Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012 - Portugal Elvas to Terena

We started the day at the quinta (English people's farm) near Elvas. Today the sky was perfectly blue except for a few con trails way above. Bill drove us to Aleonde (I think that is the name) - a small village but with a few small shops near the Centro. We were mainly looking for cookies and something for Mike to use for shaving. He had forgotten the charger for his electric shaver which would soon run out of power. The only thing we could find was "gillette" in the small all purpose store - but we were happy as they also had biscuits. That along with the stuff we had gathered from breakfast made me feel like we had some food security.

That brings me to the subject of survival on a trip with no car, no nearby shops, very few vegetables on the menu, minimal English and very little heat (6 degrees) after the sun goes down. First, if you can find a shop selling what you need, buy right away. You may not see a shop again for days. Second, try to take everything with you. It's all very well for Rick Steves to say that 700 million European survive on what is available here - but if you can't get to a shop you are out of luck! Third, scrounge whatever you can from breakfast - you may need it later. Fourth, bring metamucil - it makes up for lack of buds and veg! Fifth, bring longjohns, a toque, warm tops and a scarf - if you are going anywhere in April. And don,t be afraid to wrap yourself up in the blanket. Sixth, bring a phrase book and share it with kind people who don't speak English. Say "Ola" - "English?" and "Obragada" - "Thank you!" "Quanto" is also helpful!

After Aleonda, Bill drove us to Terena. He brough his 2 oldest daughters with us - Nancy (7) and Nell (4) and it was fun finding out about the toys little girls play with. No diggers - just tiny dolls and stuffed animals which are made to fight and argue with each other incessantly!

Our hotel in Terean is up at the top of the hill near the castle - very nice. Just 6 rooms. There are no shops or restaurants here as far as we can find out. However, on our walk down to the ancient church we found there was a fair going on in honour of Mary "Senhora Boa Nova" There were a few small rides and tons of stalls selling all sorts fo stuff - useful plastic household things, belts, dresses, jeans, mechanical toys, fruit, statues of Our Lady of Fatima, AND electric razors (10 Euros), a Portugues hat for Mike (10 euros), batteries and bananas (definitely not local)! So we are now well equipped and looking forward to dinner here at the Casa de Terena - where we seem to be the only guests.

I might write some more after dinner. Otherwise goodnight!

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