18.9.04

Encontro com Pedro


Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I've got a beautiful feeling, everything's going my way! Up at the crack of dawn to make sure I did not miss my train. Out the door at 8am, phoned home on the hoof. Caught the tram to Cais Sodré, then the underground to Entrecampos where I had to catch the train to Caldas da Rainha. The railway company's internet page told me that I would have to change train no less than three times; however, the man at the ticket office said I didn't. I checked the signs in the station... a direct train to Caldas was due to leave platform 3 at 11.16am. The problem was that platform 3 is reserved for the southbound Fertagus trains (the ones that cross the bridge), and the last I checked, Caldas was north of Lisbon. Confused, I asked again at the ticket office, and was assured that a train for Caldas would leave platform 3 at 11.16am - the other platform 3. A station with two platform 3s!!! I ask you!!! Anyway, it was still only 9.20am, and I realised that I hadn't yet eaten, so I walked to a cafe and had breakfast, then strolled in a leisurely fashion back to the station to await the train. When it arrived, I noticed that it did not offer any refreshments, so since I still had an hour to kill, I went to the supermarket and bought a picnic. Got back to the train with half-an-hour to spare, and collapsed in a pool of sweat into the airconditioned carriage. A beautiful, if uneventful journey, and two-and-a-half hours later I was disgorged into the Caldas heat, where I waited an hour for Sílvia to pick me up. A quick trip to say hello to Sílvia's parents, and then I borrowed her car to come to São Martinho, home of Pedro Libório. I am now in Pedro's house, and we are just about to go out for something to eat. He said hello!

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