June 20: Porto Day One

 Costah Street Art in Porto

Costah Street Art in Porto

Ze told me the conditions would not be good for surfing in the morning. I was a little relieved, I needed a break. My body was sore but I kept my joy hidden and planned to spend the whole day in the city. Joana had given me some pointers and a metro card.

After I had a nice breakfast, I left the farm and walked towards the bus stop. The public transportation gods smiled upon me. As I approached the stop, a large bus labeled PORTO came towards me. Perfect!

It only took about twenty minutes to get into the city and I started wandering around for a little bit. I found an information center and the lady who worked there gave me a map and guided me towards a few things to do.

I wandered for bit longer and I went to Liviria Lello a famous bookstore I knew I wanted to visit. It cost four euros to enter but you get the money back if you buy a book. That was fine with me because it helped to control the crowds and luckily, it was not incredibly busy. As I walked around the store, I saw the travel section.

A book popped out at me, 32 road trips in Spain and Portugal.

Hmmm…

I started leafing through it and saw there was an Atlantic Coast Surf Road Trip and an Algarve Beach Road Trip.

Sweet! I would have to rent a car but I was excited about my new plan.

Surfing Road Trip in Portugal

I purchased the book and then found Cafe Candelabro and started some road trip research.

Shortly after I set everything up, a girl sat right next to me.

Her homemade lemonade looked delicious and she let me try it.

Her name was Joana, she was a local, and her boyfriend worked at the café.

After she gave me her lemonade (Obrigada Joana!) and her boyfriend brought her another one, we talked about traveling. Joana was working on saving for a trip to America.

“I don’t really want to go to New York or D.C. I want to see New Orleans and Memphis.”

My mouth dropped, “those are two of my favorite cities! I completely agree with you.”

Then we traded travel knowledge. I gave her the book I had just purchased and she circled the best beaches for surfing while I wrote lists of places to go and things to do in Memphis and New Orleans.

 After we were finished she said,

“Come to my café tomorrow. I’ll serve you lunch.”

We kissed on the cheek Portugese style and she left.

I finished up a few things and then wandered around Porto a bit more. The street art here is amazing. The mayor of Porto has an agreement with street artists so the city is covered in beautiful murals, wheat pastings, and stencils but in a way that’s less aggressive than tagging.

I grabbed dinner at Tasco and then hopped on the bus home.

At first, I was unsure where to get off the bus because there was no designated stop that I knew of on the way back. However, an elder Portuguese lady heard me ask the bus driver about my street earlier and grab my hand when we got to a grocery store. Even though she didn’t speak English she pulled me off the bus with her and pointed.

I was a little confused but then I walked to the other end of the grocery store and saw my street behind the shopping complex.

Ah ha!

I smiled and waved at her and she did the same.

What would we do without grandmas?