A little road trip

Trip Start Mar 01, 2014
Trip End Apr 05, 2014

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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Thursday, March 6, 2014

It was a gorgeous day! Layered just in case the weather changes, we head out for Carcavelos, a town situated on the Estoril coasts largest sandy beach. Truly we wanted to do a coastal drive and the windows were rolled down and the warm sun shone! Awesome. 

We are situated in the hills a bit north west of Colores, a village that looks toward the sea over a green valley. There are a lot of pine and chestnut trees en route and vineyards that produce a red, robust wine that we are to try. Cascais, Estoril and Carcavelos  are on the coast with miles of beaches very popular for surfing. 

After a long walk on the beach we lunched at a nice place in Carcavelos where Tony enjoyed his Sea Bass immensely. I was not sure of the steak, rather bold flavours, it was good, but the potatoes and beans were better. Tony researches our restaurant choices and he mentioned to me that at this particular place I should have the "thick" steak. It was recommended. No problem. When we got home after much discussion about the flavour of my "beef", he realized....wrong restaurant. Oh well, maybe I had something new, just wish I knew what it was and whether I should be whinnying like a horse or bleating like a goat! We were laughing. Maybe it was beef, I will never know. Don't get me wrong, it was good, just a bit stronger.

We were well taken care of. I believe that food is very important to the people of Portugal. Large groups gather around a table and if they were still there at dinner, I would not be surprised. As soon as you sit, wine, bread, cheese, ham are placed in front of you. The cheese we had today was "opened" by our waiter, the top sliced off and a spoon was placed inside. Scooping out this incredible liquid cheese and spreading it on crusty bread was out of this world. Who needed more? The ham (prosciutto) was mild and melted in your mouth. Yummy.

We wound our way back along the coast. Cascais is in a sheltered sandy bay at the mouth of the 
Tagus River. The President of Portugal's summer residence is here, along with some very large vacation villas. Popular for Fishermen, their catch is auctioned near the harbour in the afternoon. The weatherbeaten rocks at Boca do Inferno, just down the way are gnarly and it was fun to watch the surf hit. We had a nice calm day, hard to imagine how bad it could get to wear away the rock and create these tunnels and caves. 

Estoril is an elegant town - the Portuguese Riviera - there is supposedly the largest Casino in the 
World here and Formula 1 Racing occurs every September. Estoril is only about two miles east of Cascais. We had a very pleasant drive. There does not appear to be a lot of traffic right now, this pleases the both of us. 

A couple of interesting things. On the beaches there are so many people exercising. They are running, jumping up steps, push ups,  sit ups, weight lifting and more. It was like being at a gym but here they were using what was around them outside. Rocks, curbs, trees. In another area, instead of playground equipment, there were steel rowing machines, push-up and sit-up contraptions, stair masters. It was very cool. You will see a photo of Tony exercising his shoulder. Looking good!

There were surfer shops lined up one after the other at the beach all offering lessons, gear and boards. The experienced surfers were obviously in rougher parts but they were all bobbing up and down in the water like dolphins waiting for fish to be fed to them at an aquarium. We stopped counting all of them - there was 100 plus and this was early in the day.

We had a quiet evening and tomorrow we are going to rise early. We have some chores to do and will meet one of the ladies that takes care of the villa at 9:00. 

Today I can say my favourite place was the beach walk. At the villa, I love the garden and tomorrow I hope to sit on the patio with my tea and toast. Wish I had some of that cheese. The waiter gave me the label from it so I would be able to go to the town nearby, where it is produced. 

Another hike tomorrow as well.  We may look for mushrooms! 

Until then,

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Cathy on

We are enjoying your stories. We loved Estoril and have been to the casino. Look forward to hearing more about your adventures in the coming days.

Jennifer Dunn on

I love the exercise stations...what a great concept to incorporate in a Canadian environment...could set up random stations at different sites

Pat G. on

Hello folks! The weather appears to be beautiful - a few degrees warmer than here - although, today is beautiful. Mary wants to follow your blog. Please add her. awesomemaryfleming@gmail.com

Nancy on

Jane, I'm really enjoying your blog! Your experiences are making me so envious and your description of the Serra de Estrela cheese is making me drool!

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