Wednesday, August 31, 2016


JetBlue to Boston pretty uneventful. At the TAP Air Portugal gate it started to become more real that we were on this adventure. Morocco and Northern Africa access this point of entry and this was apparent by the colorfully garbed people of obvious African decent. And as all overseas flights pretty much are, any kind of good sleep is nonexistent.

Paulo, the affable Portuguese man who rented us the apartment that will be our home for the next seven days, kindly offered to pick us up from the airport.  Thankfully T-Mobile works here so we were able to text him our location after standing in an two hour long immigration line. No duty forms to fill out or papers of any kind. Pretty simple.

The dark haired gentleman around our age with the typical attractive Portuguese manner shook John's hand and gave me the European double cheek kiss upon our greeting. He drove us to the apartment all the while giving us a tour on the way to the Campo Ourique neighborhood. Pointing out things I knew I would never remember in my jet lagged state, I hoped John would retain some.  Paulo seemed incredulous upon hearing the true purpose of our holiday in Portugal. "You are walking from  Lisbon? To Spain?!"  He showed us the particulars of the flat, handed us a bottle of wine and ciao!

Realizing I am sorely under packed for a week in this cosmo city, there was nothing else to do but find the bed and pass out even though it was only 10 am.

Finally pulled ourselves together enough in the afternoon to eat the breakfast sandwich we were given on the plane and wander the neighborhood a bit. We found a beautiful cathedral, the first of many on this journey I am sure, and sat quietly aware of the few women sitting in the pews praying for what only God knows. An old woman walked out of the church constantly acting out her Catholic rituals of crossing herself and blowing kisses to the Virgin Mary. We would run into her again later struggling to make her key fit in the door of her flat.  John stopped to try to help with no luck and no language help on either side. Just hmmmmm......  Soon enough a young woman intervened and pushed one of the apartment buttons to be let in. Obrigada and smiles all around. Our first Camino moment.

Of course in true John and Cayce style we found happy hour in the beautiful garden center and enjoyed an Imperial cerveja. Old men sat at tables playing cards and dominos alongside children playing games and running about. Sigh..... Back in the old country once again letting the stress and anxiety of modern times slowly roll away.  Since we are still off the local timeline, it being way too early for dinner, we found a market and bought some supplies for a veggie pasta and salad to enjoy with Paulos bottle of wine. Delish and early bed.

Monday, August 29, 2016

We're on Our Way!

There is a saying in Camino circles, "the Camino provides". Rhymes with "the dude abides" but we won't go there. We are leaving the mile 'high' city.  Back to my original point. Our great friends Liz and Tom graciously gave us a ride to the airport with no major traffic backups. Looks like our backpacks will pass muster with Jetblues carry on requirements. Then TSA pre screen" bam! High five! House is in order with house sitters and security and we are in our way to Lisbon by way of Boston. Packs a bit heavy for the week in Lisbon but hopefully not what we will be heaving on the way. Bon voyage........

Monday, August 22, 2016

Training or Lack Thereof

Okay, it's been 4 months since my last blog post.  So much happening since then!  We were on a pretty rigorous training schedule with our typical walks through our local state park and different environs.  Our workout schedules had all but ceased with a lazy trip to Mexico and subsequent major virus attacks on both of us upon our return, but still the continued walking everywhere. A 3 or so week recovery and back to our schedule? Not so much.  Maybe the almost 10 pound weight loss we both suffered (enjoyed?) will be a plus in light of the downgraded workout schedule. Pretty much back to my previous post Camino weight!   One can dream.

Our lovely daughter had a wedding to plan!  Our son was doing well in his recovery and fast approaching his one year post transplant anniversary date!  Much work to do on the house to prepare it for winter and well you know, all the continual upkeep that just comes with a 20 year old property.  All this had derailed any serious training but not the planning to actually go to Portugal and attempt this walk!  We have our mileage points together and every time I check, there seems to be seats available to Lisbon.  It's 5 days until we 'plan' to leave.  Is this possible?  Better get off this blog and go peruse my backpack. Hmmmm........
                                                          Everyone walks in Mexico.
                                              Will these feet once again carry us 500 miles?
                                                                 Our lovely state park!
A few camping trips and hikes sprinkled into our summer.

                                                         One major backpack for John.