We didn't want to leave Portugal without spending a bit more time outside of Lisbon, so we booked one night about 125km up the coast at an old fishing village called Nazare. I supposed it's livelihood is equally based on tourism now as well, but it has retained quite a bit of its old charm which is so nice.
We had had a long day at Sintra before we pulled into town just in time to see the sunset over the Atlantic. We had a quick walk around the old town, grabbed a burger and had a much needed early night.
Friday morning we walked the huge beach after breakfast. I guess the town teems with tourists in the summer, but we basically had the whole beach to ourselves. The water was pretty calm, but Peter was keen to go out to the headland later, as we learned that it was a favourite haunt of big wave surfers, and the sea really dumps there.
On the way back to the hotel, we encountered some of the old local ladies that dry fish on the beach (see photos). They and many other older men and women still maintain traditional dress styles, so you really feel that you're in Portugal (as opposed to some of the tourist spots in the Algarve). I saw lots of widows dress fully in black, and many of the men hang out in the square to chat the morning away. The town is very white-washed and with the white stone pavers found all over Portugal, the whole impact is very quaint and charming. Of course seafood restaurants are the main food game, but we had delicate stomachs, and stayed off the rich stuff while we were there.
Before we left down, we drove to a smaller town/suburb (?) on the top of the cliff that was very cute and had an open market. We also had a look at those big waves. The weather changed though, and strong winds brought some rain squalls in off the sea, so we thought is was a good time to leave town and head back east to Spain and Merida.
We stayed off the freeways, and had a beautiful 4-hour drive through the middle of Portugal to Spain. We'd been in the county 11 days and had a good look around the bottom ⅔ of the country. We haven't seen everything, but we feel we had a good taste of the place. And Vasgo De Gama rules, OK?