Portugal Words

1. Appropriate Attire and Equipment

A few days ago, whilst exploring Lisbon on foot and by metro, I purchased an umbrella - for two what seemed to me perfectly valid reasons. The first was that it cost only 5 Euros - i.e. not expensive enough to warrant a great deal of careful thought about whether I had any real use for an umbrella; the second that I had in fact conceived of a use for an umbrella during my upcoming journey – although I hadn’t thought too carefully about it because there was only 5 Euros at stake.

2. One Foot in Front of the Other

For the first few kilometres after leaving Cabo da Roca, I walked a meandering road that tracked the coastline to my right, using my umbrella as I had intended i.e. as a parasol. Holding it aloft was a tiresome business though, so instead I threaded the handle through the lopped section of my satchel strap. So log as I rested my hand on the umbrella handle, (so holding it down rather than up) the pole rested firmly against my right shoulder with the cooling canopy above my head.

3. Barcoo across the Tejo

At around 3:30 I left Alcabideche on the N9 and the N9 is a very busy and very unfriendly road. In fact, used as I am to the instinctive paternalism of the UK authorities, I was a little surprised to find that walking along it was allowed. I think that is because I had misunderstood a key aspect of the Portuguese civic mindset. I guess that in a society where relatively few have any more than theoretical access to the legal system, local authorities can afford to allow the citizens to look out for themselves. Somebody dies? So what, nobody will sue.