I Am Pilgrim

Lisbon is such a cool city. Both Mark and I liked it as soon as we arrived and over the 2 days we were there we spent them walking around the city, enjoying the sun and enjoying the city. Towards the afternoon on our second day there we stopped by a market place set up with small restaurants selling food. We sat down straight away, ordered a starter of tuna in passion fruit and a glass of rosé each. We finished our food quite quickly and our wine even quicker and moved onto the oyster bar where we down 6 oysters between us and moved on again but this time to a deli where we bought fresh figs stuffed with prosciutto. I didn’t even sit down to eat mine, just took the plate from the lady, picked the fig up and ate it while standing. By this stage we were in a great mood but were literally eating through our money so we decided to have a quick walk around before heading to our apartment. This then turned into us finding the Gin Bar and ordering 2 gin and tonics, after which Mark thought another glass of rosè would be lovely. I was struggling to get through the G&T so gave Mark my wine glass. Back at our apartment we sat down and looked for a cheap place to eat dinner after blowing most of our money at the market. It was while we were looking for dinner that I started to feel sick. I laid down and an hour later was experiencing probably the most violent case of food poisoning I’ve had since I was in Mongolia a couple of years ago (that’s a whole other story). Mark later told me that he had been feeling sick too but after seeing what I was going through forced his body to get over it. I went to bed hungry and so exhausted that Mark woke up early the next morning to pack my bag for me so I could sleep a bit longer. He also left me at the apartment to go pick up our rental car, again giving me more time to sleep.

2 Gin and Tonics please

I can’t say I remember much of the drive as I slept as much as I could but as we got closer to Peniche we started to notice this thick fog everywhere and as we pulled into town we could barely see a thing. It was like this for the whole day so we just drove around checking out places close by and planning our few days there. The whole reason we went to Peniche was so that Mark could surf and I could learn to surf. Thanks to the fog and cold weather I sat on the beach each day in a jumper and read while Mark braved the cold water to surf. Had the weather been warmer in Peniche our time there would have been even better but despite the cold we still had a great time. I was looking forward to heading down south though because the weather forecast was much warmer there. We left Peniche early one morning and drove south to a place called Salema on the Algarve coast. Salema is a really small town so there isn’t a whole lot to do there. Our days there were spent driving to some sites and towns nearby. We hired a kayak one day and paddled for awhile around the caves and rock formations along the coast. After nearly being run over by 2 boats we decided it was maybe best we turn around and head back in. By this stage my arms were killing me and because we swapped and I sat behind Mark on the way back I found it was easy to just relax and let him paddle. Once he realised what I was doing he was constantly looking over his shoulder trying to get me to participate. The Algarve coastline is so beautiful and I loved our time there so I was a bit sad to be leaving.

Beautiful spot along the Algarve coast

On the morning we had to leave we were up early and out the door by 8am so we could drive 2 hours and get to Monte Rei by 10am. Now before you go googling Monte Rei to see what kind of town it is I will stop you there. It isn’t a town as such but a County Club and Golf Course. Yes, that’t right, we were there to play golf. I don’t play golf but I am an excellent golf cart driver so I drove while Mark played 18 holes. To occupy myself I had downloaded a new book and after 2 holes I decided the book was more important than driving so Mark drove both of us around the golf course.

This is what a backpackers golfing attire looks like – a mix of old, borrowed and new.

My day went super quick thanks to my book and by the time we were at our new accommodation it was late afternoon but not so late that the sun was hidden so I quickly changed and sat by the pool to continue reading. To be honest I can’t really tell you what Mark did that afternoon because I wasn’t really paying attention. And so the next day when he asked me what I wanted to do my first answer was to continue reading which is exactly what I did. I spent the entire day moving around the accommodation grounds reading either in the sun or in the shade. It was after I had moved a third time that I noticed Mark had been following me and he now had quite a large collection of photos of me reading. Again, I can’t really tell you what else he did that day apart from follow me around with his camera for a bit and drive us to go get lunch. By the time I was in bed I only had a few chapters to go and of course there was no way I was going to sleep until I had finished the book.

One of the photos Mark took while he was following me around

I finished the book and had a very restless sleep thinking all about it. I love books in general but I especially love books that play on your mind days after you’ve finished reading them. That book was one of them – it’s called I Am Pilgrim and even as I write this post I can’t clear my mind entirely of it so I will quickly tell you that we are at Rome Airport waiting for our flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. First stop will be the Royal Palace to say hello to our fellow Aussie, Princess Mary.

Love, I Am Pilgrim


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