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Rated: 13+ · Book · Travel · #2032403
ON THE WRITE PATH: travel journal for Around-the-World in 2015, 16, 18.
For there are many paths.

Visitor's Center of Woolaroc in Oklahoma, Osage Nation. Tribute to Native America.

A tlog. A travel blog. A keeping-track of my trials, er.. travels.

February 26, 2015 until ... June 18,2015.
January 12, 2016 until February 15, 2016.
November 13 to 30 2018
... 2019, 2020, 2022... I went nowhere in 2021.

Will include: Hawai'i, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Untied Arab Emirates, Portugal, Norway, Ireland and... (2015) ... Norway and Estonia (2016), México (2018), Taiwan, Balkans, Baltics, Turkey, Costa Rica, Nicaragua.

Vi får se. *Delight*

"Where I have traveled, stayed and visited. Over 178 places.
Yellow cheer from sarah

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July 4, 2022 at 1:17am
July 4, 2022 at 1:17am
🇵🇹 Fotos de Lisboa, Lagos, Faro, Silves, Castro de Verde, Evora. Abril e maio, 2022:

Evelyn from Denmark in Lisboa

Silves castle Lagos sardines Ourso in Lagos

Lagos Lisboa Metro Stutz in Evora

Lagos palms Lagos breakfast boy TAGhostel dinner

Evora gelato Evora corgumelos P. Romana, Silves

Aerial, Lisboa Salada de polvo Old Evora Hostel

Decadente, Lisboa Tilia, Faro Silves

Faroway, Faro Castle entry, Faro

Silves Castle Nisperos, Silves Independente, Lisboa

Windmill, Castro de Verde and O Ascensor da Gloria

Post office, Castro de Verde Lagos Victor
June 27, 2022 at 9:45pm
June 27, 2022 at 9:45pm
ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ Happy 4th USA and StephB Happy 4th of July!: This is the 9th entry for

The Bard's Hall Contest  (13+)
JULY: Fire up the Grill with your Best BBQ Recipe!
#981150 by StephB Happy 4th of July!

🇵🇹 Wanna lose weight? Walk.

One can walk from Kamchatka to Kapstad... with enough time and water.

Or one can walk the Camino de Santiago...

Not me.

But even walking around a new place is better than sitting at home or napping in bed.

Movement is life.

Losing weight is just a no-cost benefit... which is preferable to getting sick *Rolleyes*.

My April-May 2022 trip:


I took Delta/KLM. Left early in the morning both coming and going.

I try to avoid that.

Friend drove me to MSO by 04:ish. Taxi took me to LIS at 02:45. I didn't sleep the night before either time.

I bought a 'comfort+' seat going and upgraded to 'premium select' on the way back. I really need 32" of leg room. I've had DVT three times; my legs demand room; I wear compression socks.

I was easily able to change my flight from OSL to LIS coming back.

Nice chat in MSP with Isaiah, a young Hmong from Sacramento. Fascinating discussion with an Algerian on AMS-LIS flight. The 'lowlight' of the return trip was SLC: customs extremely slow; terminals A-B a half mile apart; avoid until finished... 2026?


Welcome to Lisboa where the airport is actually connected by buses and the metro to trains and the funicular da Gloria! Easy and cheap. The metro has various lines that interconnect. The stations are well marked. There is art... of course. Masks were mandatory and people wore them.

I took the metro again when I returned using my card. The funicular's ticket is for two trips. I used it for going up the steep grade twice. It's crowded but convenient.


Trains connect all major and most minor cities. Buses connect the rest. I had a choice of bus/train to Lagos; I took the bus. I had a choice of bus/train to Faro; I took the train. The stations are close in Lagos; they are almost next to each other in Faro. I also took the train to Silves.

Traveled with Evelyn Lagos>Faro. Nice chat with young university student from Tunes. Train to Silves did not announce stops. Trains are cheap but basic.


I took the bus to Sete-Rios in Lisbon (metro is better) and used Eva to get to Lagos, about 4 hours away. We made one rest stop. I paid 15 euros. I paid less on other trips, Silves>Albufeira (local), Albufeira>CastroVerde, CastroVerde>Evora, Evora>Lisboa. Tickets are cheaper bought in advance; sometimes senior rates are available. No one cared that I'm not Portuguese.

