After a breakfast at the hotel in Evora, we headed for our next stop--Lisbon.
|Evora rooftop breakfast space|
We got into our lovely room after only a few minutes of waiting. I think the desk staff wanted us out of the lobby and to make us happy they hustled and got our room ready. After a picnic lunch in our room of the foods we'd bought in Sagres a couple of days ago, we laid down for a brief nap before heading out into the world of Lisbon.
The nap turned into an afternoon of doing laundry in the sink and tub of our hotel room. And while we are on the subject of travel and laundry, here is my strategy for doing your laundry on the go. First, as I have already written in an earlier entry, laundry is immensely easier if you buy the right travel clothes to begin with. Materials that resist wrinkling and that dry quickly help a lot. This type of clothing is available on-line and at stores that cater to travel, adventure and hiking. REI is one close to where we live but you get the idea.
When we travel anywhere for any length of time, we have learned to take only one carry-on piece of luggage and a day pack. You save money since the airlines don't charge you for carry-ons. Pack lightly! We place our carry-on on the bed in the guest room and pack several days in advance. Then we start thinking about what we've packed and whether we really need each item. If we can't convince ourself of its importance, out it goes.
We are on a 5 week trip that takes us to both warm and cold climates. So we pack with the idea of layering. 2-3 t-shirts, 3-4 shirts (2 long and 2 short sleeves), 3 pairs of pants (2 everyday and 1 for out someplace nice) and a swim suit. I took two pairs of underwear and 5 pair of socks. Two pair of shoes, one for hiking around towns with those nasty cobblestones and the other, also well made but for a nice evening out. Extra shoes and socks are also important because of how hard you're making your feet work. Switch shoes every other day and maybe change your socks for the evening. It'll freshen your feet up and make you feel better all over.
I keep my meds and hygiene items in a zippered bag (get one of these at REI as well. They are great organizers) and I keep it in my day pack. If I wind up having to put my luggage in the plane's hold, I want to have these items with me in case the airline looses my luggage. Believe me, that happens more often than you think. I also carry my camera, lenses and flash in my day pack along with my C-PAP machine. With all that, I also have my iPad and all the cables and adaptors needed to survive. How do I get all that in the day pack? I found a really well designed pack! You probably don't need all the stuff I listed but do keep whatever is absolutely a must-have with you not your luggage. I even put one pair of underwear and socks in that day pack so I can survive without my luggage for at least a few days should I have to. It won't be pretty, but I can do it until my luggage catches up with me.
When I arrive at a new hotel, all the stuff in the day pack comes out and it becomes my pack for hiking around the city, holding only my camera gear and a jacket. Money, important documents, charge cards, proof of insurance all go in my money belt. Don't have one? Don't travel without one. Period. I keep only few a dollars at a time in my pocket and never carry a wallet.
Now, how can you do your laundry without having to spend a day at a laundromat, which means getting the right change, buying laundry soap that spills all over and then hoping a washer and dryer don't eat your clothes or money?
I simply use the soap the hotel provides, the sink or tub for larger items or loads. First, get some hot water going and place the item or items to be washed into the water soaking them well. Pull up the parts that get the smelliest. Be aware of any stained spots. These are the areas where I apply the soap and the most elbow grease when I scrub. Now, vigorously rub the material together wherever you want to really clean. Knead the article of clothing, squeezing it and pushing it up and down in the water like your washer at home would do. Drain the sink, squeezing the clothing to extract water as you go until the sink is drained and as much water is squeezed out as possible. Except for the soap application, repeat this process once or twice more until the water draining out is clear. Squeeze, twisting the clothes as you go until as much water is out as is possible. Find a spot to hang up the article so air can circulate and dry it faster. Turn it occasionally to aid the process. If possible place the clothes in a sunny or warm place.
Hotels don't like it when you hang dripping clothes in their wooden closets or over the balcony so passersby can see it. So use some caution in that regard. Many travel clothes will air dry overnight and be ready to tuck back into your luggage. Heavier clothes like my favorite pair of jeans I never leave home without, will take at least a full day to dry. If I'm out of time and must move on, I'll hang them over the back seat in the rental car.
Nap over, Leslie headed out to scope out the city while I stayed in for a night off. Got a lot done doing that. With two days here in Lisbon, I was able to wash out a lot of clothes that will easily dry before we have to leave. And I was able to catch up on my journaling.
Leslie came back excited about the city and she had laid her plans for how we would spend our day tomorrow. With that, we headed off to an early bedtime. Big day tomorrow!