Navigation Skills

It is funny what you forget after several years of travelling only sporadically and within the comfort of my own Province. Truth be told, it really wasn’t all that funny at the time. Renting a car seemed to be an excellent idea six months ago when planning the trip, however, small details like a navigation system in a foreign language didn’t cross my mind. We arrived in Faro, which by the way is a 35 minute flight, after a five hour delay in Lisbon and after wearing a mask for 18 hours. Masks get rather gross after several hours, thank goodness I packed extra in my carry on. Undeterred by the pouring rain that greeted us, we collected our bags and happily sought out our car rental desk. All went according to plan, the car was brought to curb, loaded in the rain by the service guy and we were ready to go. Except, we weren’t. I didn’t have a clue how to get to Estoi, but figured the navigation system would lead the way. The navigation system was all set to do its job in … Portuguese. After about 20 minutes of trying to figure it out, I broke down, turned my cell phone data on, searched google maps for the directions, screen shot the directions, and feeling very clever, set off with Derek navigating. A few traffic circles later we waved as we passed the car rental place (again) still on airport property. I must confess that traffic circles here in Portugal are my friend, every time you make a wrong turn or miss the turn you need, not to worry, the next traffic circle will allow you to backtrack easily. When we finally successfully navigated out of the airport property and onto the desired highway, the fun really started. More traffic circles, more pull offs to consult the navigation system map. The fundamental problem was the women speaking back to me in Portuguese in the car, that and the fact that the scale of the map was too small and we couldn’t figure out where we were on the map. When we finally made it to Estoi, finding the Pousada where we were to stay, was the final challenge. Narrow lanes, limited directional signs and more curvy round streets (no street grid system here) added to our already frazzled and exhausted state. Walking into our room was bliss! We have arrived!

Waiting for us in our room, a welcome site when we finally arrived.

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