Would've been nice if the bus would've stopped in Castro Verde instead of passing it by and having to double back.


I did keep track of costs... but travel within Portugal is fairly cheap and easy when done in advance (there may be fewer options on certain days of the week or holidays). Cost was not an issue. To compare: a taxi at 3 am in Lisbon cost 8,80. A taxi in Missoula costs $20+.


Hmm... cobblestones. You need to understand cobblestones. Many are smooth and slick when wet. They are mostly black and white and used to make designs. If the cobble is pink it's probably marble from Estremoz. Street cobbles can be grey and rougher. Cobbles can be missing or sunk. Watch your step and wear proper shoes.

Beaches are sandy? But the cliffs aren't. Some very nice beaches are reached by 200+ stairs, others by boat or kayak. Wear proper shoes. Wear a hat. Carry water.

Many streets are narrow in all the places I visited. There may not be sidewalks. Portuguese tend to acknowledge that and drive slow. Tires on cobbles make noise. Learn to listen at all times. I do not advise renting a car, especially if you are American. Learn how to walk.

Unless your ride is a classic Stutz.

Portugal is not flat. Lisboa is known for its hills and stairs. My legs got a workout. My thighs actually strengthened. Walking every day at home will prepare you. I wasn't properly prepared.

Cycling is an option, but in urban areas... did I mention cobbles?

My legs got stronger and I think walking helped me with weight-loss.

On those days when I was worn out, I reminded myself: Movement is Life.


Me? Not unless I need to catch a bus.

~700 words
June 26, 2022 at 5:39pm
June 26, 2022 at 5:39pm
ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ Happy 4th USA and StephB Happy 4th of July!: This is the 8th entry for

The Bard's Hall Contest  (13+)
JULY: Fire up the Grill with your Best BBQ Recipe!
#981150 by StephB Happy 4th of July!

🇵🇹 A hosteling we go (Portugal)

Not all hostels are created equal. Consider:

1. type of bed.
2. type of room.
3. type of bath and toilet rooms.
4. breakfast?
5. towels and linen?
6. proximity to transportation.
7. noise.
8. staff.
9. guests.

I prefer close to buses/trains/planes/ferries/ufo-ports...
I prefer 4-6 bed dorms but...
I don't do upper beds (legs, vertigo, age... excuses all...)
I like bed curtains.
I like hot water!
I do like breakfast included as I'm not a morning person.
Towels and linen are nice. I travel with a thin pair of sheets and a small towel.
I prefer quiet and loud bar music disturbs my nerves.
I prefer local and/or knowledgeable friendly staff.
I prefer sociable guests.

Price? Depends on country and time of year. Portugal is better in April and May than June.

Climate? I don't like toasty and if they have a/c? It can get too cold. I usually travel with a jacket, even in the tropics. And an umbrella, even in deserts.


The Independente: Three tiered twin beds! I always ask for a lower bed, days in advance (no curtains *Sad*). Lots of stairs (has a lift for luggage). Breakfast is wonderful; Lourdes is a force-of-nature. Staff is very good. Location? The best. Easy to get to by bus or metro/elevator and it's across from a miradouro that overlooks Lisbon. The guests tend to meet at breakfast and in the common room which has a kitchen, laundry and a TV. Most are friendly. Stayed 7 days (5+2). The restaurant/bar inside is The Decadente:


TAGhostel: Double beds. I asked for a lower and was put in the same bed as before (on purpose!) The 8 and two 4-bed rooms are by the dining/common room. The 6 bed room is down a flight of stairs. There are other options (curtains don't help much). Breakfast is very good. Location? Not far from the bus or train or beach; right in the center of town. Multiple bathrooms (good privacy). Very social. Community dinners 3/week. Roof terrace is a great meeting place. Filipa is the goddess-of-the-hostel-world and very knowledgeable. She treats everyone as family. Staff: Carmen has been there for years and Timo and Ana were great. Stayed 7 days. Very affordable.


Faroway: Single twin, no uppers. Bathrooms okay. Adequate kitchen and nice adjacent roof terrace. Joao and his wife were attentive. Location is good. Social enough. Not my favorite place but it was fine. Plus... I was ill. Reasonably quiet and dark.

