Day 1: Hot Start

Day 1

Date: Tuesday, Sep 6, 2016
Start: Lisbon
Stop: Tivoli Oriente Hotel, Parque des Nacoes    👍
Dist (Day/Total): 8/8 km
High Temp: 35 C/95 F

Yesterday, my flight from Houston to Frankfurt was delayed, resulting in me missing my connection to Lisbon.  Got into Lisbon too late to buy my SIM card that night.  So, this morning, I had to wait until 9 am for the Vodafone store to open.  Once that was done, walked to the Lisbon Cathedral, the starting point from Lisbon and also to pick up a credenciale.  This is the little passport you get stamped to show your journey to Santiago.  In Spain, every bar, restaurant, hotel, hostel – practically every business – has a stamp and many people like to collect as many stamps as they can.  I always get one from the albergue I am spending the night and any churches, if open, on the way.

Lisbon Cathedral

It was no more than a couple of km to the cathedral (BTW, this is not included in the day’s total listed above).  Even at 9 am it is extremely hot and I am pouring sweat by the time I reach the cathedral.  And . . . they are out.  However, he is pretty certain that they have some at Basilica dos Martires, which is a km back the way I came.  DUH!!!!  After getting lost a couple of times, I find the place, buy my credenciale and walk back to the cathedral and find the first yellow arrow .  It’s 10:30 by the time I start and if I thought it was hot at 9, now it’s baking and it’s all asphalt or concrete sidewalks.

Lisbon:  Only Shade Today

It was around 1pm by the time I got to Parque des Nacoes.  I thought I was going to have a stroke from the heat.  [Not really but man was it hot].  I sat down on a bench near a fountain and contemplated my next move.  My original plan for the day was to stop at the new albergue in Alpriate, which was another 12 km, most of it on a boardwalk along the water with no shade.  So, that wasn’t happening.

Parque des Nacoes is on the outskirts of Lisbon.  It’s like a suburb.  But unlike Lisbon, it felt shiny, clean, touristy and brand new.  With new looking highrises, wide boulevards, fountains, modern outdoor art, an aquarium and a convention center.  Ok.  Ok.  It’s touristy.  There should be a lot of hotels around and I’ll just spend the night here.  Thank God it’s not the weekend.  I check.  There are no vacancies.  Mother#@$% . . .

I sit there for a while.  I check Google Maps.  The airport is very close.  It’s actually closer to where I am than to Lisbon.  Hmmmmm . . .  Or I could take the train back to Lisbon.  Spend the night there and then take the train back to Parque the next morning to continue my caminho.  Hmmmm . . .  I have an orange.  It has gotten hot in my backpack but I eat it anyway.   I stay there for a while and watch people strolling by.

I check again.  This time there is a room at the Tivoli Oriente, just two blocks away.  It is expensive but I book it.  The hotel is nice and cool.  I mention the heat to the person checking me in.  She tells me it’s a record for this time of the year.  A comment that is repeated several times over the next week or so.

I crank up the air conditioner in the room [something that I will regret later], take a shower and head to the bar.  I eat a late lunch.  Really good.  I head back to the room.  Figure I’ll take a nap, wait for it to cool down and then head out to explore Parque des Nacoes.  I end up not leaving the room.



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