Our exit out of Valencia was a true budgeteers journey to Portugal. It went something like this:
Bus for five hours
[Wait for four hours]
Plane for one hour
[Wait for eight hours]
Subway for thirty minutes
[Wait for one hour]
Bus for one hour
“Hey two balls, wake up.” We were there. The hours of uncomfortable seating, minimal sleep, and guarding the packs was over. Completo. Não mais. I woke up in Ericeira.
After a quick shake of the legs to walk off the bus, I was told I had been pronouncing the village wrong for the past few months. As the lady at the bus stop sternly stated, “It’s E-riss-i-rah.” Yes ma’am. I originally found this traditional seaside village when I was searching for surf spots in Europe. It turns out this is the only World Surf Reserve in all of Europe- An amazing place to call home for a month. After various emails sent to every hostel in the area, one had interest in accommodating us for an extended period of time. It wouldn’t be at the hostel but an apartment in the village itself. I was sold.
We met our hosts, Miguel alongside his wife Lucia, at the hostel where they warmly welcomed us to the new place. After a quick tour of the once fishing village/now surfers heaven, we were presented the apartment. Situated in the heart of the village, it’s the quintessential seaside location. The cobblestone streets are lined with traditional blue and white coastal housing. Below us is a bakery where my morning friend, Ricardo, has been running the show for over a decade. In the mornings, we can hear the Portuguese women shouting at each other from house to house. There’s an abundance of small cafes and benches to relax looking over the Atlantic. And to top it all off, we’re within walking distance to various breaks for surfing.
With two weeks in the books since we arrived, we’re well situated. We strut with the “local knowledge” of the beaches knowing where to go and when (we’re confident). We rented surf boards for a month and after catching a few waves, are pretty sure we’re on the verge of joining the ASP World Tour. Grocery shopping is a daily task when everything is fresh otherwise it rots, first-hand information. And although we have an apartment, we routinely stop by the hostel to meet other fellow travelers. Some of the notable individuals have been: Natalia, a flight attendant turned surfer; Ian, a german student on holiday; Manuel and Sara, an amazing Portuguese couple I met in the most opportunistic way. More on them soon.
The most exciting part of it all- it’s not over yet. There’s a lot on the plate for the next couple of weeks that I can’t wait to share before I head out to the next country. I’ll be carrying the camera around a bit more and will be posting a video soon of this knock-out place called Ericeira, our home in the World Surf Reserve.
And of course- i’ll sit back, thank God for this opportunity, and enjoy that sunset.
[Video uploading soon concluding Spain into Portugal]
The bus service in Portugal is called Mafrense. The main hub in Lisbon is Campo Grande and is easily accessible by subway.
Although sometimes similar to portuguese, spanish will only get you so far. Fortunately, a lot of the locals know english.
Magicseaweed.com has been our tool to check out the waves for the day