Wait, what day is this?
Hiked 18 k to Aljezur, yesterday, Through farmlands and forests.
And today, a short 12 k today to surf town Arrifana, from farms to acres of reforestation to sea.
Our space in Odeceixe
This is a "mixed salad". Which we ordered, hoping to find some leaves of some sort. Foiled again! I noticed some kale and collards growing in our neighbor's front yard. I can see it now. Local newspaper headline: "American Woman Caught Stealing From Residents' Gardens"
Now we are in Odeciexe, a sweet village arranged on a hillside above a lush valley and a river which runs another four k before it flows into the Atlantic.
We're staying in a magical tiny-tiny house with a lovely courtyard. Carlos, who built this house, comments on how early we arise in the morning. Like him, he says. I tell him, actually, we slept in, by several hours.
Yesterday, we hiked along the river to the sea, then north along the bluffs, about 8.5 k out, then back. Along the way, we met folks from Italy, Germany, France and the UK--- all hiking town to town. All friendly, all young.
Today, we headed north, a bit inland and along a canal, through small-scale agricultural areas. (Moo!) Stopped for picnic lunch, then backtracked to an oceanside loop. So much open space. Quiet, except for birdsong. Racked up 23 k, today. We're feeling confident we can make the treks between towns, now.
What I wonder, as I hike:
Why no washcloths, here?
What does it take to get a bit of greenery on a sandwich?
How long will it take for me to sleep in until most everyone else does, here?
Is it possible to feel heard, if the one listening doesn't understand the words? Without words, how do I connect without touch?
Yesterday, I overindulged in the feast for the senses. The day started sensibly, exploring the neighborhoods of Lisbon. Never have I climbed so many stairs! We discovered intriguing murals, hidden shady parks with fountains, secret alleys with tiny, mysterious doorways into ancient buildings, a cafe where we ordered by pointing, and then translated the menu board afterwards to see what we were eating.
Back at our room on the fourth floor (no elevator, stairs with more rise than tread), we thought about resting but decided to take the metro back to the airport to rescue the bag that didn't make the transfer.
I pretty much unraveled when we headed back out for dinner. We were swept up in surging crowds, pounding music, strobe lights and honking cars as downtown became one big throbbing Vogue Fashion Festival. I had to retreat, and call it a day.
A decent night's sleep, and we were ready to stuff our backpacks and leave our suitcase behind once again. We hiked through the city for about an hour to the bus, which took us to Santiago de Cacem, where we checked out castle ruins, found a cobbler to tighten our pole tips, and noshed on fried pockets of, um, stuff, at a local cervejaria. Back on a bus, beneath a full moon, we are now headed to Odeciexe, where we will stay several nights between day hikes.
Our view over Largo de São Domingos. My vehicles, on the sill, taking a short break from the wonderfully steep and narrow cobbled "roads". Much gratitude, as well, for my cheap pseudo-Tom's, which allowed me to sprint from gate to gate in Toronto, just making our connecting flight.
This is truly a fantastic place, on Tolerance Square.
Jet lag update: So far, so good! It's almost 7pm here, and we are ready to head out again, in search of tapas and ginjinha.
Goodbye cozy office. Goodbye cottage. Goodbye chickadee who sleeps on a nail beneath the
eave. Goodbye garden of tangled kale trees and purple Bosnian beans. Goodbye Longhorns on
the hill. I love it here. So much to enjoy, every day.
And I’m feeling delighted to adventure afar. A change in landscape, people, language, time
zones, ways of moving through the day. To get to Lisbon, Russ and I will be in airports or
planes for about twentyfour hours. My intention for this portion of the journey is to stay as fluid
and mobile as possible. And to surrender, as gracefully as I can, to it all: arduous lines,
industrial food, snoozing upright in tiny seats.
What about jet lag, I wonder? I’ve never flown across so much ocean. I’ll be experimenting with
how CranioSacral Therapy can affect our circadian rhythms, to be sure.
Well, here I go!
‘Til the next post from Lisbon…...