Baleal Surf Camp – Another Home Away from Home

The plan was to visit Porto and I did that too, but without getting out of Naranja. I did find a pretty place to spend the night though and went to Nazaré to see the spot that’s famous for the biggest waves in the world. And now finally I’m in a very familiar place in Baleal.

Trying to get to Porto, ended up in a small paradise

I tried three places that looked like good spots to spend a night, but all of them were full. The first one was very close to downtown and driving there with a big car like Naranja was not much fun… The two others were campsites, but both had a “Sorry, we’re full” signs hanging above the entrance.

So, I decided that Porto could wait and continued south to a really cool campsite called O Tamanco. The place was like a small paradise. Below are some snapshots from there.

There was a small farmer’s market that sold eggs and other local products
They even had a small pool. I Didn’t go in though.
Two turkeys walked around the campsite.
This seemed to be a motto here and from the looks of it it works.
Next stop Nazaré

In the morning I headed to Nazaré, the town famous for huge waves. And before you ask no, I didn’t go surfing. I just wanted to have a look. But I ran into the same problem I had in Porto. No free parking spots anywhere near the beach suitable for Naranja. I ended up parking almost three kilometers from the beach.

So I got a lot of fresh air and a bit too much sun today. It was a bit cloudy and I didn’t realize until too late that I should have put on sunscreen. I ended up walking a lot, probably close to ten kilometers and I did get to the famous spot too. The only thing that was missing though were the waves. But that’s surfing. Many things affect the waves and in this case apparently the swell direction was wrong for the underwater canyon that normally causes the monsters.

On top of the Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo
View down to Praia do Norte (where the big waves normally break to) from the fort.
The sign wasn’t telling the truth today.
A sculpture that combines the history of Nazaré and the present.
The fort had an exhibition of surfboards from famous surfers who surfed in Nazaré. This green one is from Garrett McNamara.
After the long hike in Nazaré, the first Portuguese restaurant meal: grilled sardines.
Fishing boats on Nazaré beach.
Baleal surf camp

I’m now sitting in the common room of the surf hostel and typing this post with my phone. This place hasn’t changed much. I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but I’m ditching Naranja as my abode for this week. It’s parked right below the balcony though and I’ll go by every day. I thought that I’d do this week with the proven method, since it’s always been so much fun. And also, after being an asocial nomad for some time now, I do need the company.

I’m really looking forward to next week. I might not write during the next few days, since I’m sure I’ll fall into the familiar routine here. Surf, eat, surf, eat, drink, sleep and then start over.

That’s my feet pointing to the beach I’ll be taking on the Atlantic ocean tomorrow. Taken from our balcony.

1 thought on “Baleal Surf Camp – Another Home Away from Home

  1. Pingback: Visiting Porto and the Beautiful Douro Valley - Roadnaranja

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