Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ola Portugal...

Armed with Duarte's list of things to do James, Wayne and I took off to see what Portugal had to offer.

We left Lisboa and headed north to a little fishing village set atop some ciffs called Ericeira. Ericeira is about 100km north of Lisboa and was a good fist stop as we had stuffed around all day hiring the car and were leaving the camping ground late in the day. Our first lesson that booking in advance is a good idea...

When we arrived in Ericeira we drove around for over half an hour trying to find a Tourismo (tourist info place) and the town centre. The town consisted of one main street with smaller streets coming off of it, we blamed the misleading signage for our less than perfect display of navigational prowess.

We found a hotel/hostel which was close to the town centre, the guy running the place reccomended a local seafood restaurant for dinner. We got to the restaurant around 9 - 10ish which is the normal dinner time in Portugal. We learned a very important lesson, a Kanacka is a 1/2 litre handle of Beer, this came in very handy for most meals.

With Waynes Mexi-Spanglish and my phrase book Portugese we met a local family sitting next to us in the restaurant who we had a very stilted conversation with. It ended up with them insisting on giving us the left over meat from their plates. With previous bad experiences trying to speak the local languages when overseas, James sat there and just read the subtitles.

The next morning, I took off to the markets to get some stuff for breakfast and lunch to have while we were on the road. It was my first chance to get out there by myself and inflict the locals with my version of Portugese. At this stage it was still a new experience and I was a little neverous and uncomfortable... Stage fright you might say, so my shopping experience involved alot of pointing and calling out numbers.

I had previously learned 1 - 30ish in Portuguese which then proved to be very helpful communicating with people and also impressing (fooling) them with my grasp of their language.

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