We were planning our move from Salir do Porto to Chinicato, a small town 10 minutes outside Lagos. Lagos is a tourist heaven for people everywhere in Europe, lots of music, beaches and partying. Central Portugal had enough of us, time to move on and see more of our fabulous country. We needed to find some work and the Algarve is hopping!.
To get anything done here in Portugal, it’s important to have a friend have a “connection”, it’s usually someone’s cousin. From car repairs, haircuts, the best butcher, everything, you have to be “introduced” by your friend, maybe have a coffee, if they like you get some great deals.
Louie, our best friend and also a fantastic musician had a friend that owned a car rental, he got us an unbelievable deal on a moving truck. Louie also offered to help us move! We were all boxed up and ready, Louie pulls up with a rather large truck (how did we get so much stuff?) and all of a sudden outcome the boys from downstairs with their Dad, to help. These are our landlords, I wasn’t sure if they wanted to help or really wanted to get rid of us. All of men are packing like pros, soon all that’s left is smudged windows and memories.
After a quick dinner we hit the highway. Louie behind the wheel and all three of us on the big bench seat. Whoever sat in the middle is the boss because that seat is the highest, they got to pick the music and decide when to stop for coffee. They also had to keep Louie amused; it was going to be a long night. We take the old highway because the tolls on the super groovy new highways are wallet busters.
Louie and the Citizen (the citizen was in the boss seat) were going over one of their grand schemes and I half listened and stared out into the dark, here and there were clusters of lights, little villages I guessed, but mostly uninterrupted darkness. It was close to 3AM and I was at my “When are we going to get there” stage.
Suddenly, wall to wall buildings. I recognize the names from the bus stops we’ve been at when we took the bus to Lagos. Louie got trapped onto the wrong road by one of the evil traffic circles, that are everywhere in this country. Being a smart guy he asked for directions and we were soon on the way to Chinicato.
“There it is, there it is” I jumped up and down in the seat, take a left. We parked in front of our new digs and checked out the place. I was thrilled Louie liked it; I was thrilled I liked it; I hadn’t seen it for 2 months. We unloaded until 7:30am, by then the guys were going for 12 hours, exhaustion had set in.
Everyone hit a bed with whatever blankets I could find, Louie was going to catch four hours sleep and drive back to Caldas da Rainha. I took the upstairs, when I woke up at one pm Louie was still here. “Ten more minutes” he pleaded, but I jumped on him and told him we were keeping him, he was in the family, Louie, the chickens and bunnies the landlord left.
Now, finally settled in our new house, in our new place with chickens and bunnies, we are waiting for Louie to come back. It’s just not home without him. We just have to get out and meet people and, of course, their cousins.