Enjoying Portugal Too Much – I’m Sorry Spain

Giving up on Spain

One of the goals of my trip was learning Spanish. I’m still doing it with Duolingo, but learning it in a real environment is not going to happen this trip. Life here is just too comfortable. I remember complaining to Ville at the beginning of the trip that I was afraid I might enjoy being in Portugal too much and not end up going to Spain at all. (He told me that he really wanted to have my problems in life.) That “fear” has now come true, but I’m embracing it.

It was obvious to me even before leaving that this might happen. And now it has. This choice is not good for my Spanish skills, but I feel it’s good for me in general. Something about Portugal seems to relax me and make me feel really comfortable. I’ve always had the feeling here, not just this time. And yes, given a chance maybe Spain could do the same to me too. But I’m not going to try it out this time. It wouldn’t make any sense leaving something this nice behind.

This decision has brought something new along with it. I have justified not putting much effort into learning Portuguese with the fact that I’m about to go to Spain any day now. That excuse is now history. I have started learning a few simple things now. The pronunciation is something quite intimidating, but at least I’m trying. That makes me feel better somehow. It always makes me uncomfortable not being able to understand people at all and especially if I’m not even trying to learn.

Updates from the surf front

My own wetsuit has now finally been repaired. I got a message yesterday from the company that fixed it saying that they’re done and they are sending it to 58Surf in Baleal now. So I’m going to there to pick it up as soon as I get a message that it’s there.

This week was not much of a surf week. Monday I didn’t feel like surfing because of the rain and Tuesday I went for a run instead. The next two days I had a lot of fun in small waves and was really looking forward to the weekend. But yesterday I got a little fever after work and even though I’m feeling more or less ok today, I decided to take it easy and rest today too.

Hiking on the “cliffs”

Costa da Caparica has a cliff-like formation (it isn’t made out of rock, but rather packed earth) that goes parallel with the coastline about a kilometer inland. Ever since I got here I wanted to go explore it. Now I finally made it up there.

The cliffs from the campsite
Looking up from the street just below the cliffs
And looking down from the cliffs down to the same street
Pretty views to all directions

It was a nice two hour hike in total and the first half was just looking for a way up and looking at pretty houses on the way. I don’t have a fear of heights, but when I got up there and realized that the edge is not solid rock, I did get a little bit careful. It felt solid, but I could see some places where the edge had crumbled down. The view from the top was just as beautiful as I expected. Too bad my phone’s camera can’t capture the ocean so well from this distance. It looked really amazing.

The pretty sunsets are back again

The rain early this week seems to have cleared the Sahara dust and the sun is again visible until it sinks below the horizon. The bleak apocalypse evenings are gone for now. I’m not going to miss them either… I’m loving the return of the pretty sunsets.

Sunset at the beach on Wednesday
Pretty colors at the park between the campsite and the beach too

The weather has been nice and warm most of the time, but there seems to be more and more rainy days now too. Next week it’s supposed to rain pretty much every day here, but luckily not all day like last Monday. Since it looks like Baleal might have better weather, I may stay there a few days when I go pick up my wetsuit. But we’ll see, my plans seem to be quite fluid and flexible at the moment.