Tilia Lower bed in three-tier room; good bed curtains. Has laundry. Washed clothes by hand and dried on roof terrace. Large common area; adequate kitchen. Staff was good. Guests weren't overly social, but I was ill. Location is good. Reasonably quiet except in early morning due to construction across the street.

Casa de Madalena Small two-tier dorms. No curtains. Banana pancakes. Seems social, partially due to Adrian, the enthusiastic owner. Very good location. I didn't stay here because it was full. I'll consider next time.


Horta Grande I booked a lower bed but ended up in my own room in a twin bed with adjacent bathroom. The bunks have curtains. No breakfast but a bowl of fresh fruit always available. Close to center of town, Lidl, and bus; a bit further to train. Owner was nice as was resident cat. This sits in an orchard next to an historic bridge. Quiet. Not as sociable; although, it was almost empty (not quite season yet) and I was still ill, but getting better. Washed out clothes and dried on rear terrace. There are two terraces, a living-room and kitchen.


In My House Well... other than climbing through the window? *Ha* I had my own room with 4 twin beds. Another room had bunks and curtains. Quiet. Very good location near bus-station. Has a pool. A nice breakfast was included. Not season yet, so no one to talk to.


Old Evora Hostal I got a lower bunk bed. Quiet. Good location between bus station and center of town. Good breakfast included (fresh lemon juice). Common room and kitchen. Has TV. Some guests were 'working' and therefore less out-going. Adelina, the owner, was approachable and Mafalda was born to work in the hospitality business. I was able to connect with guests and would've done better if I hadn't gotten ill for half of two days (intestinal). A courtyard with a blue fountain in the middle.

Prices? In euros per night: 13 (7), 14 (4) 18 (7), 20 (2) 25 (9) or ~541 for 29 nights.

Rating? They were all good. All over 8.5. I did well in choosing places to stay. It helped that I was familiar with two of the hostels (among my favorites in the world) and 3 of the cities. 3 cities were new and that's always a guessing game. I did well.

Advice to others: know what matters to you, be prepared to be flexible, don't get sick, be aware of connections, schedules, check-in & check-out times. Read the reviews of others! Nothing is perfect and you can't 'have it your way'.

~840 words
June 25, 2022 at 11:18pm
June 25, 2022 at 11:18pm
StephB Happy 4th of July! and ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ Happy 4th USA This is the 7th entry for
The Bard's Hall Contest  (13+)
JULY: Fire up the Grill with your Best BBQ Recipe!
#981150 by StephB Happy 4th of July!

🇵🇹 Not a Lighthouse (Faro, Portugal)

Evelyn and I caught the train from Lagos. We were joined by a young college student from Tunes. Nice experience. The train is old and slow, but it gets there! Once in Faro, Evelyn and I ate and then parted ways, meeting up a couple times later over three days. The center of Faro is 'cozy'.

Faro = lighthouse, but these days the city is a major transportation center with the only airport in Algarve and a railroad going west to Lagos and east to Spain.

It must have had a charming old center once-upon-a-time; but, much is being torn down for renovation or who-knows-what. If concrete condo high-rises, seen everywhere to satisfy the needs of ex-pats, take over it will lose what little charm it has left.

I wasn't too charmed myself.

I stayed in two hostels: first Faroway and then Tilia. Both were fine, but I really wanted to stay at the Madalena, which seldom has an empty bed due to the charming owner Adrian and banana pancakes for breakfast. I did drop in for a tour. *Smile*

So... where's the story...

"One can depend upon the kindness of strangers."

At Tilia I slept in the common area as I couldn't stop coughing and my head was stuffed. No fever. Doubt it was covid, but coughing isn't acceptable while traveling, even though no one complained... as least not directly to me.

The night person Raquel saw me on the couch and put a blanket over me. I appreciated this.

A bit of coughing at the Faroway as well. I unplugged a room deodorizer because it was nauseating and making it hard for me to breathe.

Great chat with a 77 year-young world traveler from Wales. And the group of Italians was a hoot. João was a gracious host. Watching the swallows swoop from the roof terrace and planes passing barely overhead are two interesting memories.

Unfortunately, I was ill most of the five days I was there. Fortunately, I wasn't on a top bed at Tilia and Faroway only had twin beds... better to be close to the floor.

