Hot Port and Hot Water Bottles

Have you noticed I have been quieter this week? Well, let me tell you why.

It seems half of the blogging fraternity has come down with the cold and I’m assuming it’s widespread so there are probably many of my readers who have also been struck down with it. If you are suffering, you have my heartfelt sympathy.

A month of sickness

It seems that all I have done this month is fend off sickness. When I arrived here, just over 3 weeks ago, I had streaming eyes and a streaming nose and thought it was a head cold. Thankfully that cleared up overnight and I now think it must have been a reaction to something on the flight for it was during the flight that I began to sneeze repeatedly.

Not long after that I had a swelling just under the right side of my jaw bone and I was feverish with aching joints. Of course, when you have had cancer in the past any swelling that involves lymph nodes is a worry and, in my mind, I had myself dead and buried. Well, thankfully, after a few days of pain relief and using a salt mouthwash that rectified itself.

So all was well until Friday, apart from my usual energy slumps. I needed groceries but really didn’t feel up to the walk to the supermarket so I went to the one that is on a bus route. I got the bus there and walked back. I was feeling reasonable at the time but in the afternoon I knew there was a cold coming on. No amount of Lemsip or hot port was going to knock it on the head, hard as I tried, it hit me fast and it hit me hard.

On the mend?

So, the last 4 days have been spent alternating between the sofa and the bed and involved frequent refilling of my hot water bottle and copious amounts of hot port mixed with Lemsip. Today however, I did manage to get dressed and wash my hair, and went across the road to a little cafe/bar that does food. I didn’t have the energy to cook so I thought I would see what they had on offer. Now I have been I’m kicking myself for not paying them a visit sooner.

The cafe across the street, taken from my balcony.

As usual I was very pleasantly surprised. The lady spoke really good English and explained that they really only did snacks but did have a set lunch menu for €5.70. There was no choice but it included soup, chicken stroganoff with rice, chips and salad, a drink (red wine for me thank you), and coffee. It was excellent but I wasn’t able to finish it, I haven’t had a great appetite since this cold started. The barman came and refilled my wine when it was nearly empty, so in fact I had 2 drinks. When I paid he charged me €6.00, now the extra 30 cents may have been for the bread roll the he brought to my table or maybe it was the cheapest glass of wine I have ever had, at 30 cents, but I wasn’t complaining, it hit the spot.

The main course, Chicken Stroganoff

I came home and slept for another couple of hours until someone upstairs started drilling and hammering, that was the end of my peaceful afternoon.

Moving on

I finish up here tomorrow, the homeowners return around noon and I have 3 nights before my next house sit starts in Lisbon. It had been my intention to go a little further north and visit Guimaraes and Braga but I’m honestly not sure I could cope with traipsing around while feeling like death. On the other hand I know I won’t get a chance to come back to Northern Portugal any other time this year so I’m very torn.

What I have decided to do is stay in Porto tomorrow night because there are still a couple of photos I need to get for one of the blogs I am working on. So I have booked a bed in a hostel for tomorrow night, with dinner included for, wait for it………….€11.53.

Yes, you read that correctly, €11.53!

They do also have double room for around €34 so if I still feel like death tomorrow I might ask to be changed to a private room when I get there. I’m a bit worried about keeping other people awake all night with my coughing. Of course, there may not be anyone else there, a Thursday night in January isn’t the most popular night.

What I do for the other 2 nights is still to be decided. If I do head further north I then have to decide whether to go to Guimares or Braga. There is a hostel in Braga I have been wanting to go to for a couple for years but it’s quirky rather than comfortable so may not be the best option. Braga is very flat though whereas I have read that Guimares has some hills which may be a struggle for my with this cold, I’m like a fish gasping for air at the moment. On the other hand I could just stay in Porto or head to Lisbon. That’s the good thing about being here off season, there shouldn’t be any problem getting a hostel booked.

So there you have it. Possibly the fastest blog I have ever written because it has very few photos, no detailed information or links, just me rambling on a bit and keeping you up to date. You’ll find out when I do what happens next.

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  1. Horrible when you’re feeling rough isn’t it? Especially when you don’t seem to be able to shake it off. Hopefully it’s on the way out now and you’ll be able to enjoy your mini trip north before your next sit. Lisbon sounds good though, how long is that for?


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