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TDP2021: Day25-26 – Escaping the City Bustle of Lisbon in Foz

Another place without any noise except for the ever-present wind blowing from the Atlantic. I slept very well and woke early morning. My host was also awake – offering me breakfast with fresh fruit, yogurt and fresh fruit.

With a full day of doing nothing ahead, I decide to drive along the same road I took yesterday to have some time in the sun at the two beaches – bay and Atlantic.

The drive there is even more beautiful than last evening!

Driving along the bay

Driving along the bay

 

The sand bank is visible from afar and is unlike any landscape feature I’ve ever seen.

The bay plus the sandbank

The bay plus the sandbank

 

As this is an EV blog, I can report that there are lots of electric cars in the countryside during the weekend. It seems that the city dwellers who use their EV daily have taken to drive to their secondary houses and apartments and want to charge their EV’s there.

The picture below is just one of many EV’s I saw that were being charged by simple level-1 charging leads.

Home charging, typical view in Portugal

Home charging, typical view in Portugal

 

Back to the beach. Being early means that I get to park with direct access to the beach!

Band of sand

Band of sand

 

It doesn’t get any better than this! Just 10m to the beach. This is the best use for a TWIKE ever!

There is always space for a TWIKE

There is always space for a TWIKE

 

These are the moments I know I’m getting old: at the beach before 10am on a Saturday. Lots of space to choose from.

Not too many people on a Saturday morning

Not too many people on a Saturday morning

 

It’s difficult to describe the smugness I feel right now. ‘Living’ in Portugal, working from afar and able to go to the beach during my weekends! YAY!

Beach fun!

Beach fun!

 

After meeting my host’s real estate agent friend yesterday, I know that there is a cut-throat business with the little officially available real estate on this coast. Every square metre is accounted for and developments are costly. This is why I got a flyer asking me if I wanted to sell my property.

Let’s hope the Portuguese government can keep a lid on developments here as the coast is beautiful and could do with some protection.

I want your house!

I want your house!

 

I spend the evening at my AirBnb with my host – we cook some food and sit on the veranda enjoying the view and food whilst discussing how Portugal has changed during the last 25 years.

Evening view from my place

Evening view from my place

 

Sunday started the same as the day before: Breakfast and me making some plans along the many suggestions I got from my co-workers. Today’s plan was to see Nazaré (which I visited during my recent drive from Porto to Lisbon) and the surrounding beaches – including the infamous praya do norte where the biggest waves worldwide can be seen.

My host asked me if I would mind her joining me for this trip as she didn’t have any plans for today.

As the TWIKE is a two-seater, I was happy to take her with me – always good to have a local showing me around.

On our way to Nazaré my hopes of this part of the coast being protected from Spanish-style construction was quickly squashed.

Spanish-style construction

Spanish-style construction

 

At least approaching Salgado beach was free from any wild and unregulated construction. The beach was pristine and beautiful.

Driving to yet another beach

Driving to yet another beach

Approaching Salgado Beach

Approaching Salgado Beach

 

As always, TW560 can park as close as it gets.

Nazaré Salgado Beach - parking ... no problem

Nazaré Salgado Beach – parking … no problem

 

From there, we make our way to Praya do Norte – it’s not the season for large waves but nevertheless, I want to see the beach where the world’s largest waves break.

Nazaré

Nazaré

 

Given that this is an international hotspot, the road and parking facilities belie the importance of the place. A bumpy single-lane road leads down to the beach. As at Salgado beach, the TWIKE easily finds a spot just metres from the last point reachable by official roads.

Never out of place with a TWIKE

Never out of place with a TWIKE

 

The beach itself is mostly devoid of people and has waves that are multiple times higher than anything I’ve seen in the Mediterranean.

The famous big-wave beach

The famous big-wave beach

 

After visiting the beach, we head up to the small town above Nazaré from which the world usually sees the record-breaking waves. As usual, the TWIKE attracts lots of interest and my host finds herself answering lots of questions herself and basks in the interest and positivity a TWIKE is able to invoke in anyone, anywhere.

A square above Nazaré

A square above Nazaré

 

After all this action, I am thirsty and we dive into the bustle of what is the surfer town of Nazaré. There is a attraction-fair style feel to the place where most of the town is blocked to traffic. We park the TWIKE in a prominent place and head into town for a snack an beers.

A visiting Portuguese friend’s kids spied the TWIKE and he called me to tell me that he knew where I was… – proving true what I knew all along: with a TWIKE you can run, but you can’t hide! 😉 (especially in Portugal where I’m certifiably the only TWIKE in the country!)

They met up with us and we had a friendly chat  – we’ll be seeing each other in 3 week’s time: on my way back to Switzerland I will visit them in their hometown close to the Spanish border.

Tourism in Nazare

Tourism in Nazare

 

Refreshed, we drive back to Foz along the coast – a perfect combination of brilliant day and super-beautiful coast.

Another perfect TW560 picture

Another perfect TW560 picture

Driving along the coast

Driving along the coast

 

We spend the evening exchanging photos and experiences whilst drinking a few glasses of wine on the patio whilst TW560 is charging in the garage.

A day out and around Foz de Arelho

A day out and around Foz de Arelho

 

Sunday morning sees me sleeping slightly longer than usual – I enjoy the usual breakfast and start my drive back to Lisbon around 10am. My plan today is to stick as closely to the coast as possible and eventually come across the westernmost point of Portugal. I’ve been already to the northernmost point in 1991 – and the southernmost more recently.

The coast is stunningly beautiful, even if it is not always accessible directly.

How perfect is this picture?

How perfect is this picture?

Another small beach

Another small beach

 

Everything is perfect – with cruise control engaged, 50 SFP on my skin and the cool wind from the Atlantic acting as my air conditioning plus a deep blue sky and an even darker blue sea just metres away from my road, I am thoroughly enjoying Portugal.

Sand creeping onto the road

Sand creeping onto the road

 

As always in Portugal there is … one more hill. The small road to Charneca via Azóia is a very nice drive and absolutely worth the detour. The hill itself is not very high, even if it feels like it when driving across it… see the hill below.

My next hill comes into view on my way to Azóia

My next hill comes into view on my way to Azóia

 

Back down to the sea in Charneca, I’m back to cruise control engaged driving along the sea.

I would like this to be my everyday view from the TWIKE

I would like this to be my everyday view from the TWIKE

On my way to the westernmost point of Portugal

On my way to the westernmost point of Portugal

Westernmost point of Mainland Europe

Westernmost point of Mainland Europe

 

From here it’s only a 40 minute drive to Lisbon via Cascais. The drive is a succession of small beaches with local people enjoying their weekend at the sea, complete with seafood restaurants and bars – this reminds me very much of the days when I used to live in Spain and lived close to the sea and used to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

I think TW560 and Portugal work really well – have a look how driving along the Cascais beachfront road looks like from TW560…

 

My weekend went by really quickly and I enjoyed it very much – back in town I meet up with a few people for some beers and conversations before getting ready for another week working as a TWIKE-driving immigrant in Portugal 😉

 

Super efficient return to Lisbon

Super efficient return to Lisbon

Drive back 'home'

Drive back ‘home’