Early morning Farewell

Trip Start Mar 01, 2014
Trip End Apr 05, 2014

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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patricks Day!

After breakfast we headed via the coastal scenic route to Cascais where Mike and Debbie are picking up their car. It is a beautiful morning for their drive to Porto today. 

This week we have had a lot of laughs. I know I mentioned the stairwell and the low doors to you but felt a photo would show you more. You can see why "up, down, duck" was important for Mike to remember. Only hitting his head twice on the same day this past week, he managed to depart without any scarring.

Tony is quite used to travelling along these narrow roads and appears to be comfortable doing so. Mike on the other hand will experience this for the first time today with his trusty navigator by his side, Debbie. They do have a GPS, "Cynthia" who may assist them from time to time but she loves to "recalculate" over here in the little villages. Within the interior of the thick walls of a city, she thinks we have disappeared until we pop out like a marble in pinball, on the other side. 

We have all been entertained on our journeys when Mike shares his thoughts. "What do you mean, this is a two-way street?" "Yep, if anyone is looking for us, we will be right here, on this roundabout 21 days later, just out of fear", "Holy jeez, eh, holy jeez, now how are we going to do this?" "What way do I turn, right or my watch hand?"......

On the highway we have had numerous cars scream pass us in The Rattler. She has done very well for us with all of her squeaks and groans. In her 128,000 km. life she has allowed Tony to speed along and keep up with the traffic. All of a sudden out of the blue comes a bullet of a car travelling so fast we shake as they go by. The other "game" on the highway, or any major road, is the motorcycle trick. They sneak up quietly, give the bike the big rev and pass on the left. There is no lane on the left. They also dart in and out of cars constantly barely missing mirrors or being hit as cars change lanes. We were all very surprised when this occurred. Mike and Debbie can hardly wait for all of this. "Holy jeez, that's just great, just great!" "Yep Debbie, we will be the ones going just over 50 in the slow lane and should reach Porto by next week!" Fifty is the minimum speed in the slow lanes, 120 in the fast lanes. We will tell you Tony was slow at 130. Debbie wanted to get a huge tourist sticker or learners sticker for the car so everyone would avoid them. 

Portugal actually does not have impatient drivers. They do not honk at you in anger when you are turning around because you are recalculating, going too slow, or are afraid to back up for fear of driving into a ditch or rock wall. We have had incidents where drivers will make the situation better for us, give us a wave, not the finger, and everyone happily heads on their way. The roads are well taken care of, we have not seen a pothole yet. This includes the cobblestone roads with their tiny four by four inch squares.

The beach drive was beautiful, we reach the car rental place and Debbie and Mike get their car. It is a mini-me of The Rattler, identical but so young at 12,000 km. Shiny, clean, and ready for the road. We pack up the trunk, the back seat....Mike arranged his coordinates with Cynthia. This is when Debbie said "I was a little worried when Mike couldn't find reverse". It was my turn to say "holy jeez, holy jeez, that's just great"!

Hugs and kisses goodbye, we are sad to see them go but wish them lots of laughs on their journey, new experiences, and safe travels. We leave just behind them. Wouldn't you know it they head around a corner to a red light and they have to stop at the top of a hill. No problem, Mike does have the excitement of a race car driver in him - switching gears off they go, heading north to Porto. 

Enjoy every moment!
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Katie on

Oh the advantages of being short - I can't believe how much Mike has to duck, "holy jeez"

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