Portugal; the beginning

Lotje at the mechanic, who has fixed her up nicely.

Let’s first begin with Lotje. It appears that she’s been fixed! I’ve driven quite a bit and haven’t had any breaking problems. It was a bit of a challenge, communicating what I noticed was happening, in English, which then had to be translated to Portuguese. I also had the feeling that being a woman explaining what was happening didn’t help. Or maybe explaining car issues just isn’t something I’m good at. But at least I feel safe(r) again. The mechanic also worked on the cooling of Lotje, which is working a lot better now. So, I’m very happy about that and greatful for all the help I’ve received.

I did have to miss her for a few nights, which was a lot tougher than I had expected. Fortunately, I was able to stay at the camp, which was very nice. I had only taken a few clothes and toiletries out of my van, which was enough. But not having my own place and not knowing how long it would take was making me feel restless. Interesting to notice how I can get attached to something. Normally when I’m on holiday and have a shared room I’m fine. I guess it’s all about a mindset. But Lotje really feels like, and is my home. When I heard I could pick her up, I had tears in my eyes of happiness.

Life as I know it 🙂

The first week I stayed at Surferscamp in Esmoriz. There were some people there really keen on yoga, whom enjoyed the beachyoga sessions. Even though it could get a bit chilly in the evening, because of the wind. Unfortunately for me, they left after a few days. So, after several days there wasn’t much yoga enthusiasm left.

I got to meet some really nice people. With some of them I was able to spend quite some time, having a laugh, talking about life’s struggles and eating pastel de nata at the local bakery (with cinnamon, because that is just really tasty!). We had some lovely surfsessions too. I was thinking I had lost my surfskills, after the less optimal surf in France, but it’s back! The water however, is pretty cold.

At the moment, the sea in Holland is warmer…

At the end of the week the vibe at the camp started to feel a bit different, there was a lot going on. The people I’d been hanging out were leaving one by one. I wasn’t feeling too happy and was ready to continue my trip.

Decadently trying out some Port, the Colheita of ’99 was really the best!

Fortunately, Eline, a dear friend of mine had planned a visit. I can’t describe how good it felt to see and hug her again when I picked her up from the airport. It had been 2.5 months since I’d seen someone close to me, so that was a real emotional moment. She was staying at Oporto surflodge in Cortegaca (of a friend of hers, whom I also know). So, I moved my van there too, which made me feel a lot better. We some quality time together, relaxing, catching up, surfing and visiting Porto (together with another friend). We enjoyed a really good Port tasting at Kopke. The older the better (and the more expensive ;)), in our selection of Ports.

On top of this, my sister had planned a surprise visit!

She had been on a holiday near Lisbon and decided to drive north and fly home from Porto, so she could visit me. I had no idea, it was a really happy weird moment when she, sort of, appeared out of nowhere. We spent 2 very relaxing days together, also with some lovely people from the lodge. She even had her first surfsession, which was so cool to see (the surfstruggle is real J). It was so nice to be surrounded by people very close to me, other familiar faces and new people. I’ve also been on the phone more with friends and family. Sending messages is nice and practical, but hearing someone’s voice is so much better, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy! Everyone should do that more often!

The beautiful city of Porto.

Then slowly my sister had to leave and 2 days later I dropped Eline off at the airport, after having had real nice farewell dinners at local Italian restaurants.

I stayed near the lodge for a few days more, enjoying the company, surf and giving a few massages. And for the first time in a pretty long time, I joined a hatha yogaclass, which was taught mostly in Portuguese. It was a good experience, doing some sun salutations and some other poses. I hardly ever have a practice like that, because I don’t really enjoy those movements. There’s too much happening for me, which keeps me from feeling my movement properly. Nevertheless, it was good to experience them again.

Loving my job, especially if it can be done outdoors!

Another thing I’ve seen and learned there is a cultural difference here. I feel that women and their opinions aren’t as well respected here as compared to Holland. That really made me realise how grateful I am that I come from a place where my opinions and feelings are listened to and respected (at least most of the time, depending on the opinion I came up with ;)).

Now, I’m back on the road again.

Heading south, past some well-known surfspots. Looking forward to meeting some friends in the south, while I’m on my way to Carvoeiro. There, I’ll join To The Sea retreat in the beginning of October to see if I can work for them. And after that, I’ll be flying back to Holland on the 6th to visit loved ones.

Good plans ahead!



1 Comment

  1. Weer graag meegelezen en o hoe herken ik je gevoel bij de garage! Zelf in mijn eigen moerstaal vond ik het al een bezoeking. Fijn hoor die bezoekjes van Eline en zus 🙂 Grappige foto van de portproeverij.

    Kom dacht ik, je hoort graag stemmen, dus ik bel even…. beetje pech maar je kan me vinden op je voicemail… en daar zeg ik het al: altijd welkom als je op Hollandse klei ben gearriveerd!

    Geniet van het goede en graag tot ziens, josee

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