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The last port of call – Lisbon

Tue 14 Jan ’14 – day 31  The journey up the River Tagus was much better than our arrival on New Year’s Eve when the low mist prevented us even seeing the shore.  It was a little cool, but the visibility wasn’t bad and I managed to get some photos of the landmarks as we proceeded upstream towards our berth.

However before we were moored alongside in Lisbon it was time for my final seaweed sweat and full body massage.  An hour and a half later I felt much improved compared with the tight and sore muscled person who had boarded in Southampton before Christmas.  Having built up a great deal of aches and pains during my 100 day trip overland & sea to Japan last year, it was good to have finally had everything pushed and prodded back into place.

The weather was sunny, if a little cool when I walked from the ship passed a poster of Eusébio, the Portuguese footballer who set the 1966 World Cup alight and who had recently died, then into the centre of the city and this was just a means of getting some exercise rather a sightseeing trip.

Having bought the last postcards and stamps on this trip I had a cup of coffee and ham roll before heading back to the ship on the shuttle bus.

It was a beef curry for lunch then time to read the English newspapers and do the Sudoku; fairly easy today.

The Captain gave his final departure update on this cruise and warned that the ship would be encountering swells throughout the night and tomorrow, however they would not be as bad as those on the trip down.  The mooring lines were let go and having used the thrusters to move clear of the berth we headed downstream and the city lights twinkled as dust fell.

The statute of Christ the Redeemer was floodlit and looked spectacular, whereas the Monument to Henry the Navigator was all in darkness; a couple of spotlights would have made a great difference.

The traffic crossing the bridge on the wire mesh decking makes the humming like noise and along with the trains rumbling over the river on the lower deck, it can be quite noisy as you pass underneath.  There was quite a number of people out on the open decks watching the transit down river with most wrapped up against the cool breeze and they watched in disbelief as I went passed in shorts and a polo shirt – probably thinking who is that mad person.

More interesting talk at dinner and these were some of the best dining companions I have ever had the pleasure of being with.

The ship was now heading north and we got up to leave we all had to grab the table as the ship lurched.

A nightcap in the Crow’s Nest meant that the level of drink on the bar moved as the ship pitched and rolled.  Outside the windows it is pitch black with not a light in sight even though we are in the traffic separation system which means that all northbound ships are inshore, with those travelling in the opposite direction farther out to sea.

Easy listening music rounds off the evening.