I had one of the best holidays ever this year rowing in Portugal.
My sister and I flew to Lisbon and had a couple of days walking around the city and lazying on the beach before taking a bus about 120km to Ferreira de Zezere.
There we had a welcoming Dinner and meet all the others rowers. There were Dutch, French, English and lots of Portugese. Approximately 80 people There were rowers from Bewley Bridge and Sudbury in England
After an early morning swim in the hotel swimming pool and not too big a breakfast it was off in the minibus a short hop to the river. And what a river it was wide, calm, with hills tumbling down to the waters edge. It looked more like a fiord than the Yare.
We were quickly organised into mixed crews and after establishing which language we would converse in, off we rowed.
The crew from the Row Portugal team worked tirelessly getting set up; boats in, blades ready and they would not accept any help. They even came round in a rescue boat with refills of water!
We had a brilliant morning sculling 19km to Trizio. The boats were pulled in for us and we jumped out of the boats and straight into the water for a cooling swim then up the riverbank for lunch. While I was expecting a cheese roll and a banana we were served a 4 course meal with wine!
In the afternoon we rowed 11km back to our hotel. We were taken out in the evening to see a local Mozart production and then onto a restaurant. I’m afraid we badly let the side down as every other nationality sang a patriotic song and the British contingent could only think of ‘Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream!’
Saturday we rowed 22km to Tomar and after a typical local lunch we were treated to a fascinating guided tour around Tomar Castle, home of the Knights Templar.
On Sunday we rowed another 22km and after a bbq by the river and a group photograph we sadly had to say our goodbyes.
Until next year!