Going out with a Bang

Trip Start Oct 04, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Portugal  ,
Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lagos is a beautiful little city with fabulous beaches and quaint little cobblestoned roads lined with bars. It's one of those places where you stay up all night partying and fall asleep on the beach during the day. You can take your pick of bars, but pretty much everywhere you go you get a free shot with every drink that you order. Any sleep that you get is a drunken sleep. I arrived in the party capital of Portugal with two days left, and determined to make the most of them. My hostel was called the Rising Cock, a family run place with 'Mama' in charge. When I arrived I was given a bed in the 'cow pad' and shown to the kitchen where Mama gave me a bowl, told me to sit down, relax, and try some of her soup. It was fabulous, especially since I hadn't eaten anything except a cheese sandwich all day. Waiting for my key, I met Jess and Marty, a couple from Canada, and we all decided to go get some dinner together. Dinner at the Nah Nah Bah across the street, also owned by the Rising Cock, turned into drinks when we found out what the special was - $1 beer and shots 11-12. When the bar turned off all the lights at midnight to get everyone out, we stumbled in the direction of Marty's lighter and down the street to Three Monkey's. Barhopping all night, and remembering only snippets of the later parts, we ended up dancing at a three story club filled mostly with Portugese. I passed out on my bed, fully clothed, at around 4 am. Needless to say, the next day was not good. Thank God it was raining since I was so hung over that I couldn't get out of bed until around 5 that night. Just in time to meet my new roommates.

I had actually met them earlier that day when they dropped their stuff off and I lifted my head up just enough to say hello and promptly fall back into a half sleep. But now I was awake, feeling better, and managing to eat a few crackers. Also from Canada, Wally and Greg were brothers and Devon was Greg's girlfriend, and they'd been travelling together for a couple of weeks. Hearing that it was my last real night of my trip to go out, they insisted that we have another big night. So when Marty and Jess, who had been checking in on me periodically throughout the day to make sure that I wasn't dead or anything, came by to go to the Nah Nah Bah for dinner again, they came with us. I held out throughout dinner, but when we started playing drinking games with a liter each, I just had to join in. And the night was off. Back to the Nah Nah Bah for $1 shots and beer, Three Monkey's for pool and more drink specials, we managed to add Christina and another Devon to our group. The lone American in a sea of Canadians, I was swept up in the excitement of the night, my last night. I made a pact with Greg that I would get a tattoo (the one I had picked out in Rimini) and he would get his ear pierced the next day. We tried to convince Wally, but he wussed out. Finally we Ended up at the club we had gone to the night before, but this time we sat on the rooftop deck and talked. And even though it was great and I was having a fabulous time, there was a tinge of melancholy to everything. This was it. On the walk home it started to rain.

I woke up the next day with the sun shining and feeling great. The eight of us headed down to the beach to top up tans and see just how cold the water was. We found a spot away from the busier beaches in a little cove surrouned by orange cliffs, and the water was freezing. I managed to go under once, but spent the rest of the time soaking in the sun and exchanging travel stories. I thought how I would miss this - being able to form such a tight bond with people I had known not even 24 hours. I would miss just sitting around, ignoring what I was supposed to do and only doing what I wanted to do. It was sad thinking how different my life would be in a matter of days. But I didn't want to dwell on sad things on my last day of my round the world trip. It was time to get that tattoo. Marty and Jess decided to stay a little bit longer on the beach, and the rest of us headed off to the tattoo parlor. I went first and it actually wasn't that painful. I had held my friend's hand when she had gotten one on her foot in New Zealand and had gotten it squished, so I was a little nervous. But, I am proud to say, I didn't need to hold anyone's hand and I didn't cry and I held perfectly still. After me, Greg got his piercing and was equally brave. By the time he had finished, we had convinced Devon to get her ear pierced and Christina to get a nose piercing. Forever piercing/tattoo buddies, we went to the Nah Nah Bah for a last meal to celebrate - the massive Toucan Burger that I had been eyeing the past two days.

That night I packed, had a last dance and drink, and said my goodbyes. But this time I wasn't only saying goodbye to my friends, I was saying goodbye to my trip. It was all I could do to keep from crying. Jess, Devon, and Greg walked me to the bus station to make sure I got off ok. We hugged and promised to keep in touch, to exchange pictures. And then they were gone. It was all gone. But it was one hell of a last day!
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