Gravel Road Adventures sometimes strays beyond the boundaries of the Southern African continent to explore ‘wish list’ places across the seas. And that’s what happened this year with the Iberian Peninsula — a hire car collected in Madrid, a month to play with, and a 3,500-kilometre road trip, to be exact.
Spain? Love, love, love. Portugal? Pretty close.
In Spain we found a culture that had its finger firmly on the button of avant-garde — in architecture, design, fashion, art. Even graffiti and street art pushed boundaries. There were exquisite Moorish palaces to explore, architecture as elaborate as a wedding cake, food that was contemporary, sensational in flavour and beautiful on the plate. And we dispensed with sleep. When the Spanish people hit the streets in the evenings ꟷ old, young, middle-aged, walking sticks or strollers in tow — you feel the unbridled zest for life and you know this is going to be a long night.
Portugal … a tiny bit shabbier … nonetheless gave us octopus so thin, so translucent, so tender, we’re still dreaming about it; mouth-filling juicy red wines from the Douro valley; architecture as decorative as Spain’s; and a dazzling ceramic-tile culture.
We visited 9 cities, and I’ve turned them into individual photo essay style stories.
To read the stories click here