Wednesday, 26 March 2014

TAP-Air Portugal - Larger Capacity Aircraft on Seville - Lisbon route from 1st July, 2014

Spanish website reports today that TAP-Air Portugal will be upgrading its aircraft on its Lisbon / Lisboa ( LIS ) to Seville / Sevilla ( SVQ ) route from 1st July 2014.

This is excellent new as until now the route has been operated by 19-seater Beechcraft aircraft. TAP-Air- Portugal is to introduced large capacity ATR-42 - 300 aircraft on the route. With a capacity for up to 46 pax, this is very welcome news for a route that is badly underserved and where the only alternative public transport is by 6 hour coach trip.

There will be 14 weekly departures  with monthly capacity doubling from 2.888 seats to 5.152 seats.

More here (in Castellano):

Monday, 24 March 2014

Lisbon to Trancoso, District of Guarda, Portugal

National bus operator currently operates three daily services from Lisbon Sete Rios Coach Station to Trancoso as follows:
Dept: 08:00 Arr: 13:40
Dept: 14:30 Arr: 19:35
Dept: 18:15 Arr: 23:10 (Friday Only or Thursday if Friday is a public holiday) - operate a weekday service(except public holidays) between Lisbon Gare Oriente Bus Station and Trancoso as follows;
Dept: 08:30 Arr: 13:50
Dept: 18:00 Arr: 23:05 (Friday Only or Thursday if Friday is a public holiday)

Buses to Minas de Rio Tinto from Sevilla and Huelva

It appears that the week-day buses from Huelva to Rio Tinto continue on to Nerva, a fairly sizeable two-horse pueblo, we once passed through which is only 5kms from Minas de Rio Tinto. (It appears that the bus runs straight through to a pueblo called "Bea" and only starts dropping of and picking up from there en route to Nerva.)
So (a weekday example):
Dept: Huelva 09:30
Dept: Huelva 12:00
Dept: Huelva 18:00
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:11:15
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:13:45
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:19:45
Arr: Nerva 11:30
Arr: Nerva 14:00
Arr: Nerva 20:00
Dept: Nerva 07:00
Dept: Nerva 09:00
Dept: Nerva 14:00
Dept: Nerva 16:00
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:07:15
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:09:10
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:14:15
Arr/Dep Minas de Rio Tinto:16:15
Arr: Huelva 09:00
Arr: Huelva 10:45
Arr: Huelva 16:00
Arr: Huelva 18:00
Now, the Damas timetable states that there is also a bus service to/from Sevilla to Nerva (No. 501) as follows:
Dept Sevilla: 10:30
Dept Sevilla: 15:30
Dept Sevilla: 17:30
And back from Nerva at:
Dept Nerva: 05:15
Dept Nerva: 09:30
Dept Nerva: 18:30
This seems to be the Damas Sevilla Plaza das Armas to Zalamea La Real 501 Service. HOWEVER, nothing comes up on a search from Sevilla to Nerva with Based on what I have been able to gleen from searching Sevilla Plaza das Armas to Zalamea La Real on , it seems to take the bus about 1hr 50 minutes to wander down from Sevilla to Nerva and v.v. It seems that the service does pass Rio Tinto 10 minutes earlier/later.
SEVILLA (Plaza de Armas) 10:00 / 10:00 0 Km
CAMAS 10:05 / 10:05 5 Km
BARRIADA DE SANTA CRUZ 10:10 / 10:10 7 Km
SANTIPONCE 10:15 / 10:15 11 Km
LAS PAJANOSAS 10:35 / 10:35 28 Km
EL GARROBO 10:45 / 10:45 40 Km
VENTA LA PLATA 10:55 / 10:55 50 Km
CASTILLO DE LAS GUARDAS 11:00 / 11:00 58 Km
LA AULAGA 11:20 / 11:20 67 Km
NERVA 11:40 / 11:40 91 Km Parada inicial
RIOTINTO 11:50 / 11:50 95 Km
EL CAMPILLO 11:55 / 11:55 99 Km
It appears to me that as the buses cross the boundaries between the provinces of Sevilla and Huelva, the through routes are not being showing because of local fare subsidies.
So it looks like one could get the bus from Sevilla Estacion Autobus Plaza das Armas at 10:00, get to Riotinto at +- 11;50 and get the 18:25 (not Fridays before public holidays) back to Seville arriving at 20:10.
A search for the route of the following site seems to confirm this:

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Low Cost Mobile Options for travelling in Portugal, Spain and Italy.

(My answer to a recent question...)

I cannot answer about buying a mobile in Italy but I can tell you that if you buy a mobile in Portugal, you will have to pay roaming charges in Spain and Italy. Ditto if you buy a mobile in Spain you have to pay roaming charges in Portugal and Italy. Charging them up with funds in different countries can be a real pain. In Spain, one has to provide a passport to purchase a mobile phone.

Obviously, if you currently own an unblocked mobile, preferably a dual-sim smartphone, you can just buy a sim card in each country and fit it to your own phone.

As regards to cheaper calls to the US, it is very difficult to assess what the costs of calls would be. As I said above, if you used a Portuguese mobile in Spain to call the US, you would have to pay roaming charges as well as the call cost.

Have a look at these guys who offer low-cost services in each of the countries you want are asking about:

In my experience, the best way to reduce phone costs in Europe, is to have a powerful wifi equipped smartphone with Skype or similar installed. Then, whenever one is near a free wifi access point, one has very cost-effective calling internationally.

I was recently informed about this company:

You can download an app to your smartphone and, like, use them to call world-wide at reasonable rates.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Rod's St Patrick's Eve Concert Program - 16 March 2014

Next Sunday evening,baritone Rod Mcgahon, accompanied by Daniel Montero and Ana Carrilero will be performing an evening of traditional and classical pieces at a St Patrick's Eve Concert Program at the
Centro Cultural São Lourenço, Rua da Igreja s/nº, São Lourenço, 8136-901 Almancil, Algarve.

 The performance starts at 19:30. Coma and enjoy a wonderful evening and celebrate St. Patrick's day with Ron.

More here: