What’s an inverter?

(All the buildings in Sintra were ornate)

Our inverter broke last Thursday. It’s the thing that converts the solar energy into electricity to charge the computers. Usually it has a low pitch hum and drones on in the corner doing its inverter work making me ask regularly, can we turn off the inverter? Well last Thursday it turned itself off for good.

(Lots of green in Sintra)

Not good at all. It’s a big deal and kind of important if you’re using your computer every day. At the time we were in Mafra and there was free electricity so we weren’t stuck but we’d have to leave there sometime… Denis started searching the internet for motor home shops in Portugal and found one in Sintra. Just 20km away.

(That’s the train station)

Sintra is beautiful so we could go visit when we were done. But the shop was closed on Friday – Good Friday so we’d have to go on Saturday. We did. We got the inverter! Yaa! Then we found parking at the train station outside Sintra. Now, Sintra is busy at the quietest of times but this was Easter Saturday so not the quietest of times. The place was jammers.

(Various forms of transportation)

We took a break from the crowds at the first cafe we found and celebrated finding the new inverter. We then paid the most we’ve ever paid for coffee and natas in Portugal and it was still about a third of what we would have paid at home. So we celebrated that with a leisurely ramble around Sintra.

(I think that’s a castle up there)

I’m not exactly sure which part is Sintra or maybe it’s all Sintra. If it is then it’s huge. This is where the royalty of Portugal used to come on their holidays. It’s very pretty, lots of hills, trees, old and unusual buildings, old and colorful buildings and people, lots of people. An hour wasn’t going to make a dent but we got the atmosphere and I’m definitely coming back again. I did visit last year but I was with a group of friends and spent most of my time talking and not much time immersing. Sintra requires a long soak.

(Long queues for the busses)

Afterwards we drove to Ericeira where Denis fitted the inverter. We have power. Not for the first time I am reminded of the small things that make life easier but that I forget to appreciate. Sintra is probably one of the most beautiful places in this country but the drone of a working inverter seems just as beautiful at the moment.

What are you forgetting to appreciate? Mairead.

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