Road Trip Day Two: Picnic at Marinha

After an amazing first day (click here for that post), we woke up Thursday ready to explore Lagos and other beaches in the Algarve.
First, Mama of the Rising Cock made us an amazing crepe breakfast with her ‘magic drink’. Just say ‘tika tika tika’ and remember: “No plate, no crepe!”.

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Feeling re-charged we headed to the ‘awesome’ beach that Nick of the Gspot told us about. Of course, it was located down a very rough looking road and there were signs all over saying ‘danger’ but we were told it was a place most tourists didn’t frequent.

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Look very picturesque?
Wait for it…

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Yes, I have used instagram on some of these photos but it really was amazing!

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From there we headed one more beach over which had a cafe where we sat and enjoyed an espresso on the beach, looking at the ocean.
We made a game plan to grab some food and have a picnic at the next beach. It had been raining but the clouds were dissipating so we had high hopes. A trip to Spar and we bought ourselves a hearty lunch for only 4 euro each! Wine, meat, cheese, bread, olives, plates, cups, carrots, apples, plums and cucumber were all on the menu.
We drove about 45 minutes east and followed the signs to Marinha beach.

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At this beach we found a cave! We walked through it and at the end were crashing waves!

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We sat and ate our lunch on the steps of a cafe on the beach and chatted. Written down it doesn’t seem like something out of the ordinary, but in that moment I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
Sadly Natalie had to leave to go back to work (at the Gspot), so we drove over to Albufeira, a town another 20 minutes east from the beach.
It felt like I was in a resort in Mexico. I hated it. We all hated it. Words cannot really describe the negative energy we all felt while we were there.

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I will not tell you to not go, but I definitely will not recommend it.
Stay-tuned for Day Three: West to the Surf.

Road Trip Day One: Lagos, Portugal

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Welcome to Lagos, Portugal in the Algarve (south).
Stunning beaches, crashing waves, surfing towns and amazing scenery await.

I had talked about renting a car in Portugal well before I left for my trip, but once here it seemed a bit daunting. But, after meeting a few groups who had rented a car I realized that maybe it wouldn’t be that difficult.

I got online and reserved a small car through Europcar for about 40 euro a day. Finding people to come with me was fairly easy, and the next day four of us started our amazing journey.

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Alan, me, Natalie and Jochen; an Australian, a Canadian, a Londoner and a German.

We got ourselves a tiny Fiat Panda. The horsepower in this baby was…non-existent. But, that was okay since I didn’t really have to worry about my speed when passing cops since the car could barely make it to 130 KM/H (speed limit is 120).

We drove right down to Lagos since we wanted to see the sunset from a viewpoint Nick (Gspot hostel owner) recommended to us. It was only a 3 hour drive down on the A22–but be aware there are tolls to pay!

We got to Lagos and checked-in to the Rising Cock hostel and took a walk to the lighthouse.

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We took this teeny-tiny path to walk out onto the cliffs and were pleasantly surprised with an amazing view. And, we made it just in time for the sunset.

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We sat on the cliffs, drinking wine and chatting and it was in this moment that I realized this was a memory I was going to cherish forever. That time I took a road trip with 3 strangers to the coast of Portugal and sat on the cliffs during sunset with a few bottles of wine.

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Next we headed to the famous Nah Nah Bah.
It has been voted as one of the top 50 Burger Joints in the world!
The most famous is the Toucan Burger which a few of my fellow travel mates ordered, while Alan ordered the Luis Figos Wet Dream chicken burger and I ordered the Veg burger topped like the Blue Ball Buster.

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Oh yeah! We also ordered a starter of Nachos which were amazing (I haven’t had any since in Europe). Jochen ordered their famous drink, the Bottom Line.

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Needless to say we were extremely full after dinner and quickly fell asleep at the hostel. Stay-tuned for Day Two: Picnic at Marinha.

Castles, caves and palaces in Sintra,Portugal

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I am so sorry for being MIA! I woke up this morning and only then realized that I haven’t posted anything in 4 days!! Welcome to Sintra, Portugal! While in Lisbon there are a few day-trips I would recommend: Belem … Continue reading

Adventures in Lisboa with the Gspot Family

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Hello friends and family!! Remember how I said I loved Lisbon? Well, it’s official, I think Lisbon, Portugal and I are meant to be together. It’s head-over-heals infatuation! We tried to head to Peniche for the surf competition a few … Continue reading

Beach day at Cascais, Portugal

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So, because the Gspot is awesome, and provides very detailed instructions of how to get to the beach!
It was easy, and only cost me 2.25 euro for a roundtrip from Lisbon to Cascais, and took only about an hour!

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This was my first sight of Cascais. Beautiful, colourful shops and restaurants, cobblestone streets and the hot sun.

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It was the perfect day for the beach. Not too hot, lots of sun, and plenty of people visiting during their Saturday off. Be prepared: it is extremely touristy! This isn’t a bad thing, but don’t expect a remote-unknown local beach.

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The streets were full of photo-opportunities-flowers donned the sides of all the houses, the roads were tiny, and every few steps I would pass an alleyway that offered breathtaking views of the ocean.
AWESOME!

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So, what’s in Cascais besides a beach and tourist shops?
Beautiful scenery and cliffs! Most notable is the Boca do Inferno. Honestly, I had no idea this existed but I found myself walking for about 20 minutes down a pathway with a lot of people. A lot of people=something awesome to look at!

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So beautiful! Then I headed back into town, taking pictures of awesome restaurants and boats in the bay.

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I spent the rest of my day taking pictures, sleeping on the beach, reading and eating over-priced gelato. All-in-all it was a fantastic day.

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And just a beautiful graffiti picture to finish this post off:

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Eating my way through Lisbon, Portugal

Heyo!
Well, I’m in love with Lisbon.
I know I fall in love with every city I visit, but this is the real deal! I’ve walked around tons (check out this post), and I’ve managed to see quite a bit.
But, more on all of the sites later!
First, I want to tell you about the food!
Traditional Portuguese Meal

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Bacalhau à Brás is a dish composed of shredded salted cod (bacalhau), onions and thinly chopped (matchstick sized) fried potatoes in a bound of scrambled eggs and garnished with black olives. Verdict: pretty good! My friend, who has eaten it before, said that it wasn’t the best, so I’m going to go out for cod again.

Above is buttered toast with a pumpkin jam. Oh-my-goodness! Delicious! The jam was sweet and spicy, similar to a chai tea. Yummy! We had this at a really cool spot: Lost In Esplanada. It had an awesome view, and really awesome decor.

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Looks awesome, eh?
Next we headed to the Noobai Cafe. This was tucked away beside an alternative viewpoint. We just had a cafe, but the menu looked delicious! Vegetarian options available.

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So far so good?
Now, are you ready!?
I found a store that sells VEGAN products! Woo!
It’s called Celeiro Dieta, and it is a chain in Lisbon (maybe Portugal?). I was so excited!

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Are you excited for me!? Faux-meat products, quinoa and chocolate soy milk!
It was right across from El Corte Ingles so I went there as well and surprise, they also have vegan products! I preferred the smaller store myself (they had a cafe too!), but it’s good to know that Ingles has some options too.

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PS–the terra chips in the photo above are so yummy! You can buy them in Canada 🙂
And there you have it! That’s been my food adventures so far! Today I’m off to Belem to try some of their famous pastry! Jealous? 😉