Windy Beaches

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

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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The rain has stopped but the wind is strong! Tony and I headed for a drive to a couple of beaches just west of Colares where there are several popular resorts. Just north of Praia das Macas, (praia is beach) there is the village of Azenhas do Mar, clinging to the cliffs; it must bustle like Miami Beach in the summer.

Right now on this very windy day, the sea is churning and the village has a brown tinge to it from the fine sand that blows in the air. There are beautiful picturesque new homes all sporting a fresh coat of paint, in white, pinks, blues, yellow and orange. I am particularly drawn to one that is a gorgeous olive like green with corn silk shutters. It is different than all of the others. New homes are being built, a lot are being restored and some are deserted. These large old deserted homes, I am sure, are full of fascinating tales of days gone by. A few people are out and about but there are not many here - soon.

We watched the water from the car in an empty parking lot, bashing against the shore. A lot of sand is in the air. In the morning the coastline will change. Praia das Macas is small but it cuts deeply into the shore. In another parking lot we notice a camera crew, a model and three brand new shiny cars - a Volvo, Porsche and a BMW. Probably working on some sort of advertisement, who knows but not the best day for shooting! 

Just to the south is a larger resort, Praia Grande. The beach here is very long and fisherman in the evening set up their lines to catch bass, bream and flat fish that swim in on the high tide. Today there are no fishermen, too bad because with these winds the fish would be on the road and you could just scoop them up. No surfers, no walkers just a couple of tourists who love to watch the water. We were alone.

There is a tramway that was built in 1910 that still operates on the weekends from Sintra to these beaches. Another tale to be told what with the changes in bathing attire from 1910 until now. I can see families on that tram in long dresses, big hats, men in suits and children in knickers carrying their picnics in large wicker hampers. It would have been very romantic here then. Today, not so much. It all looks so deserted and lonely.

En route home we stopped at a recommended restaurant for lunch, Ribeirinha on the main road between Colares and Varzea de Colares. Yep, every time we settle somewhere there is always a "gem" you find just before you are leaving. A small quaint lovely cozy warm and inviting dining room that posts a daily menu on the chalkboard; this is the menu, lots of choices. Ann speaks very good English and translates what we could not figure out. There is one white wine and two red wines to choose from which she allows us to taste, there are no bad Portuguese wines to date. I was happy to order the duck pate and a mozzarella, strawberry spinach salad. Tony was looking forward to trying the local sausage with egg and potatoes. My duck pate was out of this world served with lightly dressed greens and a scrumptious pear and hazelnut compote. I was in heaven and cleaned my plate. The salad was refreshing, strawberries in season, crisp baby spinach and melt in your mouth mozzarella, drizzled with pesto and crushed black pepper, yummy. Tony was not on the same scrumptious level as I, although he cleaned his plate, "was not his favourite but he would go back"! Dessert was a taste of local specialties, the best an orange, brown sugary, caramel kind of pillow textured pudding, loosely translated nuns belly. Sometimes translations are not necessary

We head home and nestle in, we build a fire, curl up and watch an old made for TV movie. Television is limited, runs out of Britain and every program is in English. We could not find a Portuguese channel. We were told that this is the norm because the younger generation is to learn English. It is taught in the schools from Day One. We laugh at the ads because they are very entertaining and at some of the programming because they are so dated. I managed to find Food Network Britain that runs Anna Olsen, The Barefoot Contessa and Nigella Lawson, programs from their very first days. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is also shown from its inception, so old, so long ago. They repeat the programming morning, noon and night. Remember Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven when he played an angel, or as far back as Mash and further to Bonanza?  Very funny and yet so familiar.

The wind is howling outside, time to throw another log on the fire.

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Karen on

Just having coffee. As you describe your dishes I try to visualize before looking at your photos. Sometimes I'm on and sometimes well let's move on.

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