive + impressive lock! Funny enough, we’ll be going to Lisbon and Portugal next month – this evolved from what was going to be re-visit to Asturias and the Picos de Europa 🙂

    • Beware pickpockets. On the day we left a group of our friends stayed behind and one lost cash and his ID card to a pickpocket. I love Spain – this was my first visit to Portugal. I could happily live there. Enjoy your visit.

  4. Wonderful that you and Mrs Ha had the gumption to avoid a vanilla/tortuous tour of Portugal,Spain and wherever else you went. Imagine being trapped on a boat with no escape from your guide! :-/
    Very impressive lock.

    • When we stay our twos this in Puerto Vallarta we like to see the cruise shops coming in early in the morning. But we know the buses will drop of large groups if touristas herded along by a fast talking guide. We try to avoid getting too close to the groups in case we are mistaken for one of the members :). A finger locking good photo Andrew and thanks for the education opportunity with Sadequain. Looked him up and glad I did. Welcome back.

      • Sadequain in interesting. There is a gallery devoted to him in Karachi and I went there on a private visit. Travel broadens the mind and all that!

  5. I too am not a big fan of guided tours where a large group of people are trapsing behind a leader like school children being herded around. I’m either spending all my energy keeping track of the herd and/or Husband who likes to wander off. Nope – not my idea of a good time.

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