August 19, 2005

The IRW in Tavira

Last weekend I was with the trainees in Tavira, on the south coast of Portugal, in the Algarve region. It was a really nice weekend although there was enough place for it to be better.
We left on friday evening with two cars passing through the nice Alentejo region, where I was introduced to the traditional local food which is similar to Transylvanian food. It was a very heavy dish for dinner, with boiled pork parts(like in 'racitura') and fat sausages, blood sausages and boiled cabbage. Also a lot of different types of honey displayed all over the restaurants in nicely decorated pots and jars.

We got to Tavira at 3am and had a water taxi(that was new for me) to the island where we would spend the weekend. Nice thing with having water taxi. I thought we were going to stay on the docks until the morning. So, we finally got to the beach, pitch dark, no moon that night. On phone lights we managed to get some blankets and sleeping bags(I didn't have one the first night) and we slept on the beach. It was really nice, the sand, the sound of the waves and the stars. Maybe a bit cold in the blankets that I had. In the morning I realised that the sand wasn't as clean as I thought with lots of cigar leftovers and other plastic coverings and all.
Saturday at noon the other aiesec-ers showed up. There was only one other trainee, Elif from Turkey, that wasn't from Lisboa, and that we didn't know...She has her traineeship in a small town near Porto where I heard nothing really happends and also she has no ppl to hang out with. Now that is pretty sad. We invited her to pass by Lisboa in the weekends.

The beach was really nice, and the ocean surprinsingly warm. Probably because of the mediterranean influence and the fact that it was more south. During midday it was too hot though. The island, more like a sandstripe between the lake and the ocean, was nice, a couple of bars and restaurants, nothing fancy, fit the picture perfectly. And a camping where we were supposed to stay, but had no more room :(. So for the second evening we remained at the same spot. This time i got a sleeping bad fortunately enough, because I kinda' fell asleep on one of the greek's towels and they were kind enough to suggest a better place :p. So I kinda mixed drinks that night. Started with a nice sangria then cachasa, beer.

We had dinner at one of the restaurants on the island. Really great, I had grilled fish which was really tasty. Went perfectly with the sangria. Not much aiesec activities though, actually nothing really that would remind me of the stuff going on back home. It was good that there were no conferences, boring meetings and all, but maybe some planned activities would have been nice.

The second day was also nice, but the salt which was all over me(especially in the hair) and the lack of showers, the heat and all, made it a bit less exciting than the previous day. Not to mention that at lunch we had to wait for 3 hours for the damn chicken or 'frango' which in the end wasn't even all chicken 'cause the waiter missunderstood 40 dishes with 14.

That evening we came back to Lisboa, just in time for the U2 concert which started at 10 in the evening :((. I didn't go because I really didn't have 250E to pay for the streetprice of the ticket