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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

An Adventure in Troia

Here is my diary entry for one of the strangest days that we had in Portugal and probably the strangest day in my life. Hope you enjoy and see the funny side like I do.


Day 48 - 13/8/11 - An Adventure in Troia


We went to Setubal as we knew that there was a festival there. We took a look around and found no sign of a festival so asked in the tourist information who told us it was on the peninsula across the bay. This required a ferry and a short walk so off we went. 
As we got off the ferry we asked at what looked like an outdoor living room the way to go. They told us it was about an hours walk and that the other ferry was much closer to the place. So we set off walking.
The ferry had dropped us at Troia, a town/complex with only one road in and out. The whole place looked fake, very clean, modern and white, almost like a film set. It felt like being in the Sims or the Truman show. It was odd but more peculiar things where waiting. 
We walked in the heat, resting in any shade we found and drinking plenty of water. We reached a gate and a guards hut, the entrance to the area and halfway into our walk, exhausted. It didn’t help that we had walked a few km in just flip-flops. The guard said a bus came and went from the other ferry and that we could get a free lift which pleased us. 
We arrived and saw a drinks tent, so, very thirsty we stopped here. A very drunk man, but nice, started talking to us to practice his English. Most of it made no sense probably due to the beer. He looked like he had been drinking for a long time, his eyes where bloodshot, he had foam at the corners of his mouth and was a bit crazy. He also had spittle flying when he talked. Because of this I suggested to Sam he may have rabies and she too as she was now covered in his saliva. 

The festival grounds
We eventually got away from Rabies man and took a look around. There where 3 stalls, the drinks tent, a sweet shop ad a trouser stall. That was all and many boats. People camp here then go out on boats at night. It was very odd and seemed like a refugee camp with happy people who all know each other. Walking here we met Rabies man again for another English lesson.

The main boats
We wanted to go from this odd peninsula. It seemed we were trapped on a strange island. We went back for the bus but it had gone so we had to wait 1/2 hour for the next one to arrive. We decided to get a drink which was when Rabies man came back for yet another conversation. This time it was “confirmed” that he had rabies as he refused water saying he couldn’t drink it. So he had rabies it seems (or just very drunk, one or the other). I kept looking for the bus and could see that Sam was doing the same thing, especially as the man was making even less sense.
To our relief the bus eventually came but rabies guy wanted us to stay. So we said we would just go and ask when the bus was going and he said “O.K” or something about petrol and the earths blood. We just got on the bus and waited for it to leave. I’ve never felt as out of place as I did here.  

The drunk fishermen

Where the bus stopped still left us a 5 minute walk to the ferry. We got here tired and found we had to buy tickets from by where the bus dropped us off. Since by now Sam had a blister I went back for the tickets. They were even further away than we had been told. The ticket place had no information or signs only that I asked a guard where to go was I able to find it. So after a 10 minute extra walk (and a jog as the ferry was now docked) we sailed back to setubal and the real world. 
After docking we were extremely hungry as all we had eaten was candy floss. We didn’t want to eat on the main road as the traffic was heavy and right next to the tables so we walked into the centre. Here we found a nice little restaurant and I had the biggest steak I have ever seen. It was the size of the plate, came with rice and chips and a salad at a cost of only €10. It tasted really good. 

Me and my big steak (notice the chunk already eaten)

After this we had  planned on watching the boats leave the festival at about 9:30pm but our waitress informed us that they didn’t leave until after midnight at the earliest. We decided not to wait. On the way back to the car I took some nighttime street photos then we had tea and cake before coming home for a well earned rest. 

A Setubal street
One of the many dolphin statues