Down time


Every time we leave a place where we have had extraordinary experiences, we feel a little down and dislodged for a day or two. Kind of homeless, and whatever town we arrive in just can’t live up to the previous depth of experience.

We leave Foz with just that feeling. We feel more than a little nostalgia for all the lovely people we have met there, not knowing whether we’ll ever come back there, whether we meet any of them again…. This is part and parcel of deeply connecting; we have to learn to say good-bye and let go.

The first night, we stop in the middle of nowhere on a deserted car park by a big factory. It’s lonely enough for me to have a shower – Frank holds the shower head out of the window and I have a hot outdoor shower :-)

The next morning we drive towards the coast and then southwards. This must be surfer’s paradise, as all the beaches along this coast have surfer’s signs on them. But somehow, we don’t feel the pull to stop, despite big empty beaches and a stunning vista. We stop for internet and food in Ericeira, a little fishing town, then move on to Sintra.

We find a car park right in the heart of the town and go exploring. It is a strangely disconnected town with a number of important historical places to visit, but remember, no town can do right for us in the state we’re in! Even now, in deep wintertime, there are heaps and heaps of tourists (one shudders to think what it’s like in summer!), everything costs a lot and you get the feeling of being in a herd of sheep, moving through the sights. This is not for us, so we decide to take the bus up to the Moorish castle and then walk back down. This is nice, free of tourists and at every turn you get another view across the landscape. Apart from this outing, we leave the beauties of Sintra to the other tourists, concentrate on writing up the blog and doing our washing at a very friendly local launderette. We have learned that this is the best thing to do after a time of expansive connections: contract back into ourselves, clean our ‘house’, stock up with wood and water, write the previous experiences down, get in touch with family, sleep, eat well etc. After a while of that, we are ready for the next adventure. This is the point at which we leave Sintra and head for the big city: Lisboa here we come….

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