I awoke early in Tangier to catch the ferry across to Algeciras, Spain. Once in Algeciras it was already hot even though it was still 9am, and I went to speak to some truckers, and although there were 3 headed to Portugal, one would leave that night, one the next morning, and the other one didn’t know when his cargo would arrive from Morocco. I was going to try a bit harder but given all the horror stories I’ve heard about getting lifts in Spain, I decided I would take a bus to Sevilla first and then see what happened.
In Sevilla I managed to get on the main road heading to the highway towards Huelva, but no luck at all. People would avoid eye contact, others would honk bemusedly…it was hot. Hot, hot, hot. The police showed up telling me to get off the road and refused when I asked for a lift off the road, so I had to walk back to my original starting point…lucky enough, there was a bus headed to Portugal in less than an hour, so I gave up and passed out in the air-conditioned bus. At Faro, I switched to a bus heading to Lisboa, and was surprised by how many Africans there were on the bus. Of course, it made sense. My first contact with the Portuguese language was in Guinea-Bissau, and I knew that there were plenty of other former Portuguese colonies in Africa, but for some reason I hadn’t imagined that there would be many blacks in Portugal. Well, I was surrounded, and they were friendly, with their rolling mumbly accents and my exhausted, Brasilian Portuguese…they helped me contact Eduardo who put me in touch with his best friend in Lisboa, and I was ready to end this long travel day.
Once in Lisboa I waited in Baixa-Chiado until Ze Pedro left the cinema, and then I met him in Roma. He and his Spanish girlfriend Ana welcomed me, and it was so nice to be received into a home of friends of friends.