long days, perfect for long walks on the beach.
we watched nomadland sometime ago, and it made me think back to our own campervan trip in november last year, and all the other things i haven’t written about on the blog yet. well, no time like now, right?
we’d been meaning to do a campervan trip for a few years already — it was even on my previous 101 list! they’re a bit expensive to rent… but on the other hand, it’s like taking your home with you on a holiday — and in the middle of a pandemic, that seemed like a reasonably safe option for a short getaway. so we booked one for a few days last year and off we went!
i had never been inside of one, but it’s actually pretty nice and the space is all neatly optimized (these guys did a good tour of the van and its features).
before trying it out, i was a bit concerned about whether we’d be comfortable sleeping there, but it wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as i had imagined… though on the last day we parked on a bit of a slope which definitely didn’t help! otherwise, everything was rather straightforward and easy enough, even the water/electrical bits. we made decaf and cooked simple meals, gave the shower a try, and also tried staying at different camping grounds, which we had all to ourselves that late in the season.
for the most part, the plan was to go visit our favourite spots in the southwest coast and alentejo, do a bit of hiking and birdwatching and just chill, away from everyone. the weather was nice and sunny, so we took our time lazily driving around and checking out some trails we had long bookmarked. one was a really easy circular path around the barão de são joão, which featured nice views, stone pine woods and lots of sculptures mixed in.
we checked out the abetardas trail, and did the scenic route through the cliffs. the southwest coast was still as beautiful as we remembered it, and after such an intense year, we really needed those blue skies and salty air to recharge.
we enjoyed the experience and will probably repeat it at some point – maybe even upgrade to a van with solar panels! :)
it feels like a few weeks have passed in the last 7 days, and all because we took a few days off… we should probably do that more often! :D
– seeing a sea hare! at first, we thought it was a plastic bag just floating around, but then it kept moving in a strange way… and when we looked closely, we found out it was a gigantic sea slug. often we see something interesting and then are disappointed to discover it’s just plastic, but this was the other way around and it felt brilliant.
– the highlight of the week was definitely the return of the long hikes: three days walking from lagos to sagres, up and down aaaaaall the cliffs. i’ll probably write more about it at some point, but it was sublime to be outside in open air. just us and the birds and the waves crashing the shore for miles and miles, nothing to do but walk all day. if that isn’t nice, i don’t know what is.
– a visit to the chinese shop on the way back to stock the pantry with the essentials was ridiculously exciting for me, who had been listing ingredients and anticipating it for weeks. the nearest proper asian supermarket we have is all the way in albufeira and it isn’t even very good… but no matter — i got what i could find and i can’t wait to cook some stuff from chinese cooking demystified and work on improving my tolerance to spiciness.
– seeing the in-laws get the first dose of the vaccine, at last! they’re in their 80s, and it feels like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders, like a cloud that had been there for a whole year slowly dissipating. there’s nothing like this overwhelming feeling of relief, of knowing your family will be ok.
– i’ve been trying to eat a bit better this year, and i’m now at my lowest weight in… 10 years? seems a bit implausible, but i guess the scale doesn’t lie. eating mostly keto + not going out seem to have done more in 3 months than all my half-assed diets in previous years. i still have some kilos to go, but feeling pretty pleased with myself already. :)
– the fields all around us smell like orange blossom and it’s just so dreamy.