The Cape St Vincent (Portugal) by Angie Clifford
‘Petra,’ I exclaimed, my eyes nearly popping out of their sockets! ‘What are you doing here?’
‘Angie,’ Petra was all smiles as she embraced me in a warm hug. ‘Can’t believe I’m here either,’ she said, ‘spur of the moment, completely un-planned,’ she informed me. ‘John died two weeks ago, (John, I knew was a long-time friend) and poor Betty (his wife, now widow) was so beside herself with grief, and insisted she pay all my travel and taxis if I would stay with her for a couple of weeks.’ Petra continued; I knew Petra in normal circumstances hardly ever travelled, living as she did practically hand to mouth on a UK government pension.
Half an hour ago I had been waiting for the 12.10 from Portsmouth to Waterloo and wondering how I could while away the next few hours. The moon can sometimes appear in the sky during the daytime because it is the closet to earth, and because its orbital cycle means that sometimes it is brighter in the day than at night, this was such a day. As I gazed up into the sky I felt transported into another dimension, time stood still. and into my mind floated a string of words...”Red Moon Rising”
Why are trains never on time, I thought, my frustration levels rising ever so slightly, but finally the 12.10 arrived ten minutes late. I stood patiently as the double doors made that pling pling sound and swung outwards letting off a gaggle of uniformed school kids, followed by a frazzled looking teacher, (all probably heading for the steam engine museum I thought silently). I was just about to board when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
‘Excuse me madam,’ said a black leather clad biker, ‘I think you’ve dropped this,’ he said, handing me a paperback book, before I could protest he had disappeared in the throng. I found myself a seat with a table and made sure I was sitting in a forward facing position. Placing my luggage in the overhead rack I popped the book down on the table, it was face up now and I could see the title, “Red Moon Rising” I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention.
So, now I was a little more than intrigued. I looked at the cover; it was pillar box red with a silhouette of the moon. The author’s names Pete Grieg and Dave Roberts were prominent in yellow, below read, Redmoonchronicles#1 The Story of the 24-7 Prayer. I started to read, this book had my attention from the beginning. I had just reached a paragraph that said – “The 24/7 prayer movement started in Guildford,” when I looked out of the window...I was at Guildford Station. Quickly grabbing my luggage from the overhead and clutching the book in the other I got off the train. I was due to catch the Gatwick express, where I would later be flying with Easy Jet to Spain where I lived. And that was where I saw Petra... on Guildford station.
Petra and I were part of a small group of women in Spain. We met once a week to pray for our friends and families, and our communities. We had a passion to help others, and to see miracles. So! This situation suddenly felt a little surreal, I had met one of my prayer partners from Spain, in Guildford, where I had just read a sentence (from a book given to me by a stranger) telling me that a prayer movement (I had never heard of) began its life there... in Guildford!
Petra and I finally went our separate ways as I boarded the Gatwick Express, and she the Portsmouth bound train. Once my luggage was safely stored in the overhead I continued to read; fascinating, I devoured every word. Peter Grieg it seemed was a man on a mission; by the time I landed at Malaga airport I had finished reading his book.
I felt a huge bubble of excitement rising up from somewhere deep within me as I stepped onto Spanish soil. Pete’s book had inspired me. I had read how he had, experienced a vision on the Cape St Vincent Portugal where he felt called to start that 24/7 prayer movement. I too loved a little adventure, the unexpected, travel and excitement I felt fully charged and ready to go...to Portugal, and the CAPE.
‘Ange,’ Jerry said picking up my luggage, ‘I’ve had to park in the Galleries, sorry! Hope you’re wearing sensible shoes?’ The Galleries’ was a last resort car park and a longish walk away, I stifled a grimace, but it would take more than that to burst my joyful bubble, I was ready to “rock and roll”.
Two days later, and with the sat nav primed we were on our way. And five hours and two stops later we arrived, in Lisbon Portugal. The budget hotel was perfection; double bed, an en-suite, balcony and charming decor, plus wifi (a must these days), thank-you “Booking.Com”.
Our visit the next day to the Cape St Vincent was perfect; and was everything I had expected. Wild, rugged and exquisitely beautiful, warm winds caressed us as we explored. The once beautiful wild spring flowers now stood tall, dried out by the intense weeks of summer sun, dead, but speaking far more than words ever could. Yes I had a mystical experience there. Death waited in the months ahead, and heartache would follow; but I felt a strange peace surround me, death could be beautiful, I had seen that in the flowers.
A link to information about the Cape St Vincent:
Two photos taken with my iphone in Portugal 2015