19.9.04

Mercado de Santana


As you all know, I met up with Pedro Libório in his home town yesterday. I had a great time, with Pedro showing me around his beautiful town of São Martinho do Porto. I took lots and lots of photos - none of which are up to Pedro's standard - which I will be putting up here as soon as I get a chance. Anyway. After I posted yesterday's PaD, Pedro took me to a restaurant near his home where all they serve is leitão (roast suckling pig). It is a bit of a Portuguese speciality, and it was the first time I had ever eaten it. Sílvia had loaned me her car, and I had to get it back to her, so I had to take my leave of Pedro and make my way to Santa Catarina along winding Portuguese mountain roads in the pitch dark and in an unfamiliar car. Those who know, know that Portuguese drivers are far from the best, and Portuguese roads are close to the worst. The driving was not the problem... the lack of road signs was. The 30km journey took me two-and-a-half hours, as I went down one blind alley into one small deserted village after the other. I eventually found someone to ask: 'Sigue sempre à frente', she said, 'straight ahead'. Far too simple. I was sigueing sempre à frente when I sped past a sign pointing to the right that said Santa Catarina 1km. If I hadn't been admiring the eucalyptus trees in the car's headlamps, it is possible that I could still be wandering these country lanes looking for the lost village of Santa Catarina as I type. Managed to find my way to bed, and was up at the crack of dawn. I went for a walk with my camera, and was speaking to Linda on the phone when Sílvia passed me. I jumped into the passenger seat of the now all-too-familiar car, and off we went to the Santana Market. After a wander through the throng, we went back to the house and had frango assado (barbecued chicken) for lunch before heading off to Foz do Arelho to see the sandcastle competition that never was. Nevermind, at least I got to swim in the sea and lie on the beach. Pedro passed by to say hello, but unfortunately, he couldn't stay long. FInally managed to make my way back to Lisbon, ready for the challenges of a new week.

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