After the la Tomatina festival, we recovered in Valencia for the night, making the most of the comfortable hotel room before what we knew was going to be a horror night train experience.
Unfortunately for us we failed to book a compartment for the 10 hour journey and instead settled into our average train seats for the night. Snoring, coughing passengers, loud 2am conversations between the train conductor and sleepless children, undimmed lights and stops all through the night were not particularly conducive to a goods night sleep, and we stumbled bleary eyed into Lagos, Portugal the next afternoon, blinking at the sunsoaked coastline.
But one thing was obvious, even to our sleep deprived minds – Lagos was stunning. Beautiful limestone cliffs carved out private swimming coves, and turned the waves of the Atlantic Ocean buffering the golden sand a delicious green. We walked along the headland exploring this beautiful coast line, and sunbathed and swam all of the days we had there.
A highlight was also meeting up with pals from Croatia, who arrived in Lagos on our last night. We were adopted by their hostel mates and went out to relive our sailing tour days, lethal Long Island iced teas in hand!
We then travelled up the coast, an hour north of Lisbon to meet our free spirited university friend Hamish Lee. He kindly offered up the double bed in his converted van and we set off in search of the surf, travelling back down towards Lisbon. Lee even attempted to teach us to surf – some of us more successful than others (While Kelly claimed the easy beginners board and showed real promise, I mostly spent the time paddling around and/or getting dunked under the waves). After sadly realising I did not harbour an undiscovered talent for surfing, we made it to Lisbon where we spent the afternoon exploring the beautiful old town and gorging ourselves on the famed Pasteis de Belem – a variation of the Portugese pastel de nada, a type of custard tart that is seriously good!
Below are some of our photos from stunning Portugal!