Arriving in Portugal 7 th April

Mary and Ross had warned us that there were long queues but we had no idea what an ordeal we would face. We queued to enter the airport. They just checked our luggage. We queued to check in and drop our luggage, we then queued to leave the country. Immigration was slow like a tortoise. People were close to missing planes because it took so long. Anne and I let a couple go through before us because there plane was taking off in 15 mins. In the end we also were rushing and once through we had a chance to go to the toilet and then we were boarding. I can’t see how duty free would do any business because no one had time to browse! Nearly three hours of standing waiting. Once on the plane it was a quick flight to Lisbon on TAP Air and despite leaving a little late we arrived close to our expected time. It was wet so we had a hard landing.

Going through immigration here and collecting luggage was a breeze and we were either in a lull or Sunday has fewer flights arriving. We were out and on our way to the taxis. Again Ross and Mary had told us to go up to arrivals to get a taxi because it was quicker which proved to be true. We stopped for money from a cash machine which kept rejecting my card. I wasn’t concerned because it had cancelled.

We found a taxi driver who happily gave us a potted commentary all the way to our apartment. Bill used his Spanish to converse and I used my few Euros to pay. We trundled up to our apartment and then struggled to open the door. We stood around putting in the code until we managed to open it- almost by fluke. Inside we were met by a steep staircase to the second floor. My heart sank until I remembered I have a backpack on wheels. I promptly took out the shoulder straps and was able to get the bag upstairs without straining. I bought it for just this situation but have never had to use it.

We fussed around putting on some washing, getting excited about wifi that works and then headed off to a supermarket for provisions. We stopped at a hole in the wall restaurant for dinner. It was very charming and my PORK loin was delicious. Our waitress was very pretty and transgender and bought us a complimentary sherry after our meals. All was merry till we wanted to pay and I couldn’t find my purse. I felt absolutely distressed until Irene found it in the groceries! My heart was pounding. As it was I had managed to get some money out but the machine had said I didn’t have enough for the original amount I requested. I was concerned the cancelled withdrawals had taken the money. Later after accessing my account I checked all the withdrawals and realised I had not been keeping a close enough eye on the balance. All the tipping in Morocco and my few purchases had eaten into the balance! All was fine. Anne however is not able to manage her card because she can’t get the sms messages on her phone.

As the evening wore on our once quiet street was now a party! The taxi driver told us the revellers go on till three in the morning and he was not exaggerating! I was too tired to stay awake so no problem.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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