Neither place had breakfast; so, sick or not, I had to find food. There was a mini-mart close-by with a machine that squeezed fresh oranges. I even brought one of the 100 ml containers home. Oranges. *Orange*

I stopped in one small diner for locals and bought a bifana (pork sandwich). I told the cook that it was wonderfully juicy. Give praise where and when it's deserved. Kindness counts.

Evelyn invited me out to a restaurant within the old castle walls the night before she left for Sevilla. She had roble (sea bass) and I had a plate of cod and shrimp (a traditional winter holiday meal).

Gateway into the old fortress in Faro, marvel at the brickwork.

Evelyn was a dear. She looked after me in both Lagos and Faro.

Sad to say... I didn't enjoy Faro. One makes the best of it. Maybe banana pancakes next time as its airport is a convenient gateway to the Algarve.

~500 words
June 24, 2022 at 10:34pm
June 24, 2022 at 10:34pm
StephB Happy 4th of July! and ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ Happy 4th USA This is the 6th entry for
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#981150 by StephB Happy 4th of July!

🇵🇹 Red Sandstone, Romans and Me (Silves, Portugal)

No one mentions that it's a no shade walk up from the empty train station... and then a long trek down again. Fortunately the road isn't busy as there isn't always a great place to walk. 20 minutes? If you're young...

However, the bus station is right in the center of town by Lidl.

My hostel was near the bus station, across the Roman Bridge on the south side. I could see it from there. It's just to the right in the photo above.

Small towns can be quirky. Silves is connected by bus to Lagoa, Albufeira and São Bartolomeu de Messines... not that that's that helpful... but at least it doesn't cater to just high-end tourists and condos for wealthy ex-pats.

It doesn't have a beach... a blessing imho.

But it does have a castle.

The old Moorish castle (8th-13th centuries) sits upon the hill overlooking the Roman Bridge (apparently constructed in the XV century... after the Moors, long after the Romans) that crosses the Arade river. Infante Dom Henrique (more famous than his brother the king) was mayor in the mid-1400s. In 1491, the town of Silves was given to Queen Eleanora by her husband, King John II of Portugal. Johnny was buried here (I saw the tomb in the church floor) but then exhumed and moved elsewhere.


Silves built wealth on cork then oranges as the castle-fortress had an artesian well. But it was not always held in favor by the powers-that-be and it became eclipsed by other settlements. Even now its lack of a beach keeps the aforementioned tourists from overrunning it.

I stayed in a great place at the southern end of the bridge. "Horta Grande" is a working orchard and ranch. It has oranges, mandarins, lemons, figs, pomegranates and nisperos... and brown-leather cows.

No breakfast was provided but there was always a bowl of fruit... or guests could pick their own.

I squeezed a few oranges, added lemon; but no complaints, I had my own instant coffee and I was just 5 minutes away from a cheesecake and pastries. *Bigsmile*

The other exciting feature was Clarita-the-cat. She wanted in. Her owner wanted her out. It was amusing to watch.

At least I could wash my clothes by hand and hang them to dry in the searing sun. It hit 90 degrees one day... unusual for May. Silves is just 15 kilometers from the beach but blocked from sea-breezes.

Did I mention that I was ill the whole time? Did I mention the heat? Fortunately, I had a room to myself (4 beds, but it was off-season). Had a couple nice chats with Jackie... from England.

I climb up to the castle... twice... entered once. It's quite impressive. Walking the ramparts gave me bad vertigo... heat, ill, vertigo... *Rolleyes* I enjoyed the cool Moura Cistern turned into an exhibit on the endangered Iberian lynx (there's a refuge close-by). At one time the water stored here from the 200 ft. deep 'well of the dogs' (Cisterna dos Cães) supplied the whole city.

I took lots of pictures and there was shade in the garden. Guess where I sat. *Bigsmile*

Ah... Silves. A 4 day rest and a visit to the pharmacist on Day 2 for fluponex. My sinuses dried up enough to let me breathe through my nose and my coughing lessened.

The last sight of Silves? I was too preoccupied surreptitiously adjusting my pants as they had fallen down while I stumbled onto the bus. I can only hope...

~570 words
June 23, 2022 at 10:56pm
June 23, 2022 at 10:56pm
StephB Happy 4th of July! and ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ Happy 4th USA This is the 5th entry for
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JULY: Fire up the Grill with your Best BBQ Recipe!
#981150 by StephB Happy 4th of July!

