“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”
– Allen Ginsberg
Have you ever had the unexpected pleasure of finding a place on the road that meets every one of your needs at that moment. A place where you’re taken care of and the bed is comfortable and the food is delicious and the view delightful. A place with a long deep bathtub, a friendly staff, lovely walks and the biggest bonus of all a termas hot spring down the road. I found such a place on the third day of our road trip; the Fonte Santa Hotel in the town of Termas de Monfortinho.
We checked in for one night, but stayed three. One more day, one more soak, one more walk, one more meal. Three hours from Porto this will be our special getaway place, a place to come for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas.
In 1991 Cradoc and I found another special getaway place, the small Beat Hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris at 9 Rue Gît-le-Coeur. In the late 1950’s the hotel was the residence of Beat poets like Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. For us the place was everything we wanted a Paris hotel to be; inexpensive, great location, clean and comfortable enough. We kept extending our stay until finally the owner told us we had to leave the next day. “You’re my last guests. The bank is making me close the hotel for renovations to make it a four star hotel. I owe the bank money so I have to do it.” The next morning she opened a bottle of champagne and toasted to the past and to the secrets held deep inside the walls that would soon be torn down.
To be sure our latest find would still be there when we went back I asked who owned the hotel and how were things going. “The owner had to close two of their other hotels and the bank took over this one. I think they’ll keep it open, but who knows.”