Portugal in the Box – #20

Wednesday 17th June 2008

Torreira – Sao Jacinto – Torreira

It seems as if I will have to make a little break with the memories of my dreams… the effort to remember in the very early morning, at a time when I still need some sleep, gives me a headache and I can´t go back to sleep then. I have had a sleep problem all my life, most of the time needing only 5 or 6 hours a night, but there are times when I can´t sleep at all, night after night… it is not the case now, but my sleep is still quite precarious, and I need to care for it, above all when we are touring… we need more energy on the road then at home!

Today after breakfast we took the bikes and rode on that wonderful narrow piece of land between the estuary of the Rio de Aveiro and the sea., until the end, Sao Jacinto, where river and sea join and the land stops. There and back about 30 kilometers, a good ride also, considering that we are not as well-trained as the guys from the Tour de France. But it would have been ok, if the bloody wind had not had the bloody idea to blow on both ways against us, above all on the way back. It blew like hell and we could hardly come forwards!

On the way back we had a romantic stop by a little old cafe at the roadside, just 2 tables outside, where the cafe with milk still only costs 50 cents… I have not seen that for ages! We could even buy the bread for the lunch later, and Kevin got his traditional ice-cream.

I made some ink sketches too, of the boats and the sea and the fishermen while Kevin was sitting by the bikes at the side of the road, reading. We have found that this is the best way to organise us when I want to sketch, so that he does not get bored waiting for me and I don´t feel stressed to have to be quick with sketching. One often says that a well functioning couple is a matter of many compromises. I said it myself. But I believe now that compromises are just the solution for a good working couple, but not for an happy one. I think whatever we do, we must always try to find a way to satisfy both interests at the same time, and not to renounce to them, for the sake of a compromise. This often demands a lot of creativity, and goodwill. But it is so easy to find both when one really loves with all our heart and soul…

As we finally arrived home, we were totally exhausted but quite proud of ourselves. The feeling of having gone beyond one´s possibilities is always something tremendous. I know it well from sport, and from art. These are for me the moments where I most feel alive… or at least more special! And we all need to feel special, sometimes, don´t we? However humble we might be, we are human, and we need to feel that we are just not one more amongst millions…

Believe me, after the effort, we enjoyed the simple lunch: the bread bought by the road, some cheese from Spain, some dry sausage bought in France and some lemon curd bought in England. Really, an international feast for the senses!

The rest of the afternoon was spent with some reading, some colouring, relaxing above all. Later on we walked to the heart of the town, to try to find an internet space. We have not been able to find a possibility for a week now, and I really begin to fear the state of my mail box… Finally a very friendly woman in the tourism office told us where we could find an internet cafe, and we will try it tomorrow.

Then up to Porto!

By the way we have just finished watching the entire series of „The West Wing“. It has keeped us emotionally and intellectually interested for about 2 months now. I have no idea if what they show and tell corresponds a little bit, a lot, or not at all to reality, but the programme is so well done that as a stranger (having no idea about politics like me) you could swear it is real, and that they are the real people governing the world. One thing upset me though: they made a lot of fun about the Frogs (the French) there… I could not feel any ounce of respect for them there… but to be honest, I understand it quite well!

And Kevin enjoyed it especially… although one must say that the English were not treated with great admiration either!

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One Response to “Portugal in the Box – #20”

  1. Susan Cornelis Says:

    I must say I’m enjoying the travel log and also really missing seeing your sketches/paintings. That will be something to look forward to. I have never watched West Wing but I’m sure the reality is much stranger than the fiction.


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