Wet weekend in Évora

The forecast for the weekend was thunder storms, wind and plenty of rain: the perfect mix for outdoor activities. But still, we wanted our wet weekend in Évora!

We got to Évora in the morning for an orienteering competition in which we were to participate in the open categories doing a 4.5km route with 13 check points.
I had done orienteering before, though in an urban context, which anyone with minimum sense of orientation can easily identify on the map streets, tress, houses, walls, etc. But this time it was in the county side: this meant being able to identify small bushes and dense vegetation, rocks, boulders, ruins, fences, creeks, ponds, open area from densely treed area, and the list goes on. So imagine: little me, completely oblivious to what was awaiting, pass through the starting point, take hand of a map and suddenly get knocked away by the completely confusing appearance of the map that was going to guide me through the route!

It took me 45 minutes to find checkpoint number 1. Let’s just say that the participant that ranked first completed the route in 56 minutes! Plus: I only found the first checkpoint after feeling so so lost and asking for help. After 2 hours and a half of roaming the wilderness looking for checkpoints, I finally finished in …. (drum roll please)… LAST! But, nonetheless, extremely satisfied with my participation considering I didn’t give up. Which, I have to say, I really felt like doing. Pedro, a more experienced sport, ranked fifth completing the route in 1h13min. Of course, he had to patiently wait for me not knowing if I was completely lost or dead in some ditch!
All in all, we enjoyed it and are looking forward to our next orienteering competition in 2 weeks in Sintra.

Next on our list: geocaching!
Thanks to Pedro’s fancy phone we were able to find our very first cache. Something we were meaning to do for some time and it is number 23 on my list!

After a 10 km drive away from the city, we parked the car on the roadside and walked amongst mud, trees and bush until we came across the megalithic monument, named Portela de Mogos, where the cache had been hidden. The geocache website indicated that someone had last found it on the 25th, so we were sure that it was hiding somewhere. After a look around the premises of tall phallic formed ancient stones Pedro finally found a blue Tupperware hidden under some rocks. How exciting! Inside it was a plastic ziplock with a couple of papers explaining the history of the monument and instructions in case anyone finds the cache and doesn’t know what it is and also some random objects: a pen, an old key, a sharpener, a toy car, a tiny wooden cube.

We decided to take the old key and leave our orienteering map and signing the log book, carefully returning the cache to its place and trying to hide it even better than before. We were then determined to find more caches around Évora!

Évora is more or less flat, so the idea was to take a bike riding tour of the city just before dinner. The cool thing about dating a geek (and I mean geek in the nicest way!!) is that he does these really neat geeky things, like track our bike ride on his fancy phone.

We had bought tickets to go to the theater after dinner, thinking: no better way to end a perfect day than with a play. We were so wrong! It was a historic theater from the 19th century with beautiful à la epoch decorations and not having a heating system, awaiting us were red blankets to keep us warm during the show. But the play… well… Pedro fell asleep after 10 minutes and I tried to keep awake for a bit longer but ended up snoozing through most of it. The play was “Happy Days” by Samuel Beckett and, with nothing personal against the author or the actors, we simply found it tedious and left during the break between the two acts. Sorry…

Initially, we weren’t considering camping in Évora, because of the bad weather, though, just in case, we brought along the basics for a night out. And we’re glad we did, because on our way to the geocaching location we found this old school with the perfect terrace to set up our tent in a dry, comfortable and wind-free location. It even had a bathroom, with running water and toilet paper! It was an old primary school transformed into a natural reserve’s interpretation centre that had been used for some time.

Sunday was very stormy and we ended up not doing much, though we did manage to find one more cache in Évora’s main square. The interesting thing about geocaching is that it can lead you to nowhere places or to busy city centers and where they still manage to hide caches. This was the case: the GPS indicated the Praça do Giraldo and we were in a 10m perimeter around the coordinate’s area. We looked inside water tubes, behind trash cans, within cracks in stone walls, everywhere and no cache… until I looked under a heritage information panel and there was a small magnet with the log book cache we were searching for!

Not being able to do much outdoors, we decided to drive back home and have dinner at this cheap but very delicious oriental restaurant with a matching name: Sushi Delicioso!

It was an excellent weekend and I am definitely looking forward for more!


  1. Last? you weren't last: http://oriadfa.no.sapo.pt/res20100227e.html

  2. last out of all those who actually finished the race. those who gave up don't count! and i am proud of being last: i was at the treshold of giving up, but instead i finished last... big big difference!!!