This time though I can't sleep. Woke up 2:30am and it's now 5:30-ish. My alarm is set for 6:01 so I can take the 8:00 comboio to Fatima. Not sure it's gonna happen. I had an excellent day yesterday. Slept till 11am. Had coffee and sopa de grão at The Black Corvus. Then I took a walk to Elevador de Santa Justa and climbed to the viewpoint to take a few pictures. What a beautiful view! (I'll add pictures when I get to computer). Afterwards, I walked down through Carmo and back I by the water side. I stopped by Praça do Comércio and lots of people were lying around and hanging out by at the promenade enjoying the weather which is now much warmer. Looking at a map, I saw that Torre de Belém was 6.5km away walking by the water. So I walked there stopping along the way only to take in the views. The walk took about 2 hours - fairly easy without my backpack. By 5:30pm the weather was much cooler, the sky was grey and overcast. The temperature had dropped to a very comfortable level but it did not rain. Walking back, after crossing the main road through an underground tunnel, I asked two women for directions to get back to Cais de Sodré. They were Brazilians - mother and daughter who were sightseeing before the daughter was heading over to Spain for a year of study abroad. Yes, we had a whole conversation in 30 seconds! The young exchange student told me enthusiastically to walk over to the monastery ahead of us and veer to the right of the building where I could take bus 714 to Cais de Sodré. And btw, she said, you have to eat a pastel at the famous Pateis de Belém right across the street from the bus stop!!! €1 each but so worth it!!! So I did. I went into the pastelaria, had three pasteis and two coffees!! They were warm, crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside - very decadent. A happy camper, I took the bus back to Cais. As I was getting off the bus someone said there was a bomb threat at the Cais de Sodré station that afternoon. My heart sank. Later, when I back to The Black Corvus to say good-bye to João, I found out that it was an empty threat at the station. João was already closing for the night but insisted in serving me another sopa de grão. We said our good byes and I thanked him for his warm hospitality.
Well, the answer is simple. I grew up listening to my dad telling me about having the best time in Portugal and Spain. He loved it. He wanted to go back and walk the Camino de Santiago. He wanted to do this with his good friend, and my godfather, Moreira. My father passed in 2012, the day after he turned 75. He never walked to Santiago. I am walking in his honor. I am walking for my dad. It's not repentance; it's not a religious quest. It just something that reminds me of my father and his stories. He liked to talk, flourishing his speech is ways I am not capable of doing. When he talked he made Portugal and Spain sound magical. He was keen on speaking in family gatherings because he always had something to say. Since he was the elder of the family, everyone stopped and listened. I stopped and listened. I miss listing to his voice. I miss having a conversation with him. So I am going to walk his walk. It was his walk. It is now my walk.