Posts Tagged ‘wind’

Beach Time Fun

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Isn’t it funny how you don’t realise what you take for granted until you don’t have it anymore. Funny sad, not funny ha ha. In Perth I lived a 10 minute drive away from North Cottesloe and would go every morning for a wake-up swim. In Paris, the closest beach doesn’t even look like a beach because it has these weird lumpy bits of rock that you have to walk across and most people just lie in the sun turning into wrinkled, brown sausages. So a holiday to a country with potentially more passable beaches was a tad exciting.

Unfortunately, neither Lisbon or Porto are beachside resorts (although this is also a good thing because I tend to dislike beach side resorts with a passion) so to reach the beach we either had to catch a bus or walk a really long way. We did both. In Lisbon we waited at a bus station with bikini-clad girls and guys carrying bodyboards and headed to a beachside town called Costa da Caparica. Due to a miscommunication between myself and Tom, he had brought his bathers while I had left mine at the hotel, thinking we were just going to walk along the beach. Of course, as soon as I saw sandy coast with clear water and a few small waves, my brain switched to “Swim” mode and I went in search of appropriate attire.

Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica

At least it was cheap. For less than eight Euros I managed to buy a bikini (the first I have ever owned in my life) plus an extra four Euros for a pair of ugly shorts that would cover the fact that the bikini bottoms were very… well… Portuguese. However, it wasn’t until I was striding towards the water in my new outfit that I realised that despite me thinking I had developed quite an impressive tan while in Europe, I was most certainly the whitest thing on that beach. The sand was darker than me. My thighs that never see the light of day were reflecting laser beams of sunlight back to shore and people were cowering in fear. Ok, not completely true but almost. I felt like a Brit who sits in the shade on Australian beaches, looking vampiresque and rapidly turning into a lobster.

Jess at the beach

Please notice the beach and the fact that I am there. Please ignore my weird tan lines, food belly, awful shorts and the couple lying on the beach behind me.

Once I was in the water my whiteness was less of an issue and I managed to enjoy a cold but refreshing swim. It is such a pleasurable experience to have sea water gliding around you. I did have to fight with a few freak waves but the water was generally calm and there were little sparkles of gold floating through it. Delightful.

Our second visit to the beach happened in Porto. We looked at the map and decided to walk along the river edge until it hit the ocean and then head north towards where the map showed beach umbrellas and ‘sand’ coloured patches. The walk was longer than expected but it was really enjoyable, walking along the river and seeing little pockets of outer Porto along the way. Once we reached the ocean things got a bit windy and we discovered that the surf was up with a cold breeze coming off the water. Not very pleasant. So no swimming but the walk along the coast was beautiful.

Porto beach

Porto coastline

The problem was, there was too much wind for me to wear a hat and for it to remain on my head so I walked most of the way without it. Of course, there was then a lot of sun and I’m reasonably certain that the strong winds and sunny conditions were what led to me feeling rather unwell that evening and the following day. But that, my friends, is the danger of outdoor adventures.