05/12/2012 -- By Abby
05.12.2012 - 05.12.2012 13 °C
Today was another travel day, but thankfully it wasn't too long. The trip took about 3 1/2 hours total, but that's including stops and wrong turns. In the morning my parents went on a walk, but were surprised to find that everything was closed that early in the morning. Not wanting to come home empty-handed to a couple of hungry teenagers, they tentitively checked out a 24 hour grocery store, only to find that it too, was closed. But Hannah and I were gracious, and even offered to go out to the store with my mom when it was open. So the three of us went out and picked up some items for breakfast and lunch. Some of the things we got were a baguette, some cheese, a bag of muffins, a yogurt drink and two types of granola bars. We found out that the muffins were most likely cupcakes, as they had a light glaze on top and were very sweet and had a hint of lemon. We also got a package of what we thought was turkey. At the checkout my mother had a very impressive conversation with the cashier, all of which was in Spanish. The conversation consisted of a greeting, asking how many bags we would like (which my mother responded to with "dos"), and then a goodbye. But unfortunately not all of it was a success. When the casheir bid us a good morning/good day (Buenos dias), my mom responded with "Buenas tardes", which unfortunately means good afternoon. But we forgave her, and comforted her on the way home. By the time we left our cramped, blindingly pink room (which my parents described as a cozy, cute palace) we were full of yogurt, fruit and "muffins", and we were ready to drive, or in my case, ready to go back to sleep. By the time I woke up we were at the border between Spain and Portugal. There were a couple tough looking border guards, which we approached slowly in our car. When my dad rolled down the window the guard looked at us with a look of great confusion and waved us forward. Apparently there are no questions, pat downs or car checks, just a couple of security guards with stern expressions. My theory is that when you look at them their stares are supposed to make you so guilty that if you are smuggling something illegal over the border you will declare it straight away.
When we got onto the highway we drove for a little, and soon noticed that there was an exit. Not thinking much about it we drove on, until my mom piped up with a little concern. The exit had apparently been for foriegn cars entering Portugal, and you needed to get your card and license registered at the toll. So we went off at another exit and turned around at the rotary. We had to drive a while back, but in the end we got my dad's card connected to out license plate. The tolls here are a lot more efficient. They consist of only a camera which takes a picture of your license plate as you drive down the road, and automatically charges you a €1,50. But we are a little concerned as the car is a rental, and when we return it our card will still be registered with the license plate. But we aren't going to worry about that just yet. So we moved on, and the drive was quite uneventful, so I passed the time by sleeping some more. We later stopped for lunch, which was a cold and windy affair. When we got on the road again we decided to get out the chocolate, and between the four of us, quickly devoured a bar. Until we got closer to our destination the drive was still quiet and slow. The only really exciting thing that we expereinced was a time change, we were granted an extra hour. So now we are only eight hours ahead of our Victorian friends.
When we got into the city it was a little harder to navigate, but in the end we did find a shopping centre that housed a grocery store, and decided to go in a get some things for dinner, and breakfast for the next morning. The shopping went well and we quickly found our final destination. It is called a campground, but there are little houses that the information officer described as bungalows. It is a very small but comfortable area, and my dad likes to describe it as a garden shed. But thankfully our garden shed is warm and nicely furnished, and it even has a deck, and some outdoor furniture. We have a nice view from the back part of our house, and can see it easily as the front/back door is a large sliding door that also doubles as a window.
For dinner we had a salad, some broccoli and some roasted (then fried) chicken. I opted for a different meat than chicken, as it's something I don't particularly enjoy. I got some meat patties, which we fried. In portuguese meat is called carne, so if you want to get all specific, then for dinner I had some nice round "carne patties". After we cleared up we played two family games, Wizard and Dutch Blitz. Hannah won at Wizard, and I won at the other. It's nice that kids win games nights instead of the adults...the tables are finally turning. But this means that my parents are soon going to introduce a game that they used to play all the time as kids...just so they can keep experiencing the feeling of winning. But overall the day was pretty good, nothing really exciting, but also no big problems...which is just the travel day I like.