4500km South West – Portugal (part 2) and the Ferry

When we were in Lisbon we’ve sent a lot of Couch requests to Evora, Albufeira, Faro and some other places, to yet again let the fate decide where to go, as long as it was in the direction of South. ^^ Merita, a girl from Evora, was the one who had a pleasure of hosting us. How lucky she was, wasn’t she? ;) We arrived there in the evening and in the first few minutes of talking, we felt like we’ve known each other for ages. It wasn’t the only great thing – we basically dropped our jaws when we saw where she lived. It was a XIV century house located right in the city centre. Literally, when you opened the door to the patio you found yourself right in front of the city cathedral. Like, wow. XD

Not only that, the whole house, even though inhabited, maintained this unique old-place-vibe. The floors were squeaky, there were no doorknobs, only small levers and the heating system simply non-existent. Of course we felt immediately at home there, with a lot of space, cushions and… replaceable propane container which was to help providing both fire to the stove and warm water. Unfortunately, whereas it did it job splendidly with fire, it failed miserably with water – for few days we’ve spent there we were able to shower properly only once. ^^

Our stay with Merita can be easily described as one of the best CS experiences ever. Both her and her flat mates, especially Anna, were lovely, mad as a hatter, thoughtful and just so much fun to be with them. The other one was a badass guy, who we were instructed not to get scared of and who brought with him marinated olives from his family town (Nick loved them, I’d say… ewwww). However, I enjoyed a tangerine tree right outside the house very, very much! We’ve never tasted this fruit freshly picked before. It changes everything.

What is more, they have a cat. It is a very important positive factor of being a good host. ;D

The town of Evora is truly beautiful. It has completely untouched city walls, charming streets and a very pleasing architecture. Moreover, the place was drowning in golden and orange leaves, it was a real autumn we both haven’t seen in a while! Unfortunately there wasn’t too many people around, so we couldn’t perform there. We were wondering how to make money and that’s where Merita came in- she told us when people from Erasmus are meeting up and said we can do a Fire Show there. :) She also informed her friends about the event, so all in all – we had a really great and enthusiastic crowd! We had so much fun. ^^

Afterwards we went for a beer (me) and some white port wine (Nick). And that’s what happened with a table… I’m not the only one seeing it, am I?

The next day we decided to go to a place, which actually made us choose Evora as a town to go to in the first place. It was the Capela dos Ossos, or in English – the Chapel of Bones. Its entire walls are covered in skulls and bones of around 5000 bodies. It was built in XVI century and above the entrance the sentence warns you: Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos (“We bones that here are, for yours await”). It gives you the creeps, but definitely worth seeing.

Later on we had a nice dinner that Merita and Anna cooked. It was really great- so many of us, from different countries, with different cultures, sitting at the table, chatting and laughing. The world should just stay this way. Then I proceeded to bake brownie and… for the first time in my life – I burnt it. ;D The oven-thing appeared to be broken, so top of it was not baked and the bottom was burnt. But you know what? It was still tasty! ;D

Eventually we said our goodbyes. It really was a shame, we could’ve stayed there forever! Well, maybe not forever, but longer.

  But we had a ferry to catch. Our Couch request has lead us to Albufeira, which was flooded recently. We had two hosts in this area, the first one was okay and the second one was very interesting.
Her name was Marie, she was an independent, middle-aged single woman with strong opinions. Conversations with her were always witty and had us on top of our thinking. She was also very hospitable and giving – we were really low on money, she did most of the shopping and didn’t want anything in return. Well, maybe just a recipe for banoffee pie, om nom nom. ^^ Her house was really cozy – in warm colors, with a fireplace, books and one really nasty cat (still lovely, you know, the sort that wants you to stroke them and when you do, you might lose your hand).

It was already quite cold outside, so working was out of question. It was nice to stay in, we even prolonged our stay, of course only thanks to courtesy of Marie. She didn’t mind our company, we had a lot to talk about, plus Nick was skillfully doing his magic in the kitchen. ^^ Imagine Nick’s astonishment, when the cat climbed on his knees (he was the closest one to the warm fireplace) and lied down. Touching her was of course impossible, but she seemed to be comfy.

And there it is! 28.11.2015, the day of our departure from Huelva (Spain) to Tenerife. We got up around 6.00 that day, as we had 120km to go and in Portugal the time zone has one hour difference.
What’s really interesting, the weather was warm and nice… only until Spanish border. When we crossed the river which apparently divides Spain and Portugal we found ourselves in cloudy, really cold place and driving was really a nightmare. For quite some kilometers we felt like back in Germany. ^^ But eventually, we made it.

Finally, the stress could go away. All we do now is wait and hope that the Titanic story is not going to repeat itself. ; ) And of course, this moment when everything worked out, we made it to the ferry after 8 weeks of our adventure… I got a cold sore. I love my immune system, seriously. ==’’
During the time we were waiting to board our ferry we met this Finnish guy on a motorcycle. He was only half shaved – half of a mustache (and was planning on the other half on the beard soon). It looked hilarious. XD He said he got bored of normal conventions, hence the “haircut”. He was surely after his 50th birthday, but he decided to drop whatever he was doing on a continent and go to Gran Canaria to be a karaoke DJ. What a spirit!

The trip on a ferry lasted 40 hours.

It was quite tiring, you know, crying children, loud adults and uncomfortable seats. But there was a swimming pool with different light settings. ;D Sorry for the blurr, we still only operated with our smartphone…

Another person whom we met on the ferry was this Polish guy, Igor. He was so impressed by our lifestyle that he decided to buy us breakfast. XD As Polish people do, we of course had a whole bag of food, but we were slowly running out of it, so we gladly accepted. And, of course, never say no to free meal.  Unfortunately eventually we missed each other – we were supposed to meet up at 8.30am, but we had the Portuguese time and he had the continental time. So all in all he bought us lunch. It was really nice of him, but it was the worst food we’ve ever tasted in our entire lives! Even the potatoes were screwed up – how’s that possible?! They smelled and tasted of raw fish and they were really chewy… Ew. Potato-fish flavored chewing gum.
With a small delay we landed on Tenerife. It was around 3am, we had a Couch in La Orotava for this particular night. We fell asleep immediately after putting our heads on a pillow. We got up with our host at 8 (-ish) and left to our flat.

And that was it. We were finally home. HOME.
Niki (and Niki’s little helper)

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