Faro, Portugal, Wednesday November 29, 2916

I’m actually started to write this entry yesterday evening, because I knew I would not have much time this morning before leaving for the train station. I am on an early train to Lisbon. However, the train has free WiFi, so I hope to finish the blog entry here.

I arrived in Faro yesterday evening by bus from Huelva, Spain, and I didn’t have time to do much more that shower and sleep. Then, I had to leave the hostel before breakfast to get to the train station on time, but the good people in the hostel were kind enough to fix me a sack breakfast to carry with me, which I ate in the train station.

I did see the sad report of the chartered plane crash on TV yesterday evening before I hit the hay. So sad. An entire soccer team and more than two dozed journalists were reported killed.

Why do they call the place where I stayed last night a “youth” hostel? When I left Faro about two weeks ago, there was an elderly woman staying there who is originally from South Africa but who has been living in Portugal for decades. She’s still there! She must be around 70 years old. I try to stay away from her, because she’s told me several times that I am “a nice-looking man.”

My Italian roommate was 80 years old. We didn’t communicate well, because he is even harder of hearing than I am, and his language skills are limited. Italian is one language I have never learned, but he understands Spanish and responds in a mixture of Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. He told me that he has traveled the world and picked up the bit of Spanish he speaks in Latin America. He was proud of having taken part in a master’s run in Toronto. I hope I am still active and traveling when I reach his age.

It became very apparent to me before I left Huelva that it is a shrinking city. There are many barricaded buildings that once held businesses. Below is a picture of two abandoned business next to each other in the same building.

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You also notice it at the bus station. Below is a photo of the interior. Admittedly, if I had chosen a different time, there would have been a few more people inside, but there would by no means have been a crowd. The bus station is two stories (or storeys, if you prefer) high, but the upper floor is closed off and vacant. Some of the ticket windows are also abandoned, and there were few people standing at those that were still open.

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Outside, there were more people waiting to board buses, but most of the bus bays were empty. When my bus arrived, I believe from Seville, I was the only person to get on. There less than a dozen passengers already on the bus. I was also the only passenger to get off  in Faro. I assume the others were going through to Lisbon.

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This train is also not very full, but it stops at many small towns on the way, so it may fill up. I hope the weather clears up. I walked to the hostel in light rain yesterday evening, and this morning the sky looks very gloomy.