Good bye Lisbon…. Hello Praia da Rocha

It’s been a few day since I posted.  Unfortunately, I had another adventure into Portuguese health care, however this one seems to have done the trick.  After almost 2 weeks I was still having GI issues, so I found a clinic with English speaking physicians and dragged myself there.  The doctor was fluent, no nonsense and may have fixed what ails me.  He suspects Giardia, gave me Flagyl and I seem to be on the mend.  At last.  Waiting for lab results, which is very interesting.  All the results will be emailed directly to me, then I email them to the Dr at the clinic!  Still not eating very well as most food isn’t appealing, but I have eaten roughly my body weight in pears!   I seem to have lost a bit of weight through this, (I know, I will wait while you insert your “well that couldn’t hurt” comment……… Done?  OK, great, let’s carry on then), I had to tuck my t-shirt into my jeans to keep them from falling down.  So silver linings blah blah blah,

Last weekend, our landlord Antonio (a passionate Portuguese history buff) took us on all all day tour to some areas north of Lisbon, that are very significant in the history of the Templars.  If you remember (or don’t) your history, the Knights Templar were an order founded in the 10th century to provide safety to Christians making trips to the Holy Land.  They were given land in Portugal, and they provided “civil defence” services to defend against the Moors, and they created one of the first banks, so that pilgrims travelling didn’t have to take cash and be robbed.  Eventually they gained too much power and there was an edict to dissolve them and their assets were divided among other religious orders of Christian Knights.  I was interested to learn that one of orders that picked up some of their responsibilities were the Hospitaliers, who founded a large hospital in Malta and were the precursors to the modern day St. John Ambulance.  Both my brothers have connection to that organization in Canada and my brother Andrew and his family visited Malta on their round the world adventure.

Yesterday we moved from Lisbon to Portomio area, 2 trains and minimal stress.  You know, except for the part where I fell up the stairs getting on the train and either twisted or banged my ankle.  Swollen like crazy today but I can walk on it, so carry on.

Honestly, I can’t believe I have such a lazy group of friends!  Given my ability to turn the smallest trip into a full scale bacteriological armageddon or injury fest, I would have thought someone could have devised either a pool or a bingo type board game.  Titles could include “Where will she puke next?”  Already taken are 1. in the back seat of a taxi in Vegas with 2 other people into an empty popcorn container (9.5 style points, was complimented on my quiet and ladylike puking). 2.  garbage can in a hotel bathroom. 3.  plastic garbage bag while standing outside a shopping centre in Lisbon waiting for an Uber.  Stay tuned, given my track record, likely to be more.  Another possible game board could be “in what completely ridiculous way will she hurt herself next?  Already taken are 1.  Falling on ice 2. falling on a sidewalk because my flip flop broke 3. falling on a marble floor in a bathroom in Mexico because some nimrod dripped their wet bathing suit on it and 4.  the aforementioned train boarding incident.  Up for grabs however are:  bitten by a sea turtle, coconut falling out of tree on head, or scared so badly by something that looks like a snake that she falls down running away.  I did apologize to Ron for having to take someone who resembled an 80 year old on trips, and he didn’t contradict me.  Not cool Mr. Rogers!

All that being said, our new spot here is lovely.  We are one of about 12 tenants in a 7 story apartment hotel building!  No staff, not a soul around.  But the apartment is lovely, a one bedroom with the best feature being a balcony that gets the full morning sun facing the beach,  so we can sit outside and drink our coffee while watching the waves and people.  It’s lush and green here, mixture of pine trees and palms.  Across the road from the hotel is a stone set of stairs through a tropical garden that lead down to the beach.  There is a boardwalk that goes along the beach that probably covers a couple of kilometres, we were out at 830 this morning walking, (I know WTF?  Who are these people??  That’s what I thought too!! ) but it was lovely and sunny and then we came home and sat on the afore mentioned balcony and basked in the sun.  The area we are in is quite “touristy” so lots of little shops and restaurants in easy walking distance, although we expect as we go further into November some of them will start closing for the season.  It took a day but today we got the wifi and TV working, so all is good in the world.

It’s strange the things you wish you had brought on a trip like this.  So far we have had to find a stapler and facecloths (not a European thing).  Not having easy access to a printer is a pain in the a$$ when you have travel insurance claims to file.  Scissors.  Slippers.  The floors here are all tile/ceramic, and it’s cold on the feet.  However given my track record with gravity, perhaps better off with my cold feet firmly on the floor.  Binoculars would be awesome for beach watching.  (not that we didn’t discuss bringing some multiple times before leaving).  More warm socks.

Hair products!!  In Canada there are rows of them in the drugstores.  Here, not so much.  The younger women tend to wear their hair long and many have naturally wavy or curly hair.  The older ladies have shorter cuts, but very “motherly” styles.  No, “my name is Karen, I want to see the Manager, soccer Mom” asymmetrical cuts with highlights!

I’ve noticed that women here are not hugely into makeup and all the cosmetic frippery we seem to like in Canada.  Everyone is well groomed, but no giant spider fake eyelashes, almost no acrylic nails, very little revealing clothing.  Most women wear sensible low heeled shoes because…. walking.

I enjoyed Lisbon and the history, but I’m very happy to be here, out of the city and surrounded by greenery.  Even in a Canadian city, there seems to be more green space and opportunities to see nature.  Didn’t realize how much I would miss that.

So, that’s the round up for day 33.  Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “Good bye Lisbon…. Hello Praia da Rocha”

  1. Well quite the adventures so far , I’m packing gravel now always have Imodium , facecloths , sweats ( don’t own any ) socks , etc you’ll be able to get Mr . Rogers to spread sheet a pack list ! Hope the next month is awesome take care .

  2. Hopefully the rest of your trip is uneventful health wise!!

    If it makes you feel better, there was a time I could have had a bingo card “Where will she fall next?” Already taken on said card – downtown street corner, downtown in front of a giant picture window in establishment I was going to, Middle of street between UAH parkade and College Plaza, and the best! a hallway in UAH (taking an indoor route back to College Plaza to avoid icy sidewalks and falling!)

  3. I learned about the “no washcloths” thing while in Amsterdam a few years ago. How do they get to the nooks and crannies in the body? From now on I pack washcloths.

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