Tour Guide for Hire

(Marigolds from Sintra)

We’re going into Lisbon tomorrow and I’ve a great tour organized for Denis. Isabel can’t make it so I’ll be the guide but he doesn’t know that yet. (I used to be a guide on the Rock of Cashel, did I tell you? I did? That many times? Oh right.) There’ll be food and coffee and many different forms of transportation. There’ll be stories, some of them true. There’ll be lots of walking and chances to engage with the locals.

(Twilight in Mafra)

That will be tomorrow, yesterday we parked in a residential area on the other side of the river from Lisbon. We were planning to go into the city but it was Freedom Day so everything was closed. You might remember Freedom Day from last year? We sure do. We were in a small town in the Algarve waiting for Ruby’s clutch to be fixed. Everything was closed.

(Aqueduct on the motorway)

That was last year, today we are happy in the suburbs and we’re getting to know the locals. I discovered (via google) that there is a coffee called um abatanado which is very like an americano so I order it every time now. Unfortunately, something about all the a’s in it gets me mixed up. I say ambatono or abentoto or anando. None of which is correct but because my efforts are always combined with a help-me-out-here pained expression I am generously understood.

(Organic wall, Alcobaça)

One of the things we loved the most about going on tour with Isabel in Porto was connecting with the locals and we sometimes forget we get to do that with every coffee experience. So I’ll definitely be including lots of coffee experiences tomorrow.

Say it with me, Um abat-an-a-do por favor. Mairead.

(There we are south of the river (estuary?) free parking, free water, 10 minutes walk to train or 1 minute walk to bus for Lisbon)