Dear Travel Diary,
Thursday was a long day. When I got on the train at Esmoriz it was a little before 1 pm. I had to change trains at Ovar. The train for Lisbon Oriente was late. I didn’t arrive at Oriente station until nearly half-past-four and I had no idea what to do next. Did I need to take another train, a bus, or use the metro? I went to the information office at the station, found out I had to do all three, and ended up spending another €7.95 before I finally arrived at Caparica. That may not sound too bad, but the distance between the station and my rented room is only 20km. The journey from Esmoriz to Lisbon Oriente is around 280 km and it cost me €23.55. To make another comparison, the distance between Esmoriz and Porto is around 23km and it only used to cost me €2.10 to travel by train. I have a feeling living in this area is going to be more expensive.
When I first arrived in Portugal, the guy at the train station in Porto gave me a cardboard, reusable ticket, with a chip inside. Every time I wanted to travel by train I put the ticket in a machine, dropped in some cash, and I was good to go. That card only works in the North of Portugal. I needed a new one for the Lisbon area. It cost me €1.30. Then I had to pay a further 50 cents for a short train ride to the station at Roma-Areeiro.
When I arrived at Roma-Areeiro, I was able to use the ticket I’d just bought but not the same train company. Thus far, I’d only travelled with the main train company in Portugal (Comboios de Portugal). Now I needed to go to Almade station, but Comboios de Portugal don’t have trains running that route. I had to use a train from a company called Fertagus instead and it appears to be a more pricey company because the journey from Roma-Areeiro to Almada cost me €1.95.
While I was sitting on the train to Pragal, I still had no idea what to do next, but I was lucky. I met a very nice girl who told me I should stay on the train, ride past the Almade stop, get off at Pragal with her instead and then continue my journey by metro. She even walked with me to the metro and told me where to go next. Apparently, for the next step of my journey to Caparica, I needed to go to Cacilhas and then catch the bus to Costa Caparica. Using the metro was no problem. I was able to use my new ticket again. The journey to Cacilhas cost me 85 cents. The bus journey from Cacilhas to Costa Caparica was another €3.35.
Sitting on the bus, I still had no idea where I needed to get off, but I knew if I stayed on the bus until I reached the coast I would have a lot of walking to do. I’ve been in situations like this before, so I knew what to do. I pulled up my destination on Google Maps and tracked my location. When I was about 15 minutes from where I needed to be, I got off the bus and continued on foot. It was raining and by the time I arrived at my new home for a month, it was gone half-past-eight and already dark. Then came the unpacking and all the other important stuff, like connecting my computer and phone to the Wi-Fi system in the house. It turned out to be quite a long day. I had a lot to do yesterday as well. I had to find a supermarket, buy some groceries and get me some beer. Before I could drink the beer I had to do some work.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do today, but I’m in a very nice area. Caparica Beach is a few miles away, but the landscape here is fantastic. Lots of rolling hills and plenty of green grass, flowers, and trees. For now, I’m sitting on the balcony and putting my feet up. My laptop is here with me, sitting on my knee.