Saturday, I got up at 7:30 and raced off even before breakfast to the Saturday market. First I walked through the daily fish market and took these pictures.
On to the produce market. 60 vendors had set up in two spaces, each the size of a LARGE basketball arena.
I would have loved to buy all kinds of things, it was mostly produce but some flowers, nuts, jams but most things were sold in bulk that I could never have used. So I figured I am an expert on the taste of tomatoes and carrots so I bought one bunch of cherry tomatoes, 1 herloom tomato, and little deformed bulk carrots, like 4? each from 2 vendors. The one vendor would not take money he was so insulted that I took such a small amount. Maybe I spent 1 euro in all. I would just hold out my hand with all the change in my palm and they would select what I owed them.
I walked home a new way over a hill and took these shots looking down at the marina.
Back to apt and instead of my normal strawberries and granola cereal I washed and cut up the carrots and washed and cut up the 1 big tomato. I had selected the tomato so it was damaged on top as I wanted to be sure I got a ripe one. It was excellent. Carrots and cherry tomatoes were bland.
On the way out of town I walked my bike and stopped at two cork shops. They are for tourists and everything they sell is made of cork, probably in china. I bought a cap for 25 euro and wore it last night as Valentina had told me were the shop was and asked if I had been to it yet.
Off to the Monchique route again. It is the second from peddleportugal. Took the N124 as far as the town of Figueria. I had pioneered this route on the return yesterday as it was shorter and cut out the dirt! I had had trouble on the N124 yesterday with construction! Had to wait in line, a little walking etc. This time mainly ok, just a little walking. Then a group of bikers came by, 30! I could not join them as they were riding in the car lane and I was walking on the dirt. Later I saw 4 of them stopped fixing a flat but never saw them again. The road up to Figueria was a terrible uphill. I did not remember it from yesterday. Towns are always on hills. But I made it up.
Got to lunch at 11:30 and she said no food until noon so I went down her street and the one across from it and back at noon to chicken kabob with two sauces to dip in, pepper and tazikki. She said pepper had more spice than curry, that was another possible, but neither was really spicy at all. Had chocolate pudding for desert.
Made it further up the mountain than yesterday, maybe by a mile or 2. A man pulled me up. He came past me as I was plodding along at my normal slow pace and I caught him and he did not speak english but was surprised and picked up the pace. I was able to hold him, then he yelled "asie asie" and took off faster uphill. I had to rest, he turned off, I rode up to where he turned off on dirt? and then turned around myself at 3pm? and headed home.
While I was resting a car from Netherlands stopped and asked directions, I showed him in my machine but then he drove off in the way I had told him was wrong! Got back to N125 and as I motored along, there pulled over waiting for me was the van from Megasport and the driver who had rented me the bike! He must have recognized the bike and pulled over to wait for my passing.
He was confused, seemed to think he was on his way to Lagos to pick up my bike. Asked if I wanted a ride to town. I told him pick up was at 11:30am Monday and I complained about having to buy a tire and he said to bring the recite. I realize Miquele the bicyclet mechanic does not give any paper, is all cash!
There is a bad bad hill just 100 meters from my apt coming back into town. I had trouble with it yesterday. I even considered that I really should walk the bike through town and show Valentina my riding outfit but instead took on the hill and did better this time!
David Turner skyped once I was home so I added him to my daily email.
Shower and off to Valentina and then a new brit bar that I had seen on the walk home from the morning market. Turns out it is 3 bars in a row. Checked all three, chose one and had London pride from a can, terrible. Man next to me was drunkish and chatted me up. Was the chief at a restaurant under Tam's and knew Tam. On to the tourist restaurant in town Adega. Airbnb man had said to try Bacalhau that is salted cod. Best meal of the trip, some bones but very taste.
Brit couple next to me, man is off to do north west passage from Alaska to Greenland, had been to Everest base camp. Seemed to claim he could do some talks? on the boat to make money but maybe not. His 10 year younger wife said, he is 70, he had a very good settlement from being laid off.
I tried to tell him about Willie Unsold. Gave him my card. Off to Valentina. Below is the wall at Baffi Bar.
Gave out cards to two men she recommended who I had seen in her Baffi place before, then home, TV, bed.
