Me and my partner in crime, Nina woke up around 4 am in the morning to leave from Helsinki for a well earned vacation to Portugal a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t so easy to get up, but the plane to Lisbon through Munich would leave around 6 am so there was not much time to waste. Everything went smoothly from Helsinki to Lisbon bus station from where we took a bus to Peniche. It was around seven pm when we arrived to Peniche Hostel. Shana, Xana and Patrícia welcomed us to stay and we started to unpack our stuff to a four bed dorm called Oceania. We had a booking only for three nights, but the hostel was so cozy, full of nice and helpful people and really relaxed atmosphere so we decided to stay there longer – almost the whole trip. We spent the first evening in Peniche just figuring out what to do there the next days. Of course surfing was priority so we booked lessons with Diogo for the next morning.
We learnt a lot of things, which a surfer needs to keep in mind: “the more you give to the sport, the more the sport will give to you”, “think that there is a massive shark behind you and get faster on the surfboard”, “we need to get cold to get warm again”- Diogo’s surfing philosophies. I just really needed to concentrate that I wouldn’t think about any sea creatures while try to learn how to surf or I would have been freaked out.
After the first day surfing was time for some other exercise like biking around Peniche and Baleal without functioning pedals. Basically my bike’s pedals broke down and they were on he same level, but there where no worries though because Nina is so fit that we could easily do a tandem which differs a bit from the normal tandem. In our version only one is pedaling and both are driving.
On friday we had a nice dinner at Concolasao with our surf crew. The restaurant was hidden behind the rocks on the coast line. Such a lovely place with massive windows from where we could watch the sun set and one crazy surfer catching up some waves.
During the week our beach activities included yoga, meditation (a bit difficult to concentrate with Nina and Clive going crazy next to me with crab walking or what so ever), break moves and acrobatics. Well some of us had this natural talent in acrobatics more than the others (read: I was stiff as an iron bar)
One evening we went out in Baleal to have a dinner with the girls from Oslo. I ate a fish called sargo which was really tasty. Then we headed for a beer to a bar at the beach nearby. While writing this story I am starting to realize that I probably mix some dates but that doesn’t matter..can’t really remember everything after such a stress relieving vacation – totally empty head. Well, later on we met at the hostel some new people: Luisa from Leipzig and Boston boy Jeff. We went partying (sophisticated partying) with them also and to watch some local fashion show at Baleal. Maybe it was a Ms and Mr Baleal contest too..it’s hard to tell, but at least I can say there were a lot of half naked chicks and dudes on the runway and you could hear the audience whistles from miles away.
Day by day the surfing started to go better and we could see some progress in our style and the amount of waves we rode. Every day when we went surfing it started with hilarity and jollity. Markus somehow managed to put his wetsuit almost every time the wrong way – zipper on the front side. No pictures to prove that though..
On the last day I had a little accident with the leash when it got stuck around my fingers. It really hurt a lot and for a couple of days I thought that it might be broken. Luckily it didn’t but still I managed to scare my surfing teachers Diogo and Nuno. I was glad that it happened in the last hour of surfing before leaving Peniche because otherwise I would have needed to tape the fingers together every day for paddling. From the beginning still it wasn’t that big deal for me and at least the others could have fun on my expense for the rest of the trip. Diogo even told me a horror story what happened for one surfer’s finger tip, but let’s leave that as a mystery, because it got my skin on goose bumps.
After eight days surfing we took a bus with Hannes, Lizzy, Marina and Peter to Lisbon. Our German family number 2. It was so nice from them that we could stay at their place and didn’t need to bother search for a hostel. First in Lisbon we went to place called Bairro Alto or something. There can be found the best night life in Lisbon ( the best mourangoskas and bands) We had a tasty dinner outdoors and of course the plates changed their places around the table that everyone could get a bite from others delicacies.Yum! I had an octopus salad which made me first a bit suspicious about its taste because it was fresh instead of grilled. After dinner was time to get the drink that Patrícia had recommended – mourangoska.
The last day we had speed dating in a cafe aka sharing a punch of cakes with our German friends – delicious I would say. We also met to of their friends Dominik and Pedro and went to see “the normal” tourist spots around the city. In the evening it was time to pack our bags, say goodbyes and take the flight back to Helsinki.
I miss Portugal so much and I want to go back as soon as possible. I loved the people, food, drinks, atmosphere and the view ❤
During the two weeks we met a whole punch of lovely people all around the world from USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Norway, Belgium, England and so on. Everybody told us that Porto and Faro are also worth to see. So let’s try to make it next time a bit longer trip. We still have to go scuba diving, take a trip to the Berlenga Island and in ten years maybe ride some waves in Super tubes in Peniche with Diogo and Nuno. Can’t wait to get back again!
Thank you very much, Obrigada, Vielen dank to all of you!