I was hooked on the Douro. I wanted to see where it came from, how it had grown into such a glittering monster, pulling in the landscape and finally Porto, on its way to the sea. In Brittanica.com it says:
Rising in the Sierra de Urbión in Spain, the river crosses the Numantian Plateau in a pronounced bend and flows generally westward for 556 miles (895 km) across Spain and northern Portugal to the Atlantic Ocean at Foz do Douro.
We were confident that in the next two days we could make a dent in the 556 miles, if we stuck to the edge of the river as far as the motorhome would allow. We headed east and drove all day in the winter sunshine. The river was the be all and end all. It glinted and blinked and squinted. It lazily smirked and then shone and beamed welcome from around a bend. It had all moods and knew all things. Each time we swung away I craned my neck to keep it in view. I leaned out of the window as we turned this way and that, photographing on the move, pretending I was a real photographer chasing a shot. The other drivers were confident and drove fast on the winding roads. But they were not like the Armenian drivers from our last road trip -their windscreens are intact to the last car, and they used at least one hand for the steering wheel. We climbed up and up and the roads twisted more and the buildings became smallholding rustic, in a winter mingle of russet and dark grey, of milky whites and yellows. Initially, the vineyards were smallish and garden-like, with their little houses tumbling down the hillsides into them. Even the lowliest patch of of flattish ground had three or four spindly vine trees on them, knobbly and knarled in their winter state of undress; nothing was left uncultivated. The little fields swooped down into small valleys and swung back up with the vines clinging onto the crumbly winter soil.