08/19 Nazare, Portugal

19 Aug 1985, Posted by Scott An Chora in Travelogue, No Comments.

08/19 Nazare, Portugal


The train station was a short walk outside of town but after only about fifty yards or so Jim began complaining.  I was at the point where I didn’t even hear him anymore.  He threatened to pack his shit up, fly home and didn’t like my “Go or stay but just stop complaining because you’re giving me a headache” response.  My thumb attracted a truck that had also picked up a pair of French girls who, like us, got off at the campsite.  We continued down to the shore where we were bombarded by every woman over the age of sixty, all trying to physically persuade us to stay in their home.  Each woman we followed worked out the same.  The accommodations were small, dirty and we weren’t going to pay that much.  We went up one street and down another, compounding complaints from Jim.  Eventually we found a nice room with a balcony.  I felt good that we had haggled down the price a few notches.

On the hot white sand under a clear blue sky the early morning fisherman lined the shore to mend their nets.  This was nice place to relax, the people were very friendly and there wasn’t much of nightlife outside of dining which is probably what accounted for the lack of young adults.  It was a Doctor’s prescription for me.  Every day was a carbon copy of the last.  I relaxed on the sand, slept half the day and wrote at night alongside a bottle wine and then the circle would repeat.  I can do this for quite some time.  While eating dinner, Jim was scoping out the crowd and noticed an older gentleman who had left his cassette player behind.  Instead of running the guy down to give it back, Jim pounced on it and hid it in his pocket.  When I called him on it he retaliated by attacking on another subjects.  Yea, like I was distracted.  Then he kept going on how nice it was that he could be listening to music again and how this was a reunion he needed.  Put a sock in it, it’s called stealing.

I was planning on heading north up the coast but Jim kept talking about flying home and how he could fly out of Madrid for about twenty percent of the normal fare.  Since I disagreed he kept repeating it in order to needle me.  “You either misread something or misunderstood” “Perhaps you would be a deck hand?” I teased.  For whatever reason Jim liked to pull strings in the direction of an argument and then if you bit on any of the trolling hooks he would attempt to turn the situation around as if it was you who started the argument.  That got old real fast.  So I made a bet with Jim and agreed to travel southeast back through Lisbon, which from my perspective would eventually get him on a plane home.  As we reached Lisbon Jim migrated back into his, I’m the only one who could possibly be right, routine.  So I remained quiet and just followed him all the way across town to the southern station, where upon inquiry he discovered his price was incorrect.  That it was the price to upgrade to business class or something of that nature, but not the price to fly home.  He welched on the bet.

On the train along the Portuguese coast, I got involved with an Australian who had drunk himself into comical state and was helping me laugh at his expense.  Jim too was humored but once we realized we had missed our planned stop, Jim shifted gears back into his blame game.  At that moment a pair of young ladies wandered up, sporting smiles and an aggressive sales pitch.  While trading smiles they successfully persuaded us to follow them to a local hostel.  To be totally honest we had passed our stop by quite a distance and had really no idea of where we were going to spend the night anyway.  They were a Godsend.  A young Canadian and a young lady from South Africa were also rounded up in the same net.  When we got off the train there were about twelve of us in total.  They had a van waiting to commute us to the hostile but this was a good catch and would require at least two trips.  To demonstrate that we were gentlemen we stayed behind for the second shuttle.  There were five of us waiting and this gave us some time to get acquainted.  I stuck up a conversation with a pair of young Swedish girls who were impressed that I had actually walked through their home town not too long ago and could recall a lot of details.  We seemed to hit it off pretty good as we had something in common.

On the bus ride to the hostel I was gazing out the van’s window at the terrain and noticed something lying alongside the road that looked to be an injured dog.  Along with one of the other passengers we persuaded the driver to pull over and back up to see if we could help.  I was right, it was a small dog and it appeared that he had not been struck by car but he definitely hadn’t eaten that month and had ticks all over his body.  We picked him up, wrapped him in a blanket and carried him back to the hostel where he was greeted with symphony and open arms.  Poor thing, it was questionable if he would make it.

This was quite a gathering of travelers.  I noticed the guitar attracted a few wandering eyes and I gave her permission to socialize on her own, while I made a b-line toward the bar.  There were girls everywhere and on the surface there were all the ear markings of a toga party.  With the alcohol things started to get crazy.  Two girls in a seductive manner began taking the clothes off a guy on the dance floor.  Two other guys entered the scene with a rope and tied him to a tree in the middle of the courtyard.  He was having difficulty standing on his own anyway so perhaps the ropes were there to hold him up.  As if performing a ritual, different girls with the changing of song would dance around and pour beer on his exposed body.  There was a good possibility that he was not going to remember anything from that evening except for the headache he was sure to wake up with.  Eventually I just couldn’t hang around anymore.  I was kinda off by myself and although I had met a few people, I was actually alone and just too tried to stay awake.  So I left the edges of the party for some sleep.

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    Usually behind a cup of coffee waiting for the world around me to wake up I entered today’s thoughts about yesterday’s activities into my travel journal. I’m not a writer, so I’ll apologize in advance if I jump around or seem confused. These are just the thoughts of a young man who left his possessions behind and who believes that getting lost is how one finds oneself.

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