|Date:||Tuesday, Sep 6, 2016|
|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.
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.
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 booking.com 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.