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TOM COOKS - Adventurer, hobo, cook

WINdestructible

Obrigado Pedro: finding solace in the sol

It took me 18.34 minutes to pack everything up and leave camp as quietly as possible. It was my first time unpitching this tent; why train and check your equipment when you can spend almost 20 mins in a ditch, right?

The more I will do this, the more I will tune my packing skills and get better at it; as with everything, no rush.

As I dragged my bones down the mountain i was bitchslapped by the early morning breeze and the perfume of eucalyptus.

I reached the central square of Sintra and found cheap coffee, a toilet and a wall socket to juice up my phone - primal needs and bullshit solved

Signed in with a disposable email to the free  Wi-Fi and bam notification: Catarina from Couchsurfing sent you a message

This lovely woman told me her house is full but if I am in need maybe she has a couch for me. I politely declined, last thing I want is to be a burden to someone that is so kind with me when she already has a family with and a house full of guests to take care of.

The sun rises on the mountain I just got down of, shining on the remains of the moorish castle. I had way too much heavy baggage on my arms to attempt reaching the top and stealth camp there. I accept my defeat - um dia vou te conquistar filho da puta, até logo

Sintra is too pricey and touristic, and there is no way I can come up with some artisanal goods to build and sell to tourists on the 25th of april (national Liberation day); so I resolve to take a train back to the capital and send some more requests on CS and Warmshowers while I wait.

I meet an elder German couple, we chitchat about the seashell I hung outside of my bag; this lovely lady has been doing the Camino de Santiago twelve years ago, when there weren't as many services as the ones I had during my 2013 adventure

One last wifi login before i shut down the phone to save batteries and bam, notification: some Couchsurfing Saint named Pedro just saved your ass

This guy's kindness and generosity is up to par with the breathtaking view from his sunny balcony and the bacalhao com batatas ao forno he shared with me.

I try to be helpful in the house as much as I can, but he tells me to relax and that he will take care of everything.

He adds that if I want I can also stay for the next night too; as if he and his friend Georgina hadn't been already doing enough great things for me!

I pitch my tent on his balcony, take a shower and do much needed washing of socks that smell like rotten dog.

I embrace the sunset and my more civilized armpits, with clean clothing as we share wine.

The next day I spent the morning in Gulbenkian park, filming some shots for the next video.

Nature quietly wakes up to the buzzing of  lawnmowers and leaf blowers used by the park staff.

0.70€ of fruits at a nearby supermarket, a coffee and a pastel de nata make for a nice lunch in the sun while I recharge my devices with my solar panel and refill my bottle by the fountain.

I catch up with Vítor, a great friend that asked me to sleep at the hostel where he works. He has always been mega kind and tells me again that he can maybe ask to his boss to give me a discount, but I decline out of pride: I should be on a bike and go, if misarrangements keep me locked here I should desenmerdar-me with my available means and not abuse anyone's contacts, let alone work-related ones.

Back at home I cook the vegetables I bought for my hosts and crash in bed. A lovely girl sent me a message on CS, maybe she can offer me a place where to stay tomorrow.

This morning, as I pack up my belongings, I drink coffee with Georgina.

She tells me that what you need, and not what you desire, comes to you one way or the other. I agree 101% and I hope she can do the Camino de Santiago she is planning to do one day, because that's there I have learned that paradigm.

Waiting for a confirmation from my possible CS host, let's see what happens.

In the meantime remember to stay awesome and kick ass

Over and out,

Tom