So…We found a campsite in a forest full of birdsong, the wi-fi wasn’t great, we set off in search of mobile wi-fi, drive on little roads. me I’m nervous, the perfect Phone Shop is closed…Denis has another idea… we drive up and down the steepest roads in the world (might be slight exaggeration.) Eventually we find a place to park and another shop but still no wi-fi sim thingy and as we stand in front of a McDonalds sign Denis has another idea…
(Scary bridge… into Lisboa)
Let me pause here to tell you something I understood at that precise moment… Before we left Greystones one of my friends asked how could I spend so much time with my husband in a small camper van without wanting to kill him. I didn’t have an answer, because sometimes he is very annoying and I am often very annoyed with him and I think of ways I could hurt him (just kidding… kinda). I mean if it were up to me we would never have left the bird filled glade. I would be smelling lovely after my shower and I might even have a book in my hand. But funny thing, he doesn’t stay very annoying for long and on some occasions, like that moment as we were looking at the “lying” McDonalds-one-minute-away sign and thinking about the long list of things that went wrong today, he’s not fazed he’s still coming up with new ideas and I think… I’d like to be like that, maybe he’s not so bad…
(Sure it is, right here… Seen in Lisboa)
His idea didn’t work but weirdly it didn’t matter anymore. His idea? The lovely assistant at the last shop had said there was another shop, at the train station, they would definitely have the wi-fi sim thingy. We thanked her but having experience of the cobbled stoned streets we knew we were never going there. Until Denis has his latest idea… Denis thought the hospital would definitely have a taxi rank. We could easily make the sign of a train to the driver and there would be a taxi rank at the station to return to the hospital (whose name was amazingly easy to remember and pronounce – Padre Americano!)
(We’re finally here!)
With the help of two (very friendly, very helpful) taxi drivers we explained where we wanted to go (yes I said Choo, Choo and made train wheel movements with my hands!) But when we arrived at the train station we couldn’t see any shops. Immediately (seriously, within seconds of arriving!) a man waiting for his train called to us in perfect English “Are you lost?”
(Lisboa during the day)
Let me pause again to say… you might be a little suspicious of a stranger at the train station offering help (no? just me then…) but remember, all day long we experienced very friendly, very helpful strangers in this strange land. So I choose trust instead of fear and said, yes we are lost. He directed us to the Phone Shop. Of course he did.
Inside a very friendly, very helpful assistant (I am not kidding, she went out of her way to help us, to apologise for her English and to tell us about another shop) gave us the bad news… although she did indeed have the particular sim, in fact three of them, they were all out of date and she couldn’t reactivate them. We thanked her (in Portuguese, our pronunciation getting better with all the practice we get to thank people here!) and left to get our taxi to the Padre Americano hospital.
(Table for two at a balcony in Belém, Lisboa)
Ok that was it, Denis was all out of ideas, we’d failed again but we were surprisingly upbeat…. there really was nothing more we could do, we’d done our best and now it was time to stop. Back at the car park in warm and cosy Ruby we broke open a bottle of Spanish wine and had tinned salmon sandwiches (one slice of bread each, almost carbohydrate-free) for dinner. We could start again in the morning but for now it was time to sleep.
(Can you see that red bridge in the background? That’s how we left Lisboa… do these people have no fear?)
The next day was different. Travelling by big wide motorway we arrived in Lisbon (called Lisboa) after lunch. Our campsite is situated right beside a motorway exit in a big park. There are lots of birds here too. We went into Lisboa on the bus and queued in the mobile phone shop for an hour. They had the mobile wi-fi sim thingy.
We have the internet! But I’m just listening to the birds, Mairead.