Sometimes you just need to get a little bit of fresh air to clear your mind. And sometimes you need a lot of it. That's where we found ourselves in October.
I am typing these words on our sunlit terrace in Lagos, Portugal. I ended up here almost by chance, and I don't want to go back. Frankly, I'm only going back today because of our cats.
This place smells amazing. It's sunny, and warm enough to wear a t-shirt almost every day. I listen to the sea, the countless birds, and an occasional barking dog. It's beautiful: there are hills, caves, picturesque cliffs and endless beaches with waves of all shapes and sizes. The people here are nice, very relaxed, and my complete ignorance of Portuguese language hadn't been an issue once. In many ways, it feels like California that had not been destroyed by endless five-lane traffic jams in every direction and other aspects of American city planning.
We didn't do much this week. We walked, we swam, we tried surfing. I had to visit a dentist, and Anna went to do a toe x-ray. We had a lot of good food. I took a few pictures - even took out my tripod once! Almost every morning, we watched the sunrise, and every evening we saw it dip back into the ocean.
We packed really light. I only took two lenses, a 28mm and a 50mm - much like an iPhone. It was a great decision: when you're not planning your shots, you don't really need much more. The only thing I regret not taking is my flip-flops - for the first time in years they could've really come in handy!
One day we went to this beautiful pine forest, so pristine and dense that we felt drunk on all the oxygen. And just a few minutes away, there's a long empty beach with fantastic black rocks.
Then there was the Sagres fortress. The views from there are incredible, especially at the full moon, when the waves stand incredibly tall as they hit the cliffs, collide with each other, and retreat back into the ocean.
But the most pleasant memory from this trip is the short walks around the place we stayed. After months of working from home in an apartment in a big city, it was priceless to wake up, see the sky, hear the ocean, smell the blooming succulents. Running on the long boarded path on the cliffs. Swimming in the ocean. Simple pleasures for a tired soul.
I know we will come back. I know we'll sit at the counter of Coffee&Waves — maybe even next year — and get some tapas in the Repolho Gastrobar. It will be great to see the little town of Lagos. And the best of all would be to surf these waves again.