European Camping Culture, We Eat 200 Snails
Trip Start Sep 29, 2007
215Trip End Dec 20, 2010
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Where I stayed
Vale Paraiso Caravan Park
Nazare resembled a busy Surfers Paradise style but somehow slightly classier, just. The sand was filled with families, umbrellas, stripey shade tents and Europeans dressed in designer beach etire complete with flowing shirts, sun tan oil and aviator sunglasses
Next day we had most of our washing done and tied to the clothesline due to lack of pegs and clearer heads on what the next step is to be. An orange hippie dress brought from India and purchased by us has turned some of our washing into a slightly sickening shade of mustard-y-orange and we now look like ill Hare Krishnas on a hexagon shaped tent tour minus the tambourines. With Nadineīs new Cyndi Lauper punk haircut with green hair extensions and my outlandish threads we just donīt fit the mould of the Vale Paraiso European caravan park and i think we have to get out of here soon. We have both agreed that there is too many rules and boundaries in Europe and the streets seem quite empty and boring after the hustle and bustle of South America. We were trying to call home to Australia today (Sunday) but the internet guy had a hangover and refused to open up shop and now it is too late
We have come to a good conclusion and that is that all things happen for a reason as we knew before and always for our good intentions in the end. With no word coming from Rosa and Charlie the ladies with Lola the perfect Mercedes van we can guess that they are either out of contact in the hills, on the psytrance party circuit still with no battery in the mobile phone or surfing in the north of Spain. We have decided that it is not such a bad thing that they are not ready to sell to us because we have decided to stick with our original plan and take the hippie trail down into Morocco and across to Greece, Egypt, Turkey and maybe Israel. We are going to lighten our packs up considerably by going down to bare basics so we are much more mobile and able to go anywhere without the weight on our backs
Mono Loco accquired a new tail because i re-stuffed it with some old Hemp fabric and he is good as new. Plus, the ipod is now fixed and Miffy is sewn up too. Repairs and maintenance time. The camping park is getting strange. There is a man in his brown and beige stripey dressing gown and Crocs who dyes his facial hair a different colour everyday then runs around like a werewolf at night making noises in the trees. Freaky! There is also a Japanese boy here who sleeps on the sand in the cold instead of putting his tent up. What does he do all day? Not sure but we think he watches his washing dry. We had one excursion to the supermercado and i put some photos onto the blog. We have sorted our packs so we can post the excess home and i am busy researching Morocco so we know the deal. There is a party called Song Of Tingma on near Marrakesh for Earthdance that we hope to make it to then tail it to Ibiza off Spain for September closing parties and DJ Tiesto..
Whoops! We just realised that the freaky werewolf guy lives in a tent and performs at the Universal Portugese Circus everynight, hence, the clown make-up and dying of the beard
The plot thickens. We met the werewolf guy in the brown dressing gown and pink crocs in person and it turns out he is one of those living statues who seem to be in every country. His character is a 16th century, Portugese poet and he performs down at the boardwalk for wealthy European holiday makers in the hope that they will drop a few Euros in his hat. A living statue is a street performer who paints his whole body including clothing and stands still pretending to be a statue then surprises people by moving when they come near. Nice guy but unfortunately not a carnival person but a son of a carnie. For a moment we consider painting ourselves up as psychedelic hippie statues and heading to the boardwalk flipping peace signs and blowing kisses robot style to passers by. Mr statue tells us that you can see Africa from the south of Spain and this makes us even more excited to get to Morocco.
We got it all together and with no word on our Merc van forthcoming we were back to our walking feet and hit the road down to Nazare for the afternoon. This meant that we could negotiate a cheap price with one of the local ladies dressed in the traditional clothing for a room in her private home close to the beach. The ladies hold signs up that say Allugre se vende which we think means room for rent. The room was cheap but the catch was that we had to go through a whole ceremony in front of the giant, kitschy, bleeding -jesus- nailed- to -a- crucifix decoration attached to the wall above the door to our room before we could enter
The best thing about Portugal is its peaches and stone fruits that are in season and the beaches, except the beaches are so full of people who crowd them. The bee bag has now gone because we have posted our precious shopping home. I am 9 kilos lighter and Nadine is 6 kilos lighter. I got lost on the way to the post office because locals pointed me in 4 different directions. We celebrated the loss of bee bag by feasting on approximately 200 Escargot snails in a little sidewalk cafe called Casa O Santa de Anibal that also sold white clams, shrimp, conches and black clams still squirting Atlantic Ocean water. The snails were smaller than we imagined which explains why there were so many on our plate. The snails had little mouths and tiny antennas and we didnt really feel comfortable about eating them but were glad we tried them. The slippery little suckers were marinated in oil and coriander and were tasty buggers. Bon Appetite!
After this we checked out the gloriously tacky souvenir stores on the boardwalk and concluded that the worst souvenir on offer was the religious themed shell lamps sitting beside bad teatowels and plastic grocery shopping bag holders. We chose to purchase a short, gingham apron with Portugal written on the band and chickens to decorate the front