Land Legs Lost – Funchal, Portugal

I was really looking forward to this port as it was my first time in Portugal. I woke up and I knew something was wrong. I laid there for a second and realized the boat wasn`t moving. I checked the TV and saw that we had already docked. It was quite light out despite the fact that according to yesterday, it should be still dark. Then I remembered that the clocks had gone back for daylight savings. They would be an hour every day for the next week as we crossed the Atlantic.

I tried to get out of bed but I just felt bad. Really bad. I had a headache, my stomach hurt like hell, and I was weak. I hoped that maybe if we ate some breakfast, I would feel better. I struggled through and even our server looked a bit worried about me. I laid down again for an hour before Sus reached her patience threshold. I sucked it up and scuttled off to the gangway to Funchal, Madeira.

We walked through the streets and I was distracted for a few moments by the array of flowers on offer. I had not seen many of them before and I had to take a closer look. Sus was set on finding the cable car that went up Monte so we walked in that direction. The roads were made of stone and quite uneven. We walked down what we thought were sidewalks until a car would come barreling down it honking for us to move. The houses were stacked all the way up the mountainside going from large to smaller and smallest way up there at the top.

I tried to be a good sport but I just kept fading worse and worse. I had to lay down when we finally did make it to the cable car. After not being able to finish a yogurt, I encouraged Sus to go on without me. I was feeling really disoriented and knew that I wouldn’t make it down the hour long hike back. She skipped off and we promised to meet back at onboard.

I hobbled down the tourist packed streets with stores selling embroidery, flowers and tablewares. I felt like an old person and was getting a little worried about what was wrong with me. I was not familiar with this illness and tried to think back on what I had eaten. Nothing really suspect that I could think of so I ducked into an internet café to research a bit. I found out that there is such a thing called land sickness which is the opposite of sea sickness. I seemed to fit the bill and was relieved that I wasn’t infact, dying.

I waited until I got enough strength to make it to the shuttle bus then hurried along. I wanted to spend the last of my Euro change so I picked up a few postcards en route. I collapsed into the back of the bus and just wilted, all sweaty and cold. I crashed (literally) into my bed and passed out for a few hours. I saw the note from Sus indicating she was on the lido deck but couldn’t get up to go find her.

When I woke up, I found that we were moving and somehow, magically I felt better. I laced up and headed to the gym. I had dismissed the notion of even thinking about exercising today but now I was overflowing in energy. I picked up a few pieces of sushi from the Origami Sushi bar to tide me over till dinner. I saw that many of the passengers had made the effort to dress up for Halloween. I had intended to as well and should have bought my supplies in Portugal. Obviously that didn’t happen so I had to be a little more creative.

I tried to convince Sus to stuff loads pillows in her clothes and we could go as old cruise passengers. Then we realized that we prolly wouldn’t have stood out at all and it would defeat the purpose. Plus, you never know just who wouldn’t be able to take the joke and end up feeling offended. We have the next 5 days alone with these people way out in the middle of the ocean. All we need is a ship full of large angry elderly people upset with us. If for some reason the ship ran out of food, you know who would be the first to go…

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