Sunshine & Slums: Furadouro, Torreira & Sao Jacinto – Spain & Portgual Tour 2009

Today’s itinerary was to drive up from Pardilho and take a leisurely tour down the Sao Jacinto peninsula (not sure if this is its correct name), calling at the towns on the way, with a loose plan to spend the night at the motorhome aire at Sao Jacinto.

As it turned out, that was what we did – but as often happens when travelling, the journey turned out to be more interesting than the final destination.

Having left Pardilho, we got back onto the N109 and headed north towards Ovar, before turning south west onto the N327. This is the sole main road down the peninsula we were planning to explore – with each town either on the N327 or connected to it by a minor road.

First call was Furadouro. It was (very) quiet but the town centre and beach seemed pleasant enough:

Furadouro beach - empty in early May
Furadouro beach - empty in early May

Presumably it is very busy in season – with Portuguese visitors, I’d guess. We had coffee and cake before moving on:

Galao & Pasteis de Nata - Furadouro
Galao & Pasteis de Nata - Furadouro

Next up was Torreira. Plenty of new flats, a newly face-lifted sea front and a pleasant town centre:

Torreira town centre
Torreira town centre

But driving back out of town after lunch, something different altogether:

Driving into Torreira
Driving into Torreira

I’ve seen poverty before – I grew up in Asia – but it was a shock to see this in Western Europe in 2009. These were real slums – makeshift shacks, held together somehow and probably tapping off mains electricity in highly dubious and dangerous ways. What was so incongruous, too, was that there was no separation from the rest of the town – they were simply there, on a large unused plot right alongside the main road into and out of the town.

On the outskirts of Torreira - an otherwise perfectly pleasant seaside town
The slums were not huge in area but were huge in contrast to the rest of the town - a real eyeopener

Our final stop was Sao Jacinto, at the far end of the peninsula. This was a funny place – residential, yet quiet and run-down in places. The beaches, however, were pretty good – and no doubt the area’s main attraction, as was the case all along the peninsula.

The boardwalk to Sao Jacinto beach
The boardwalk to Sao Jacinto beach

We ended up staying the night in the corner of the beachside car park – the motorhome service point itself was fine for servicing requirements but not a very inviting place at which to spend the night:

Sao Jacinto motorhome aire (one official parking space - loads in reality)
Sao Jacinto motorhome aire (one official parking space, but it's nicer in the car park down the road - the Guarda Nacional went past us several times and didn't seem to mind us parking there instead)

Distance driven: 34 miles

One thought on “Sunshine & Slums: Furadouro, Torreira & Sao Jacinto – Spain & Portgual Tour 2009

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.