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Monday 2nd June 2008
Tavira – Faro – Albufeira- Lagos – Sagres
„1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!”
I was already awake as I counted the ding dongs from the church bell, trying to get some more sleep, as it had very busy very late last night in the West Wing. Then I suddenly remembered the 37 churchs from Tavira which survived the earthquake once and panicked that they would all start to ring the new day. But no! What a decency! Did they have an agreement? And on which basis? A weekly turn? You see, this is a typical example of what happens with my brain all the time and why I can´t find sleep… 37 churches ringing or not, I was totally awake after just some hours sleep.
I wondered though that my laptop waa telling me that it was 8, but I thought I must have missed one ding or one dong, or the church had.
Eager to eventually get on the net we went early to the place that we had been told of the day before, „The camara”, a department of the townhall, kind of. Well, we could not get on the net until we were not registered and anyway they were about to close, but they kindly told us that we could go on the net outside, in the whole square! And indeed we could, sitting on the floor! Well, I could not because my laptop battery was flat, and Kevin had just time to read his mails and make some flight arrangements for a gig in the UK in August before his own laptop died. Negotiations with the owner of the newspaper kiosk to get some electro-juice from her failed, although she had 3 sockets, but they were all taken… for what, I wondered… such a tiny kiosk in the sun, what electronic devices might they use? I had no time to investigate it further -which is what I would have done so determined was I to get my internet working!- because she shut
The next hours were spent driving along the touristic Algarve, the one with the luxury hotels and golf courses. Yes, I was there too, and I played golf, but today, as we were driving across, I didnt feel any nostalgia. Seen from outside, this golf tourism in the Algave is kind of disgusting and I was so happy today not to belong to all these smart people, but to be on the road again, just like a gypsy, clothed like a gypsy painter, with paint stains on my clothes and my new pink hairband with pearls which Kevin gifted me yesterday… What a triumph I felt in my heart at that very moment!
We unfortunately could not visit the beautiful town of Lagos, too many tourists were there and we could not find any place to park the monster, so instead we went to McDonalds and Kevin treated me to a McFlurry which we enjoyed sitting in the sun, on the grass at the roadside. It was simply great! I quite loved the square-handled plastic spoons and they finally joined our eclectic menagerie of useless crap…
At the end of the afternoon, we suddenly drove past a sign to the left saying „Praia da Luz”
„Look, it´s here!”
We were both quite shocked, Here it was, the place where Little Maddie, the English toddler who disappeared last year in May and who the world still holds their breath for.
A very emotional moment, and we both looked back to the road leading to Praia da Luz as if we secretly hoped to see Maddie, suddenly, or somebody involved…
Before we reached the the turning to Sagres, the most southwesterly point of Portugal, we stopped in a litttle town called Valle do Bispo for a coffee, and I had the idea to go the Post Office and to ask if they had Internet. They had not, but a client explained me that „there was some” in the Town Library. This is really funny how they speak about it here, as if „IT” were some rare new stuff, coming from another universe… „E.T”, kind of!
Anyway, they really had some, but they were about to close. But rich in the knowledge of our last experience we tried outside and in fact, exactly like Travira, the square was filled with internet! Really, when they got IT, here, it seems like some kind of alien invading their space!!!
But needless to say how we felt after the last 4 days hunting…
I could read some mails from my friends all around the world and I must say that it was very emotional…. to sit in a vehicle, drinking a cup of cafe com leite, at one end of the world, and get post from our dearest friends at the other, this is simply heaven… I love the Internet!
Finally we visited the lighthouse and then the fort of Sagres. Unlike in Tavira, we had to pay for the entrance, not much, this is not the point, but this is this old annoying feeling to be ripped off…
As we paid, the woman said:
„We are about to close…It is only open until 8!:
„Ok”, I said, thinking why the hell are we always arriving everywhere when they are about to close! Are we always too late, or what?
But then I had a doubt and asked Kevin how late it was.
„10 past 8!”
I was quite confused, of course, and I asked again about the closing time. The woman looked at me as if I were really silly, and when she confirmed me 8, I had to ask her how late it was.
Well, dear readers… we have been in Portugal for three days now, or perhaps more, I don’t remember, and haven´t even noticed that Portugal has a different time from Spain! No wonder that my laptop indicated 8 this morning while the church rang 7…
But I can tell you, what a great life we have, free from time! And what a difference to my past golfer life, as time was structured by the ridiculously exact and early tee times like 7h42…