(Listen to the music while reading blog post. Many thanks for Miska Misu for recommending this amazing song.)
This is a friendly warning! The following pictures can cause big changes in blood pressure! According to your temperament, they can take you to perfect zen and you’ll find yourself in a perfectly peaceful state of mind – or you’ll be pissed off that you’re not here. Probably as much as you’re going to open a browser and start searching for cheap plane tickets.
But not long tales this time, only a bit of narration by the pictures, sorry for that. As I mentioned in the last post (here), this world is way too beautiful to spend much time in front of the computer.
So, first of all, a brief revision: momentarily I am volunteering by the west coast of Portugal, helping a photographer here who runs a cozy little guesthouse. From the very first moment I am amazed by the beauty of the nature, the Atlantic, the forces of the waves and the wind, the wild shore and the tranquility. The next beach (praia in Portuguese) is approximately 5 minutes walk, so you might feel sorry for me and my disappointing situation. In the mornings, after waking up I’m often drifting away from the moment thinking how an unfriendly place I ended up in. Again.
First let me introduce you Praia da Aguda, a tiny little beach that you can reach by descending a lot of steps in the steep rock. It absolutely worth the effort, this is sort of a hidden gem, in off season not many people end up here, this is why its atmosphere is a lot different now than in summer. You can have the place all for yourself, its magic is all yours, you don’t have to share it with hundreds of others.
Going further by the shore, sooner or later you’ll reach breathtaking Azenhas do Mar (well, another five-minute walk, so rather sooner then later), of which I shared some photos in the last blog post (here). If you don’t stop here willing to sacrifice yourself and see other disgusting places, next beach is Praia das Maças (beach of the apples – no, please, don’t ask why it is named after the fruit, I don’t have the slightest idea) and then Praia Pequena and Praia Grande (‘small’ and ‘big’ beaches). I lack of pictures of these, because my blog is very subjective and these ones I liked less than the others.
Continue on the fields of praias, Praia da Adraga jumps into our way, another amazing sandy beach surrounded by all kind of rock creatures. It’s the west coast, so the wind blows like crazy, making huge waves. It’s simply fabulous. You almost stick here and don’t feel like going further towards Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, but after a while you just keep going, driven by the urge of discover.
Even the footpath is amazing which leads you along the shore, but when I first set eyes on Praia da Ursa (thanks Tim for recommendation!), my heart skips a beat and I become speechless. I’m just standing up there, watching the scene and don’t believe it’s real. As this beach is not accessible by car only by foot, the lazy tourists avoid it so for me this is the perfect destination. As expected, I don’t meet anyone, neither on the beach nor on the way there – although I have to admit it might be because I get off the track a bit. OK, I am really bad in orientation, but thanks to this I often get lost in exciting places, so honestly I don’t mind it at all. Even this beach I can reach finally somehow, but at the end I have to rock climb a bit so those having vertigo don’t rely on my description, there must be another (and easier) way down.
I mentioned already that here very close to the Atlantic, the weather is quite hectic, summer can turn into autumn in only 10 minutes and vica versa. So you have to be prepared and it’s completely normal to put sun screen and rain jacket into your backpack. At least when you remember putting the rain jacket…, it’s not evident in sunny 25 degrees with no clouds. But your opinion on what’s evident changes at once when you realize that the cloud from which that huge amount of water falls out is coming towards you and of course it’s way faster than you.
Certainly I get completely wet in a second, but at least I can laugh on myself – can’t blame the weather as I was the one who left the rain protection at home.
After the refreshing shower I try to dry myself up in the wind, so I return to Praia da Adraga drawing attention in my wet clothes like a soggy little bird. I shrug my shoulder deciding this is the new Atlantic-style and everybody who doesn’t like it can do a favor.
Speaking of getting wet, a song crosses my mind, a really good one from a Hungarian band named Anna and the Barbies. They just summed up everything I know about life just a lot better than I ever could. Sorry for the raw translation:
“It feels good sometimes to just watch the Moon in the dark,
Gazing a remote star for long,
It’s good to feel the cold sometimes, thinking about nothing at all,
Good to get completely wet in spring rain,
Good to eat with your mouth full, good to make love loudly,
Good to just laugh without any reason,
Good to cry when you’re hurt and good to tremble when you’re scared.
It’s so damn good to feel alive.”
In the last 24 hours I checked most of these: there was some moon and star gazing, goose bumps in the cold, got wet during hiking, had a big lunch eating fiercely, well… at some points I have some lag, but this is the side effect of travelling, but I laugh without reason almost every minute, luckily crying is out of question now, and I was trebling when realized I had to climb the wall to get down to Ursa Beach. The most important thing though is that I am murmuring almost all day every day how much I love living! This life, this freedom, the millions of miracles make me happy beyond expression and I am really grateful for this. In every single moment.