stress

Day 4 was a shit show. We started the day off by heading to a meeting place for our day tour of Sintra. It was a long journey all up hill and lots of sweat. Sintra is a beautiful town and our tour was a lot of stop and go, get into the van and out of the van. We started at São Martinho, a large area with a castle on it. It took us an hour to walk around the grounds, which was beautiful and surrounded in ruins. 

We then went to a beautiful view point in a nature reserve. 

Then the further most point of Europe, which was a large cliff overlooking beautiful rocks and water. 

Our final place to visit was a beach. Our first beach of the trip. There we tried our first sip of Ginjinha (a cherry liquor) and watched wind surfers. 

Since this was our last day in Lisbon, we were going to catch a bus to leave at 8 pm (which we already paid for). Our tour was supposed to be six hours long and it started at 10:30. So we knew we were going to be fine for time, but we informed the tour guides that we needed to be back by 6:30 at the latest. By the time we got to our last destination we were running very late. Our tour guide then hurried us along as said he’d drive us straight to our hostel so we can pick up our bags and leave. However, on the way back into Lisbon the car broke down… in the middle of the highway. Shit. He said he’d get us a taxi but we were in the middle of the highway surrounded by traffic, a taxi was not going to happen. He tried to repair whatever happened to the car and we were running out of time. Almost 10 minutes passed and finally the second car of the tour showed up and we swapped places with some of the tour goers. We then were slowly driven to a taxi stand, where the only taxi available had no idea where our hostel was. Now we really started to panic. No other taxis were coming and we were at least a 30 minute walk away from our hostel. Thank god a taxi finally arrived and knew where we were going, at least where our hostel was, not where the bus station was. We got to the hostel and got the person working the desk to order us a taxi (which was 5€ a person and a private sedan). We literally made it to the bus station 10 minutes before the bus left. I’ve never felt so stressed while traveling before. 

Now when traveling in another country where pretty much no one speaks English is that you have to pay attention. And by this point it was 8 pm and we were exhausted. I would keep falling asleep and then waking us in a panic thinking we missed our stop. But we made it due to the bus driver we literally got up and told us it was our stop (it was obvious that we were foreigners). When we arrived in Nazare (our new home for the next 2 nights) it was 10 pm. The streets were empty, we were exhausted and had to carry our bags uphill and across town to our hostel. Our hostel which we couldn’t get into. The front door was locked and no one was answering the door. At this point I quickly checked the confirmation email from the hostel and saw that check in ended at 8 pm, we were two hours to late. We started to panic, again. We worried that we were going to have to sleep on the streets or pay for another hostel (which is not ideal when traveling for three months). But we were blessed again by a neighbour arriving home. With some sign language he understood that we were locked out and he lucky knew that owner. He called her up and she gave us the code for the front door and said we’d settle payment in the morning. I’ve never been more relieved to be in a hostel room before. We then went to dinner at the only place open Mooo Burger and it was delicious. I have a chicken strip burger with chips, a great way to end this stressful day. 

This whole day was so jam packed and we really lucked out at every turn. We could have missed our bus or we would have had to sleep on the street but we just made it by. I never want to have another day like this (other than seeing the amazing sites) the amount of stress was enough for this trip. 

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