🇵🇹 Pasteis, pão e polvo

...salada de polvo

I really love a proper octopus salad. I tried three times at a restaurant in Lagos where I ate it years ago. Finally found it elsewhere.

Portugal is known for seafood (mariscos): mussels, barnacles, clams, squid, cuttlefish, sardines... most everything. Saw seagulls feasting on squid/cuttlefish at the beach.

I love the Alentejo mix of clams and pork (past trips). *Smile* This trip I didn't feel well much of the time so I had no appetite. But I did get grilled sardines in Lagos and sushi in Lisboa.

Plus, I ate a big breakfast every chance I could get (4 of 7 hostels; 21 of 30 days).

Typical Portuguese breakfast: ham, cheese and bread (pão), coffee and orange juice.

I had yogurt, blackberry jam, pumpkin jam, and croissants at "In My House" in Castro Verde; at "The Independente" in Lisboa: cake and fruit (kiwi, pears, banana), croissants and cereal and hot milk for coffee; "Old Evora Hostel" in Evora also had yogurt... and fresh squeezed lemon juice. "Horta Grande" in Silves didn't include breakfast, but it sits surrounded by orchards... so fresh oranges, lemons and nisperos.

I like a good juicy bifana (sliced pork sandwich), and found great ones in Lisboa and Faro. Döner kebab (stuffed pita) filled me up in Lisboa and Silves. Evelyn took me out to dinner in Faro and I ordered cod and shrimp (a traditional winter-holiday dish).

Pasteis (pastries) are either sweet (doce) or savory (salgado). Mil folhos was too much and too sweet in Evora, duck and leitão pastries in Silves weren't. I really liked the pasteis de feijão (beans) in Faro.

Ate gelado, lemon-basil and pumpkin-cheesecake with nuts, in Evora

and I had asparagus and mushrooms with egg while listening to fado.

German cheesecake bought at Lidl in Silves was satisfying and reminded me of my childhood and Pão de Ló (sponge cake) from Pingo Doce filled me up in Lisboa.

Too bad I was sick much of the tip. Portugal does well with pastries, pork and fish and it's known for sumo de laranja (orange juice).

~350 words
June 22, 2022 at 12:02am
June 22, 2022 at 12:02am
StephB Happy 4th of July! and ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ Happy 4th USA This is the 4th entry for
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JULY: Fire up the Grill with your Best BBQ Recipe!
#981150 by StephB Happy 4th of July!

🇵🇹 Nearer My God to Thee on the Elevator to Glory (Lisboa)

I planned well. Get of the plane. Sweat going through customs and covid protocols. Find an ATM, look for the signs to the Metro, take the red line to San Sebastiao, the blue to Restauradores, Get in line for the funicular Ascensor da Gloria that goes up to Bairro Alto, cross the street by the miradouro at the top, take a right, The Independente is on the left... right where it was years ago.

It was wise to stay in the same place as before. Traveling can be tiresome.

Bit of a wait for a bed, but up I went... two flights of stairs (thankfully there's a lift used for luggage and old geezers... and old geezers with luggage). A lower bed as requested. This place is known for its breakfast and three-tiered bunks.

The guy above me only fell out of bed once...

...that I knew of.

I'm a landlubber and floorhugger meself.

I wish I could say that I enjoyed Lisbon. I have in the past. No energy and not feeling 100% = less-than-enjoyable.

I did meet Tyla&Zak, a young duo from Kiwiland and Felix from Goteborg, Zoia from Russia, a Romanian, Bulgarian, Norwegian, French, Canadians, the usual motley crew, plus a Manx! (Isle of Man).

I also stayed two days on the way back and met more travelers from Taiwan, Korea, Denmark and Ireland (Matthew with his gift-of-the-gab).

But breakfast. Breakfast was the usual: ham, cheese and bread, coffee and orange juice. But also cake and fruit, croissants and cereal. I had hot-milk with cocoa-flakes a couple times.

Lourdes, the goddess of the kitchen, deserves her own entry. *Heart* She's heavy set but light as a cloud, dances and sings in English and French. She's Brazilian.

