Monday, May 17, 2010

A weekend Adventure

The sun was shinning on Saturday morning, so we went for a coastal adventure. Surf board lodged between us in the car we drove off down the IC8 road to the coast.

There is simply miles and miles of coastland, sweeping beaches of sand and sea. The drive to the coast takes about an hour. Empty roads through empty holiday villages along the coast brings you to Nazare, a wonderful seaside town.

We parked perched on top of a hill with the view of Nazare behind Peter. It felt like we were on holiday. Walking down the winding path to the main down (not taking the railway down the hill) we passed others on their travels upwards (not going to enjoy that in the sun I can tell you).

Lunch at a lovely place in the square, fish fish and shellfish for all. A stroll along the seafront brought us to the famous Nazare fishermen (mostly women as I suspect the men where in the cafe having a strong coffee and a fag). They dry their fish on racks made on the beach where they sell their dried fish to the passing crowd. Each Saturday in the season the local tourist office organises the old boats to be pushed out on wooden rollers into the sea.

Onwards we went down the coast looking for somewhere to stay the night, but because it is out of season (we're told that the population in the mountain towns and seaside villages doubles in the summer with local holiday makers), there was little life in the villages dotting the drive down the coast.

While I was out having a pee (local cafes are a god send as far as my bladder is concerned), Peter looked at the map and found Obidos a fantastic medieval town set inland a little. Finding a guest house (Pensoa) was easy, and for 45 euros we had the hardest bed in all of Portugal, but breakfast included, so not all bad. A trip around the town had us walking on the walls of the old city, bumping into hundreds of Spanish teenagers and taking a drink of the local Cherry Wine (yum) in a Medieval bar, lined with thousands of mini bottles of drink along the ceiling.
The owner, Bruno and some random man showing a German tour operator around told us the story of the bar and its previous life as an antiques shop.

The next morning was surf day, except the wind was too strong. A quick ten min drive into Peniche (you then need to say, the surf capital of central portugal), showed Peter that surf was probably off the menu that day (but it'll be good tomorrow)....We walked around Peniche, which has grown larger and more touristy than when Peter was last there 10 years ago. A lovely lunch above Super Tubes surf spot (where some learners where getting thrashed about by the waves). Then one last look at the surf. Still rubbish waves but well over 100 people in the water!!!

A lovely perfect weekend, and I wasn't even left on a beach to watch Peter surf!

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