Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000
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Date: Thursday, September 09, 1999 1:09 PM
Subject: Sept 1- Sept 2...Lagos, Portugal - Another shitty day in paradise

Sept 1, 1999
I awoke in Lagos, Portugal...ahhhh...it is a lovely seaside town...had a great breakfast at the Hostal do Juventidutes (sp?)...talked with many folks...and went for a walk to the beach with a girl I had met at the
hostal, Sharon...

Now let me tell you...I normally would insert that she was from X country...but Sharon is about the most multicultural gal I have ever met...She speaks perfect Australian English (if that´s possible, mate!)
because was raised in Melbourne since age 9...prior to that, her Hungarian and Polish parents had lived in Israel which is where she was born...so she speaks Hebrew and Australian English and has a Russian grandmother...she is quite the walking melting pot (as she and I agreed)...

Anyway, we walked around Lagos and had quite the awesome conversation about life, work, politics,...basically, you name it, and we talked about it...now this may not be that noteworthy to ya´ll back home...but there is lots of small talk on the backpack circuit which is normal and sometime a deep
subject is touched upon here or there (quite often cultural differences)...but to have about a 7 hour conversation with someone on those subjects was quite the refreshing respite...

Anyway, we did walk around Lagos, hiked above the grottoes for which Lagos is famous (OK...Lagos has cliffs that rise above the Atlantic...but they are quite soft...not limestone...but like clay mixed with loose rock and shale...needless to say, the ocean erodes quite a bit of the landscape away, often leaving huge natural arches, caverns, and holes in the terrain...it is very beautiful...amazing what erosion can do...), and watched an awesome sunset above the Atlantic...it was a great afternoon.

NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that I seem to generally be only meeting or writing about girls/women/gals that I have met...now let me dispel some myths...I talk to lots of folks...guys and gals...and enjoy hanging out with everyone...but it seems to work out that I enjoy travelling and hanging out with gals a little more...so sue me...and hey, they are easier on the eyes than the guys...

Returned back to the Hostal...I kept pitching the Feria in Ronda...hmmmm...getting some interest from a couple of Saffie gals(Note: This is my opportunity to nickname South Africans...Saffies! The gals seem
to actually like this nickname...so OK...here is the rundown of nicknames: New Zealand - Kiwis, Australia - Aussies (although they seem to want to pronnounce it Ozzies...which means they either can´t spell, can´t talk, or actually are a cult of Ozzy Ozbourne lovers...I vote for the cult!), Canadians - Canucks, South Africans - Saffies, Americans - Damn Americans!

(Acutally they call us Yanks or Yankees...which doesn´t sit right with me, being from the South...so, I am ummmmm looking at trying to find an acceptable nickname for Americans...I´ll take all suggestions (in good taste))), and 3 americans...we all drank and hung out...Sharon, my Swiss roommate Simon, and I all went out to have a good Portuguese dinner...we had chicken Piri Piri (sp?) which was awesome!...and hit the night party scene again...out till 4am...

Other Editorial Note: One of the folks in the hostal mentioned that the most memorable parts of their trip is what occured during the day...that is not to say that at night we don´t go out and party and have memorable times...but in the final analysis, a bar is a bar and a discoteque is a discoteque in any city in the world...what puts the color in a trip is the local sights and culture. I think that this is pretty accurate...so you will generally find descriptions of the nightlife somewhat brief...this is also done to protect the honor of the participants...we all may wish to run for President/Prime Misister/Pope/Grand Poubah someday and need to have sterling records...uh huh!

September 2, 1999
Another Shitty Day in Paradise...woke just before 11am...staggered downstairs just before breakfast...had breakfast with my Aussie and Swiss roommates Shane and Simon respectivey...hung out whatelse)...then Sharon, Shane, Melanie (a Canuck from the hostel), and I went to the beach...it was
nice, but I wanted to do some more hiking among the grottoes...so I left them at the beach and continued to walk around...I found some wonderful locations and sights...and then found what I would later learn was called Banana Beach...it was actually the nicest beach in the area...lovely powdery sand...facing West for the afternoon sun...perfect...it was somewhat of a climb down the cliffsides but was worth it...and why Banana Beach you ask??? ...it is the nude beach in Lagos...this was actually a benefit because I
actually hate to get my swimsuit wet (while it does dry fairly quickly, there are no dryers out here...a wet suit or shirt is a hassle) so this beach allowed me to avoid a wet swimsuit...my first time at a nude
beach...but hey, when in Rome, do as the Romans, right?...well, anyway...it was basically a good experience...except...ummmmm...did I mention that the Atlantic is FREAKING COLD!!!???

Anyway, we made dinner (tuna cassarole (sp?) (thanks, mom...we even used the peas...a big hit))...it was great! Then...off to party...didn´t get in until 2am...and so ends another shitty day in paradise...

Doug