Lisbon. I did walk around... just a tad. Found a great bifana (sliced pork), a good stuffed pita, pasteis, Pão de Ló (sponge cake). I didn't eat much (hint: big breakfast *Smirk*)

The weather when I arrived turned cold, rainy and windy. I did visit the overlook (miradouro) across the street. Smelled a rose. Took pictures of the street art.

I even got to ride the elevator twice (both times going up).

Lisbon is hardly heaven (the hills and cobbles resemble hell...) but it's a great place to visit. I hope to be there next spring and stay at The Independente again. There'll be new travelers to meet; Afgani will be working the desk; Lourdes will have breakfast ready at 8 a.m. sharp. Of this, I'm sure.

~430 words
June 17, 2022 at 11:57pm
June 17, 2022 at 11:57pm
StephB Happy 4th of July! and ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ Happy 4th USA This is the third entry for
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JULY: Fire up the Grill with your Best BBQ Recipe!
#981150 by StephB Happy 4th of July!

🇵🇹 Didya see my butt sticking out da window? (Castro Verde, Portugal)

Chasing windmills? The windmills of Don Quijote are found in the Alentejo region of Portugal southeast of Lisboa. It's hot. It's dry. A region of cork and olives, oranges, cattle and grains. Windmills ground grain.

Castro Verde itself is on a rise of land in the middle of nowhere south of Beja... which is just north of nowhere. It's inland with poor soils. Think cattle and mining.

The term castro derived from the Latin castrum refers to a small military encampment or fortification, built of large rocks. Occupied since the times of the Neanderthals until given a charter in 1510 it's now just a small town of 7 thousand. It's still rocky.

But that's not MY story...

I left Silves by bus, almost losing my pants while boarding (remind me to pack a belt), to go to Albufeira through Tunes (roads partially blocked). After the short trip I sat in the bus station for over 4 hours. At least a small boy amused us by playing futbol with a crumbled piece of paper.

Castro Verde was only an hour away! But... the bus driver blew right past the exit. We had to turn around in Entradas... arriving late. No one was waiting for me at the hostel. No answer to ringing the gate-bell or banging. Finally...

The place was very nice, even has a pool for super-hot days. 90+ is common in the summer. I don't swim, but dangled my feet in the water.

I had a room to myself and almost had the place to myself. A couple (British?) and two Portuguese workmen (only one night). Breakfast was decent. Ham, cheese, croissant, yogurt, coffee orange juice... in other words Portuguese.

I explored town. Casa Dona Maria = closed. Windmill = closed. Two churches = closed. At least the tourist bureau was open and I had a nice chat. And I did find the post office with its adornment of bird nests (is the mail delivered by swallows?).

Back at the hostel... no one there. Not the couple, not the owner, nobody. Which wasn't a problem until I couldn't get into my room. The skeleton key wouldn't turn. *Worry*

But... I had left the window open!

I took a chair... and carefully... very carefully... climbed onto the sill and gently lowered myself to the bed on the other side. To no avail.

Back out, back in, wondering whether anyone was watching (small towns can be nosy and protective).

I finally had the bright idea of putting a spoon through the key to provide leverage. It worked.

I told the owner to laugh before I told her my story. After-all... if the neighbors had noticed she could at least explain.

So... Didya see my butt sticking out da window? There are no pictures, no proof... that I know of.

~475 words 3040 views
June 16, 2022 at 11:44pm
June 16, 2022 at 11:44pm
StephB Happy 4th of July! and ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ Happy 4th USA This is the second entry for
The Bard's Hall Contest  (13+)
JULY: Fire up the Grill with your Best BBQ Recipe!
#981150 by StephB Happy 4th of July!

🇵🇹 Beachy, just beachy (Lagos, Portugal)

Life's a beach... and Lagos has plenty.

Calm seas and lovely rock formations. Along the beaches of Lagos, 28.abril.2014.

I had wanted be in Lagos for my birthday (didn't happen... *Sad*) but couldn't arrange it without unnecessary stress. I have to monitor and manage my stress.

I almost missed the bus from Sete Rios (Lisboa) and arrived a tad late as Filipa (the Goddess of the Hostel World) had left for the day.

Not to worry. Timo (Dortmund) was working reception with Ana (Toronto-Serbia).

