Next morning I got up early in my bid to escape from the evil clutches of The Toothless Hag and her Hairy Creature. As I closed my door so the other door of the creature’s lair opened, and out stepped……..a waiter! It turned out this young, but hairy, waiter lives in the room opposite mine, and had been washing his uniform in the bucket I had seen the day before. I caught a glimpse of his room and noticed that, sure enough, it was barely big enough for his bed whilst all his belongings lay either around the bed or hung up on the whitewashed walls. I felt really sorry for this guy. This was obviously his home and as a poor waiter this was all he could afford to live in. Here we were surrounded by all these holiday makers, wallets bulging with euros, surrounded by these rich golfers, surrounded by hoteliers making cash money, yet this poor guy was probably working in some sh!tty restaurant, receiving abuse all day from Scousers demanding bacon and eggs, and getting paid very little.
I made my way back to Portimao and hit an internet café, whereupon I got in contact with a guy in Amsterdam, Paul, who’s looking to sail at the beginning of October. With the difficulties I had faced trying to get into the marinas in the Algarve this was an attractive option, so I told Paul I’d sleep on it and get back to him next week.
Feeling a little better I headed back to the youth hostel in Portimao and hooked up with Mario, a young, idealistic communist from the north of Portugal. Within five minutes of meeting him he’d skinned up and we’re best buddies. Over the next couple of days Mario would try to teach me Portuguese. Every time I repeated a word he would tell me I’d said it wrong. He’d repeat it again, this time sounding completely different. Every time he taught me a new word I never learned it as he corrected me over and over again, repeating the word with different emphasis each time.
Over the next few days I hang out with him and have a good laugh, hanging out by the pool in the youth hostel and the beach, Praia de Rocha, which is about 3 km from Portimao. Despite the horrendous number of hotels and Scousers, the beach was pretty cool. Having decided that I will be joining Paul in Amsterdam to make a second attempt at my Trans-Atlantic crossing I figured I’d kill some time in Portugal in the Algarve, making the most of the weather and topping up my tan.