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We were in disarray. The clothes we had worn to Lisbon the day before were soaking wet. The night had only evenly distributed the wetness and imbued the thickest garments with a mildewy smell. All the clothes I'd brought for warmth were wet: my jacket, my sweater, my scarf. We were not happy.
We decided to leave Lisbon. And once again, yes, we got lost. It did not seem that we would ever be able to escape NW Lisbon, despite the best efforts of the blue arrows. The traffic jam extended almost to Sintra, where we picked up the road to Hafra, wanting to see the gigantic Palacio National.
Above: Craig puts the finishing touches on the model we will use to trick people into thinking that we have actually visited the Palacio National at Hafra (below).
That place turned out to be interesting, but with the nasty gray and misting weather, and with our still-damp clothes, we were chilly and grumpy. We headed for Ericeira. There we were somewhat cheered by the sight of beaches, fishing boats, and little medieval streets like those we had learned to cope with in the Algarve and the Alentejo. We embedded the car and walked. We began to feel a little better. We had a pretty nice lunch. (I had a weird shrimp and fish bread pudding with cilantro). But we were robbed.
I'd left the camera under the seat, because I could not carry it (as I had before) in my jacket pocket. My jacket was still too wet to wear. Also, like a fool I left my purse cunningly hidden (or so I thought) under a map. Someone jimmied the lock, took the camera and some relatively small number of US dollars, and most considerately did not take my passport, driver's license, ticket home, or Visa. Or any checks.
The wonder for which I am grateful is that the thief did not take my purse somewhere else to rifle it in peace. He left everything but cash, and looked for only cash. He got the camera and the dollars, but that was all. We got off easy, but I was very sorry about the camera. It was a nice one. I had four rolls of film left. Subsequently, lots of good sights went unrecorded by us.
(Craig imagines that the thief got his legs broken after fencing that camera.)
We reported the theft to a nice policeman, who was pained to hear about it. This transaction took place in French, for some reason. As I was still a bit excited, my French was better than usual.
We set off for the southern coast of the Estremadura: Estoril and Cascais. At Cascais we snapped up a room in a B&B called La Palma, which was wonderful, perhaps the nicest hotel we stayed in during the whole trip. We were on the top floor, with a bath and a big bay window.
As we walked through Cascais to the car, I caught sight of a headline: democrats had won two key governor's races. I bought the international Tribune and found that Ann Richards had beaten Clayton Williams. This surely meant that Dan Morales was my new boss.
We couldn't find a decent inexpensive eating place in Cascais. It was all very touristy. We settled for a snack in a pub run by some sort of oddball expatriate Englishman.