THE EVENING ARRIVAL
We arrived at the Porto airport right around ten in the evening. By the time we had retrieved our luggage and got our rental car it was approaching eleven. The roads in Portugal are fairly well maintained but not terribly well lit. If it weren't for Siri we might never have found our way to our hotel in the dead darkness of a moonless night. The last mile to the Quinta do Convento da Franqueira is up a narrow winding road barely wide enough for two small cars to pass and we were in a luxury Volkswagon Passat sedan. The last hundred yards to the Quinta are on a dirt road and the grounds of the hotel are completely unlit with a maze of arbor-covered alleys. Once inside the compound we found ourselves at the entry to a stone filled road that didn't appear wide enough for us fit through and didn't seem to go anywhere but up at a very steep angle. Instead of going on with the farce of pretending we knew where we were we pulled the car off the drive, Rick and I got out leaving Emmy cringing in the backseat by herself. We started a walk in the dark . Rick, being an application aficionado, had the flashlight app on his phone. It was what we used to guide us around the convent until we finally found a door with a buzzer. Piers came down and let us in with huge apologies about the darkness and the unmarked paths. In his high British accent he retrieved a "proper torch", British for flashlight and guided us to the car and then to the parking area.
THE FIRST MORING