I really did have it well organized and my itinerary was printed so that I could follow it!
Arrive in Lisbon.
After getting a new sim card at the terminal, for using in Portugal, I planned to grab the shuttle bus to take me into the city centre bus station so that I could get a bus south down to Zambujeira Do Mar. Simple eh?Thatâ€™s where it all fell apart. I sat at the shuttle bus station, and no bus arrived. Instead of asking somebody who spoke English, I just sat waiting. A man came up to me, shaking his head and pointing no no no, and then pointed to the sign in the shelter that stated (in Portuguese)that the bus was cancelled permanently??? the lonely planet guide didnâ€™t indicate that! I thought Iâ€™d take a regular transport bus into town; by then I was wandering outside the airport with luggage and a backpack! I asked the next driver who opened the door to his bus, if he was going near Sete Rios. No, he said, you need bus 73. Iâ€™ll take you to the stop for it. Balancing my luggage in my backpack and my purse at the front of the bus, as he wound around bends really quickly, he let me off at the next stop. No charge! Wait there for bus 73 -within a minute a bus came along 731. No, I need bus 73, I thought, so I waited -buses came and passed. They all had three numbers- was I missing something? Finally I figured out the timetable on the walI of the shelter,waited an hour when the bus number 731 arrived agai,I asked, are you going to the Sete Rios bus station? Yes! Yahoo! I got on! Two euros is the cost to get into the city. Wow. Everybody on the bus was Portuguese. No English was spoken, many talking on their cell phone speakers, phones held away from their faces. Finally at the end of the line I was dropped off at what was supposed to be Sete Rios bus station. Construction just like in Toronto.! The building was being changed. Somehow there was no access. I kept asking people, how do I get to the bus station, Finally I asked Google on my phone and it said I was 6 km away. I couldnâ€™t believe it. I hadnâ€™t slept on the plane and it was catching up on me. I walked around the construction hauling my luggage on cobblestones.
My phone said I was there. I had arrived, but I could see no opening in the wall to enter anywhere. Buses were parked on the street. I asked one bus driver and he said yes Iâ€™ve arrived. Itâ€™s there just go a bit farther. Thereâ€™s an opening and you cross through the entrance to the parking lot And go across in through the door. I had arrived. Finally!
The trip south was interesting. The bus was full and it was Xpress so I assumed Iâ€™d get there quickly. (Within 4 hours )We travelled the Coastal Alentejo stopping in Sines, Vila Nova De Milfontes, Porto Cova and then my trip ended in Zambujeira do Mar, my new home for the next two months.
I am writing this at 5 am, Feb. 2nd, at the kitchen table with jammies on, fleece, vest, warm hat and occasionally gloves, drinking green tea. I haven’t had time to shop for food so the last 24 hours have definitely fit into my fasting routine. It is cold and yesterday when I arrived it was warm. Today I will take pictures and post more.
PS… it’s going up to 16 C today!