So your chain comes off your bike? What of it…

14 Aug

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Cycling back from Porto to Lavadores, I got separated from the main group. Well my chain kept coming off, and as my hands were getting more and more oily, the others kind of got bored of waiting for me. So I turned my misfortune into a major opportunity.

Deciding thatI needed to wash my hands I pulled my limping bicycle to a lamp post – chained it up and told it in no uncertain terms that I was severely disappointed in its behaviour. I headed to a local bar in Afurada to wash my hands. When I returned not only had my bike been mended, but a local fisherman called Antonio had poured a glass of wine and in broken French, Spanish and Portuguese he told me he had sorted it and would I like to join him and his family for lunch.

Needless to say I joined them, and their hospitality, conversation and company made this a life affirming experience.

He had lived in the house all his life and went out for 18 hours every three days to catch Bream, Sea Bass and Mackerel in the Atlantic. The Dourada (bream) we had on the barbecue was the best I have ever tasted, and for sure the wine and conversation across three languages was amazing and invigorating.

We talked about the cost of living in Europe, football, making theatre, catching fish, bringing up children, and where we would most like to live in the world. I have been invited back with my family for us all to eat in his house.

I felt honoured and humbled by their generosity of spirit

I set off thanking him and Arture for their hospitality and bike mending skills and looked at the view and felt that on days like this it is more than good to be really alive…

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