They were forewarned that I was coming. *Ha*

Timo took me to the 8-bed dorm (I requested it because it's on the same floor as breakfast and therefore fewer steps). They put me in the same bed I slept in years ago when I first visited! Ah... the caress of clean sheets and the support of a good mattress. And a nice view:

Filipa laughed when I saw her the next morning and told me I did that on purpose *Bigsmile*.

I stayed one week. Ostensibly to relax. But I continued to not feel well.

The last visit (a few years ago) I had almost feinted at the market before our communal dinner (I still remember Naiomhe's colcannon). I told Filipa this visit that I may have had a mild heart attack the last time. I was looking forward to the next evening as I would be there for 3 dinners (Sunday, Wednesday, Friday) but by the time I got to market and back on Sunday I didn't feel up for it.

Lots of interesting guests from various countries: India (we talked Bollywood and Thai BL), England, Holland, Canada. Hannah from Devon advised me about Thailand where she taught for 3 months: anyone who is not family or friends is treated in a transactional way. In other words... like an ATM.

Still... life's a beach.

I did visit Praia Batata.

Lawrence and Patrick joined with Timo and others for a game of volleyball at Meia Praia. I got there late however. Saw the cheerful starbursts of Mesembryanthemum (flowers), sand dunes and sand for kilometers, and shells. It's a swimming beach. Watched a father/son play in the very gentle waves.

In town I searched and found grilled sardines octopus salad. Orange juice greeted me every morning at the hostel. I did chat with most everyone, was glad to see Filipa, Carmen, and Manel again. Especially thrilled to see Ourso, age 14, who is a big black hairy bear of a Newfoundland.

I feel good in Lagos... when I'm not ill. Ah... illness, let me count thy ways.

Fortunately, Evelyn looked after me for a week... but that's for a blog about the kindness of strangers.

~440 words
June 12, 2022 at 6:30pm
June 12, 2022 at 6:30pm
StephB Happy 4th of July! and ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ Happy 4th USA This is the first entry for
The Bard's Hall Contest  (13+)
JULY: Fire up the Grill with your Best BBQ Recipe!
#981150 by StephB Happy 4th of July!

Neno laughed every time I attempted to speak Portuguese. He's from San Salvador (no estado de Bahia). Yes, I could make myself understood and he did speak a little English; but, where did I get my accent. Hadn't I been to Brasil? Não.

But I was taught in university to speak with a Brazilian accent... 50 years ago. The Portuguese find it charming; but, Neno just laughed. You must've visited Brasil...

I met numerous Brazilians (like Victor from São Paulo). Many were in Portugal to seek jobs, working, or going to university.

None of them were vomiting their words. But I was.

Ah... orange juice gone bad? Between diarrhea and vomit I needed to stay close to a toilet for most of two days.

It did impact my visit. David *Dog1*, my Taiwanese travel companion, and I explored the ruins of the Roman temple, the plate of scrambled egg with asparagus and mushrooms while we listened to fado, gaped at the touring cars of a by-gone era (including a Stutz). I have the photos to prove it.

I also 'crawled' up the cobblestone to visit the Igreja de Santa Clara de Évora to view an exhibit devoted to global religious freedom. Once upon a time it was an old cloistered convent where even the priest never laid eyes on the women who lived there. It's not in good repair. I wonder whether the soot from candles has ever been cleaned since the XVI century.

One highlight of Rua de Serpa Pinto was the gelateria. I had pistachio-nut and lemon-basil. *Golucky*

I sat in the park with Neno and Alexandre and watched the peafowl. I wanted to see a couple places that were closed. The hostel sits across from two shops that have self-serve cases that dispense everything from pastries to cable cords.

The teenagers like to hang out there... switching to the other side of the street to avoid the glaring sun. There are few trees within the old city walls.

I watched Eurovision while I was there. Portugal 🇵🇹 had a strong entry "Saudade, Saudade" written and sung by MARO. I liked it! But it only came in 9th. *Sad*

I didn't do much in Évora. I had been there 3 times before. I'd seen Neolithic stone formations of the Almendres Cromlech (Cromeleque dos Almendres). I'd been to the church of bones, the university with its incredible azulejos (tiles). I stopped briefly at the children's plot in the cemetery. Too sick. Diarrhea and vomiting can spoil any visit. Never get sick!

At least I got to the Bata do Fado. Same people singing that I met years ago. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (an epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes “The Wasps”.)

Victor and David:

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