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Alcacer do Sal, a Beautiful Little Town – Day 16
Tuesday 28th July 2009 – Portugal
Had a terrible night. The campsite is next to a motorway, and they decided to start digging it up and working on it at 12:00 midnight. The work went on until 5:00am, so didn’t get much sleep at all. I wondered whether that was a bad omen for the day ahead, i hoped not.
I got a text from Mum in the morning saying they’ve wired some money to me from the post office. They used Moneygram as the post office in England told them this was the best way.
I was going to Evora today, but with the current situation i had to change my plans a little. I first had to get some money, and my parents were informed that any post office anywhere will accept Moneygram, so all i had to do was find a post office.
So i packed the tent and went into town in search of a post office. Couldn’t find any, and sat nav didn’t have any, so i wanted to find an information place, but all car parks were private and i couldn’t get anywhere near one. I had to go all the way back into Lisbon where i knew there were post offices. In Lisbon though, it was extremely busy. All the car parks were full, and the ones that weren’t were private, and there was nowhere else i could park. I certainly wasn’t leaving it down a side street miles away, so i drove off. This place is worse than London. I headed out of the city and found a post office and an information place, neither had any idea what i was talking about. I had no option but to head for the next small town in hope of getting some answers, and the next town was Alcacer do Sal.
I arrived at the campsite, fuel running low and had enough money left to book a night with a little left over. It was a nice site with a supermarket next door, and the girl at the reception was very friendly. A map of the town revealed everything that i needed, post office, info place, Internet etc. After putting the tent up i went straight into town, it was only 30 minutes walk.
At the post office, unfortunately, the girl didn’t speak any English, but kept showing me a Western Union form. I didn’t know how to explain that it was Moneygram that i needed, not Western Union. So, off to the Info place.
The girl was so incredibly helpful, and spoke great English, i was in luck. She explained that any post office should help me, but hadn’t heard of moneygram. She tried to ring the post office that had just closed, then rang around without any luck. She said if i come back tomorrow she would go to the post office with me to sort it, so i felt much happier. I left thinking all would be well soon and i could continue my travels. For now though, i could relax and enjoy the small town.
It was a lovely little town, and one that i would never have come to if it wasn’t for my car being broken into, so some good had already come of it. There was a river that ran through the town, they had a bullfighting ring, although I’m not sure if it’s still in use. There were old ladies selling their knitting on an old boat in the high street. It was slow and peaceful, and I’m beginning to realise that i just don’t like the big cities. I sat by the fountain in the park, with a tree shielding the sun from my red, slightly burnt head, and wasted the afternoon relaxing.
It seems strange to me that big cities have so much choice for everything, yet it’s impossible to find anything. Whereas smaller towns have only one or two of just the things that you need, and are so easy to get to.
I scraped together my loose change to get food and water for the evening, and used some of what i had left in the car. Sausages and Mash, lovely. I spent the rest of the evening planning ahead as best i could.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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