5 June, Portugal – ‘All Over The Place – Europe, Part 2’
Today we went to Spain… for a couple of hours.
An enterprising English bloke called David, who knew a bit about zip lines, realised that if he built one bridging the border between Spain and Portugal then, due to the time difference, you could arrive in Portugal one hour before you left Spain. That’s the sort of thing our show was made for, which was why we made our way this morning to the old Portuguese smuggling town of Alcoutim and crossed the river in a small ferry boat to Spain. A very enthusiastic David bundled us into his Land Rover and we rattled our way to the top of the mountainside where we did some filming around the shack that he propels people to Portugal from. Then half the crew headed back down to meet me on the other side, while I took in the views of the parched valley below with its abandoned holiday homes and boarded up hotel (the financial crisis seems to have clobbered this region a bit).
Once we got the OK over the walkie talkie I was harnessed onto the zip line and after a bit of well rehearsed patter from David about how I was about to go time travelling I was pushed off the platform and very swiftly reached the maximum 70mph travelling speed as I hurtled my way to the ground on the other side. As I passed over the river I made a point of shouting into my Go Pro camera that I had just entered Portugal and in no time at all I was hitting the brake pad on the other side and coming to a very abrupt stop. The whole journey had taken less than 50 seconds. Beats Easyjet.
After a lunch of meat, fish and fried eggs (the Portuguese like their meat, fish and fried eggs) we boarded the bus for a 3 hour drive to Lisbon. A good opportunity to learn a song about trams (for work purposes. I’m not that weird).