Sunday, Day 8
For the first time, I am under the gun. Have to get this out before 8am, then ride 8-12, 2 hours out and 2 back, and then 1 hour shower and on to Tam singing 1-4. Who knows if it will really happen. At her normal bar karaoke night and live music night both had "delayed" starts due to European championship soccer matches. Again, I was able to write some of the above on my phone in a bar last night.
I rode from 8-11. It was cool starting out so I had 2 shirts, fleece and wind breaker and hat. My plan was to head up to the ladies at Barao de Sao Joao. But first I though I better figure out where the train station actually is. The airbnb father picked me up there so I never got a clear idea of exactly where it was. From riding east along the water, eventually to the long day walking in the dirt, I knew where the train tracks came into town, but not the location of the actual station. I just poked around. Like in China, there are masses of apartment blocks with no one in them. I am sure that in the summer, all are full. Tam said that usually there were lots of rentals for her to choose from but not this year. She was told it was because of a tax change and everyone now rented in secret. Anyway, I found the station but even now it will be a little trouble to walk to it because even though I found it, I still am not exactly sure how I will access it form the foot bridge that I use to get to that side of the river.
Then up the roads to Barao de Sao Joao. These are the roads I was on the first couple of days. I remember many of the stops. A few hills. I was not pushing but getting some exercise. I soon took off the wind breaker, fleece and hat. I not only carry the binoculars around my neck, but also a back pack that is small but has lots of room to put cloths in.
A horse along the way
Made it to Barao de Sao Joao about 10.
A little cemetery off the square.
Did not go up to the taverna.
The ladies and some men were out in the chairs talking.
Every square has to have a sculpture
I came home a new way that is part of the peddleportugal track that I was never on. He included a WONDERFUL winding one lane, maybe 1/2 lane 2 mile? track through farm fields. The sheep dog went back to the barn for his pull toy and played with it by himself, then came along with me barking until the farmer called him off. The track ended in a town where the road went so close to houses and walls that you wondered how a car could get through and certainly not the blueberry (reference to van we had in italy).
Made it up the bad hill by my house and took on the task of finding the recycle in prep for cleaning today. Put the beer bottles in a plastic bag, garbage in small plastic bags in second back pack, etc. Found the recycle about 100meters up the road, dumped the beer bottles, oh no, beer in the bottom of the plastic bag that I use to carry my books, newspaper to the bars. AHAH, a brilliant idea. Instead of needing to dry out the inside of the wet old beer bag, I will just turn it inside out and use it that way. The outside is dry. Clearly another demonstration of why I got into Princeton.
Off to Tam's 1 am singing start. I walked a new way and the couple from last night, northwest passage, was sitting at a outdoor table having lunch so chatted with them. She had a very large shopping bag full of what they had bought all morning. He was putting on the new socks. I asked how she would get all this material home and she said that he had a very small suitcase because he told her he likes to travel light BUT she not only had her own suitcase but had brought a big empty one as he always buys things and then wants to put them in her case.
Tam was "setting up". Singing, playing the key board to get the audio levels right. It was way too loud. Everyone kept trying to get her to turn it down but she had some idea that she needed it loud. I sat down right in front of her. All tables were empty but had a "reserved" sign on them. The owner came and made me move to the back. This was my view:
I ordered the special of stuffed mushrooms starter, eggplant main and apple pie end.
Tam played 3 one hours sets. She would get a drink, shot of cognac and come sit with me on break.
After the first break it was obvious that no one was coming for reserved seats so I asked and moved up. Before I could not hear Tam's patter. She would introduce the songs and talk a little about herself.
20 people in the Italian restaurant having lunch. (Valentina says NOT Italian!) Finally at 3pm there are only 5 of us, two older women sitting up with me and a couple in the back. Tam encourages us to dance and we do for a few songs of the last set. She has an older friend with her to help take the amplifiers, key board, mics etc home and she is working at 7pm.
I go off to Valentina for beer. A picture with Valentina on the last night and even an audience with the dog!
Then dinner at a place triathelets recommended. The couple from the first night, French, she a dancer show up and join me. I go back to Tam's lighthouse bar and she joins me on her breaks. I learn about her only brother who is older, studying law in england, born with one arm paralyzed, has wife and 2 kids but wife keeps the kids away from grandparents, Tam has never even seen the younger.
Home and to bed. It is a hard job but someone has to do it!