Well, the last 24 hours have been the first very low-point on my trip.
Kate and I had a great weekend in the little fishing village of Salema (link over to her page for a summary), but we spent all day yesterday trying various ways of getting back to Spain with little luck, because it was a national holiday here, Labor Day, and no one wants to work on Labor Day.
Most of the buses and half of the trains were not running in Portugal, so we spent 2 1/2 hours waiting outside of various rental car shops (Hertz, Avis, Europcar) in the seaside town of Lagos, with some other American girls we met, thinking we could split the price of a car to Sevilla. It is infuriating that none of the shops posted a sign to say that they were closed for the holiday, and worse - they all had signs saying they took a lunch break from 2pm - 4pm, so we figured they were at lunch. But they never came, so that was a lovely waste of hot afternoon. All the restaurants were closed too, except little train cafes, so I´ve been getting more and more accustomed to eating ice cream, chips, croissants, and gummi candy for meals - ick.
Kate was eager to see Sevilla, though, so we decided to go as far as we could. (Pictured is Kate enjoying the lovely combination of orange curtains and torquoise seats on a little regional Portugese train).
Eventually we took a train to the farthest town the trains go in Portugal, then an hour-long taxi ride around 11PM for 40€ to get to the Spanish border, and then since the Spanish train station was locked, we crashed in a budget hotel for only 6 hours of sleep, then got on the next train to Sevilla at 7am.
Maybe this doesn´t sound too bad, I mean, of all places to be stranded, coastal Portugal or Spain, with the nice, balmy evening weather is nice.
But this morning on our way to the train, my ipod went missing. I had it loosely wrapped in a pillow just before we got on the train, and within 3 minutes, it was nowhere to be found. I looked under every seat on the train, so I think some sucker must have swiped it from me. All I can say is I hope they like lots of Disco and 80´s crap. and I hope they don´t mind an iPod that´s 4 years old with a battery life of only 3 hours. Grrrrr.
I was seriously about to call Chris and have him buy me a new one - like now - and FedEx it over to me ASAP, since all the songs are still on my PC back home, when I realized that perhaps I could buy a book and read that on trains instead. (My iPod is my ball and chain, it´s not even funny, this is really going to be a lifestyle adjustment to not have one, plus I had 8 language CD´s from the library saved on it for this trip!!).
My mood slightly improved around 10am when I realized I can probably claim the iPod on my travellers' insurance as personal property theft. That´s a tiny consollation, but I am so sad I won´t have a soundtrack in museums and on trains anymore. Why couldn´t it be stolen on the last week of my trip??? F$%&!