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Jump in my car – it’s not very far…

Self guided walking holidays in Portugal
by Peter Williamson

Serra EstrelaFor the past 40 years, Antonio Tente has been driving taxi cabs round Portugal’s atmospheric capital, Lisbon.

But he’s not a ‘city boy’ – he comes from the beautiful mountains of the Serra de Estrela.

Maybe it’s his longing to be back in the mountains of his youth that finds him letting his mind wander back to those halcyon days, as he drives around the busy city streets.

He’s not day-dreaming though; his thoughts are not wasted.

LisbonSelf guided walking holidays in Portugal.

As he drives around the streets he knows so well, he composes poetry in his head – an odd line here, another while waiting at the traffic lights.

And as soon as his passengers get out, he grabs his pen and the notebook that he always keeps by his side and quickly scribbles down his thoughts before they disappear into the ether.

At the end of his long shift, he returns home to type up his day’s works onto his computer. And he’s quite prolific.

So far, he’s published two books of poetry illustrated with old photos: one about his life in Lisbon and the other about his life back up in the mountains.

“And where can you buy one?” I hear you ask.

Well, only from inside his taxi! He sells them from his car, with each pair of books ready packaged. He won’t sell through bookshops – he says they walk off with all the profits.

Look out for him next time you’re in town…

Self guided walking holidays in Portugal by Peter Williamson

Ed: What interesting characters have you met on your jollies?

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