Camping in Madalena Davis Family Road Trip: Portugal #04

Day 7: Sunday Second day at Figueira de Foz and Camping in Madalena

Woke up for a morning surf check and no such luck. We have been awake since 3am (SA time) as James has happily adjusted to haveing 4 siestas a day with early mornings and late nights. The long days now make me understand why an afternoon glass at 2pm followed by a siesta is so popular in Portugal. We took a slow packdown and drove towards Porto (120kms North). 

The heavens opened up and the rain started pouring as we got closer to Porto so we decided to find a “Port farm” and go port tasting! I opened a website link, clicked on the address and it took us 20kms inland of Porto. The roads started narrowing and the sky got even greyer. Our wipers going full speed we forged ahead. The small roads took us to a town named Sobrado. 

Driving onto the edge of town and up a cobbled single pathed road we soon reached a verticle incline and one way road. As we try to reverse our front wheels deepen in the mud and our back wheels slide on the moss covered cobbled road. Our camper van is at a slant and Im praying out loud that this is not the day that we topple over. 


Getting lost, finds us a lovely traditional resturant. I was a really local experience. 

We pull in to the biggest car park we can find and spot a local restaurant. Again so “local local” so I order the “Carne e vegetais”  (meat and vegetables) and William ordered the “Prego Steak Roll”.

The entre arrives, a platter of fresh bread, olives, octopus, pigs ears and a host of crumbed things that God only knows whats inside. To my absollute suprise, Daniel who has never eaten shell fish before tucked into the octopus like a ravenous goat. Before i could stop him to realise he may have followed his mothers footsteps and have a shellfish allergy. Yikes!  Scenarios start to cross my mind. Where is the allergex and asthma pump, where is the closest hospital in this tiny town, how do we explain an allergy? After all that short term panick only to have him finish the bowel.”Too late she cried”


Licking his lips he was absolutely fine! . 

The waitress was lovely and in her broken words and sign language shared that she has two kids. She brought the high chair and James spent the meal tearing apart the paper table cloth and dropping it piece by piece on to the floor. 

I was fortunate enough to have a view of the bar, it was something out of a movie. Long lunch table, Portugese men sitting around with drink in hand, young portugese boys looking like little stamps of their dads, learning the tradition and way of life. As lunch time came closer we realised we had discovered the heartbeat of the town! 

After lunch we got back in the car and put a camp site in Madalena into our GPS. Arrived, setup camp and poured a beautiful bottle of red under the trees in the camp site while peeling vegetables for dinner. Daniel is happily playing with his lego and James eating a few leaves off the floor. 


  • Parent Coping Level: 2/10 Stressed out driving, so much rain, screaming kids…
  • Kids Patience Level: 8/10 lego saves the day (and a ration of Ipad)
  • Campsite Setup: Madalena  6/10 (clean bathroom facilities and level grounds to park) 
  • Overall Experience: 4/10
  • Surf: Still nothing in sight
  • Lowlight: Daniel turns to us and says “The mosquitos are now finished eating mommy and they now eating me”
  • Highlight: Trying to describe to eachother what it feels like when the other person moves at night. I say… “you know that feeling when you are just about to fall asleep and you feel like you falling” to which Will replies “Maybe we fell off our wedges” hahaha 



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Roxy Davis is proudly 'Capetonian', having grown up in Kommetjie, Cape Town. Roxy has won multiple South African Surfing titles. She is a professional surf coach, business owner, wife and mother with a real zest for life and adventure!

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