I haven't been kidnapped or silenced... I was road-tripping in Portugal and Spain.
Here's a summary of some of the best moments. :)
So I want to thank you all once again for being patient and understanding in my absence. What was meant to be a simple conference and talk in Fatima, Portugal (so many thanks to Marta da Silva Gameiro), turned into much more. It turned into much more because one of the legs of our flight to Lisbon had been cancelled one day before we were meant to be flying. So I said, screw that. We got a total refund and rebooked a new flight path. In lieu of flying into Lisbon via Rome, I suggested flying direct into Madrid, renting a car and driving to the bloody conference in Portugal.
So, that’s what we did.
The only catch was that Air Europa makes you wear a mask. I have proof now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that masks are bullshit for stopping viral transmission in flight context. More on that at a later date. By the way Air Europa was excellent. Not even a delay.
So I want to share a few photos with y’all since I remembered on this trip that I am a photographer. I shot these photos with a Canon Powershot SX620 HS with 25X optical zoom. Ryan Cole uses this exact camera in his pathology lab and calls his ‘little red’. It’s a dynamite little camera.
First, the view from the air that I missed so much after not flying for so long. Just look at our beautiful planet. And yes, I took this from the airplane at ~40,000 feet with that little red camera.
So onto Fátima, Portugal. The best meal I have had in a very, very long time was at a little hole in the wall in Fátima. A complete surprise, and an incredibly delightful one. I wasn’t in photo mode yet so sadly, no photo. But safe to say, there was fresh grilled fish, there were freshly made chips and there was wine, there were olives stuffed with garlic and there was cheese. Man. The entire 3 course meal with wine was less than 30 euros. For both of us.
Fátima was beautiful and we found a eucalyptus and pine forest to go walking in one day.
After the conference, we drove to Nazaré. Now for those of you who don’t know about big wave surfing, Nazaré is one of the places on Earth with some really gnarly big waves. Here’s a photo (that I did not take) to illustrate the gnarly-ness.
Like we’re talkin’ scary big. So I stood at that lighthouse and marveled at the seascape on a much smaller day as seen in the photos below.
Maya Gabeira surfed Nazaré and broke her foot doing it. What a heroine.
I was so proud to stand in this room.
So no surfing in Nazaré, but I did buy a beautiful homemade shawl/poncho.
This is Nazaré.
We only spent about an hour there, and then drove on to Peniche.
This is Peniche. Actually, it’s Supertubos on a non-Supertubo day. I managed to pick the one place to stay that was exactly in front of this break. It was Hallowe’en, and we had an amazing huge seafood dinner at a place right outside the break. This is the photo I have.
And then we drove onto Ericeira where we spent 2 days. On the way, I found this. Dios mio.
And then Ericeira, Portugal. I seriously have no words for this place. It was the best of all possible worlds.
And then there was Setúbal, Portugal.
This is the market on a rainy day.
“There is life beneath the cement”.
Driving from Setúbal, Portugal to Spain.
An incredible stop in Portugal. A magical place called Évora where we got to walk on the roof of an even more incredible chapel.
And we kept on driving past this amazing aqueduct.
To Cáceres, Spain.
And then onto Toledo, Spain. What a place.
The most delicious tostada. Cheap as dirt. Better than anything.
And then, Bajaras. Beer, chicken, cider and Stumpy. I called this pigeon Stumpy because he has no toes, just stumps. I fed him chicken. I found it quite cannibalistic.
Beauty from plane back.
Arrived safely back home in time for my birthday. Fish, langostinos and squid was grilled, Argentinian wine was drunk, all in front of an almost full moon after sunset. It was pretty perfect.