Surfin’ Safari

Our fabulous hotel in Coimbra was Quinta das Lagrimas. We arrived at the gate cause they don’t let any old riff riff in this joint (except maybe these two ladies who jumped into my photo)

And we were greeted at the door by Paulo who swiftly took out bags up the stairs.

The room was lovely with two of these little attic window…

And a pretty view, but also….. complimentary pastel de natas and port! Obrigada very much!

But the best part about this hotel would have to be the carpet….. it’s hard to describe, because you can’t actually see it (hehehe)

We dressed again in matching shoes – this time different colours and we were ready for the day…

We met our lovely guide, Fernando (I know, I only just stopped myself from asking…) and we were on our way back down the driveway.

It’s a shame that we didn’t get to spend more time here. In hindsight we could have had a day just wandering around the hotel’s botanic garden.

But we couldn’t hang around as we had more lovely towns to visit…. the first on our itinerary today was Obidos…

… famous for the the ‘ginjinha’ – a thimble of cherry liqueur served in a chocolate cup that you then eat! Perfect. You could have dark or white chocolate and at €1 each – you could have as many as you liked.

The main street is lined with little tourist shops and the village is swamped with tourists for 6 months of the year – the other 6 months there are only locals there… not sure what happens to the shops or their livelihood?

But in the 6 month tourist season – they make the most of it… filling most lane ways with cafes, people playing music and I’m not sure who or what this chap is doing – looks like a character from the Black Plague era, but why you’d want to take you photo with him – I’m not sure. I did ask Me Jenny if she’d like to have a go and she declined… and rightly so.

Next stop was the beach town of Nazare – famous for its huge waves – in fact in 2017 Brazilian surfer, Rodrigo Koxa caught one that was 80 foot tall. This image is probably familiar.

So, this is the beach where it all happened. It doesn’t look to swelly at the moment, but that’s because the big waves only turn up in the winter months…. although this looks like it could be smack bang in the middle of winter today – it was just a bit overcast.

There is a lookout that separates this big wave beach with the town beach on the other side and it also houses a how and why on the waves as well as a cave of surfboards used by surfers on this beach.

Here’s the other side of the lookout and the town beach – check out the rock formation on the left!

The one on the right is pretty scientific….. apparently there’s a bit canyon just off the coast that causes the massive waves… and then this big mythical wind god comes along in the winter months and blows.

Here you go surf nerds – see if you can name who surfed with which board. The one on the right has a violin attached – apparently the owner of this board wanted to combine his two passions.

There was a professional chap taking pics with this backdrop for you to then purchase, but Me Jenny gave me a firm ‘no’ before I’d even suggested it.

One last look down the Nazare town beach and then it was time for lunch.

Fernando booked us a table at his favourite restaurant in Nazare. He was very open about the fact that his friend owned it and that he could vouch for its excellence.

Rosa Dos Ventos – R. Gil Vicente 88, 2450-106 Nazaré – if you’re ever in town, do yourselves a big seafood favour!

We weren’t sure what we would order and then the very friendly staff, including Ramone, the owner, who was born in the town brought over a tray of whole fish for us to choose from… (How do the eyes look MLD?)

We chose the big eyed red snapper (not sure if that is the technical term) and it was going to be butterflied, grilled and served with potatoes.

He brought it over and then proceeded to dig out these muscles, explaining that because the fish is from the deep water, they build up extra muscles around gills – anyway, they were delicious, as was the rest of the fish…. I can also say that we ate none of the 11 potatoes it was served with.

To finish off we were given a complimentary liqueur in these tiny cups. Me Jenny didn’t like hers, so I had to drink 2! It was only polite.

Down to the beach to walk off lunch. Not sure what this chair/brolly combo was all about.

And…. that was the end of our tour with Fernando. We have another tour tomorrow out to the seaside town of Sintra, where Fernando happens to live, so he maybe our guide tomorrow – we hope so, he’s lovely.

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