March 4, 2000
From Évora to Beja (just another Portalegre) through Albufeira and Tavira, I have arrived by bus in Vila Real de Santónio in the Algarve (Southern Portugal).
It´s a good place to kill an hour or two spending your last escudos before crossing the boarder into Spain, which you can see from across the river.
Getting off the bus, there was a guy asking me if I was Spanish... I told him no, but could tell he had know idea where he was. He was looking for a cheap place to crash for the night, so I brought him to the hostel and he ended up being my room mate for the evening.
A lonely sailor from Morocco (his wife had left him after 3 months at sea) was sightseeing in Portugal before going to a seasonal job in Spain. Apparently, the Moroccan fishermen work the sea hard for many months, then give it a six month rest.
We toured Vila Real de Santónio together, but there wasn`t much to do after the first two hours... we picked up tickets for the ferry, ate and waited.
Not so eventful; however, this guy, Hassan, hardly knows English. We each know about 100 words of Spanish and communicate with those and a lot of inflection and gestures.