Day 27 - 28 Recovery (again)

8 - 9 January 2022

Saturday -

It has rained for two days. Even if I was feeling great I probably would have stayed in Porto. 

I am not that sick. If it was 2018, pre-COVID, I would be at work. Riding is different. You need your lungs. Riding in the rain sick. I will pass.

There are worse places in the world to spend a few days recovering. Our room in Porto has double doors. Overlooks the city toward the harbor. A balcony.

The pharmacy here is light with medication. You can get better meds at the supermarket. I have some cough medicine. Paracetamol. All is well.

We headed out and explored. Checked out the historic bookshop Livraria Lello. We had to queue. I am not a fan of the queue. It is what tourists do. I have never queued for something that has been worth it. The Taj Mahal comes to mind.

I love books. The Livraria Lello has historical relevance. Over a century in operation. One of the oldest bookshops in Portugal. It is a beautiful building. I would love to have it to myself for a few hours. It was filled with tourists. Not my cup of tea. It does have a first edition Orwell. All is forgiven.

“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.” ― Oscar Wilde

The streets are mazes. It is fun getting lost here. Plenty of side streets. Lots of specialty shops. It is a tourist trap. Has that feeling. Everything is old, but polished. It is all a little clean and too shiny.

We have found a restaurant. Family owned. The produce is local, from their own garden. The food is delicious. Laurear. We order sopa. Vegetables and Pica-Pau. A mixed grill.

Tonight’s wine (I am sick, not dead) -

2017 Adega das Mouras Conde de Arraiolos Superior

Sunday -

My worst day.

I lay in bed most of the day.

I start to feel better around 2.00 pm. By 5.00 pm I am feeling the best I have felt in days. Shell cared for me all day. She does have the tough love thing going. But when I am properly sick, she is gentle.

Shell reads to me the story of Baktash Abtin. An Iranian poet who was imprisoned in September on ‘security charges’. He is the same age as me. He was transferred to hospital in December and died of COVID today. I have been reading his poetry. A tragic loss.



مثل صدای رودخانه شور می زند

و دست های تو که نمی دانند

چگونه عاشق بشوند !

ومن که باید از کلمه پایین بریزم

که بگویم


چطور !

و فالگیر بیاید

و در چشم های من

دنبال نامی که سال ها ...


استکان چای

و قالیچه ی روی تخت

“My Heart - 

My heart

is anxious

like the sound of the river.

and your hands that

don’t know how to fall in love!

After I descend these words,

I can ask



The fortune teller comes to

look for a name in my eyes …

The little rug,

a cup of tea and

I, on the bed

are waiting!” - Baktash Abtin

We head out around 6.00 pm for dinner. Back to Laurear. Sopa. Vegetables and Polvo Especial. Octopus. It boggles the mind why this is not served in every coastal town in Australia. It is wonderful. So is the local leite creme. A cross between crème brûlée and crema catalana. So good.

A glass of vino tinito. A glass of port. No bottle today. I am sick, so best be cautious.

Read until I fall asleep.

The rain clears tomorrow according to the unreliable weather site.



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