A couple blogs up today. And pics! Check 'em!
Just to bring you all up to speed, I'm still in Portugal. I'll be stayin' here for some time...I don't know how long, but I'm no rush. I asked for six weeks, and I was granted it at the customs check-in!
I picked up a job yesterday. Technically, it's not a job. I get absolutely no cash for my work. But I get a place to stay. More or less, I am working at a resort/camp out in the middle of nowhere. No, I mean out in the middle of nowhere. The camp is situated on the bottom of beautiful, green hills. But we are miles from civilization!
I have to bike into town to buy groceries or to get anything else! And it's great...the bike is an old German fella. I pulled it out of the garage yesterday. After inflating the tires, lubin' the rusty chain, adding some more oil to the brakes to get them moving, I was off! It still makes some noise when I go up hills, but it gets the job done! And it's the type that has me sit up in a proper position. Go ahead, picture the wicked old witch on the Wizard of Oz ridin' through the sky! That's me! I feel so proper when I bike! yikes!
So here's the deal. I am the groundskeeper. The Yard Boy. The Lawncare Maintenance Specialist. Whatever you want to call it. That's me. I work 10 hours a week in exchange for a nice room complete with shower, kitchen, double bed, etc. Not a bad deal if you ask me! I can work the 10 hours any way I want to. All at once....spread out. Whatever.
So here's my plan...work in the morning. Then have the afternoon and evening off! It works out great. I tried it out today. I spent three hours clearing away a big thorn bush from 0830-1130, then I cooked some lunch, then took my wicked bike to the coast! I didn't know where it was, so I just headed for the clear, blue sky! And I found it!
And, oh, did I find it. Beautiful coast, it is. It's much different than southern Portugal. Western Portugal has sheer cliffs and ROUGH seas. And that makes for some fine viewing!!! I climbed down the very interesting cliffs (the rock is very thin and falls apart in your hands!), then made it to the remotest of beaches if I ever did see one. I put the first footprints in the sand!
And, of course, I was eager for pictures! And as any good cameraman does, I went to the best locations for pictures. Out on the rocks! I became a new man after a wave tried to attack me...so I soon left (the video is in the pictures section!).
But I went to other rocks. The entire time I am walking along the beach, I am thinking..."Hmm, the high tide comes in WHEN???" And I didn't know. But from the debris of shells and some plastic bottles high up on the sand, I could tell that the ocean came all the way up to the cliffs. On the very sand that I was walking on.
Remember that fact as you are walking along the beach with me.
I go to another part, far away from the place where I had climbed down the cliffs. The cliffs behind me are now impassable, and in the back of my head is still that high-tide idea. Well, I am taking BEAUTIFUL pictures on the rocks, and I take notice of some higher waves coming on shore. Nothing to worry about really. The ocean goes up and down. Some waves come up higher on the sand than others.
More pictures. I pose for a few...it's good times.
Then I look out to sea to see what I am taking pictures of.
"[insert not-so-good word]!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I didn’t mean to say it. But it found its way out anyway.
About 100 meters out, I see 15-20 foot swells. Huge waves. One after the other. coming in fast. And I don't have time to appreciate their beauty. The waves have been powerful all day, but these are 2-3 times the others’ size. And all I can think about is high tide. “It’s coming for me!” I throw my camera into my bag, grab it, and just start sprinting as best as I can on the rocks! I'm rock-jumping! I'm not even on the sand yet! Jump, jump, jump! Run!!!! I'm now on the sand, and I am sprinting. I look back to see how fast my doom is approaching...
And they have been absorbed by the rocks. The swells are gone. At least for now. More come in...but they are absorbed again. Wow. I know not what high tide looks like or how fast it comes in here. But I was sure it was coming for me. Obviously, a Midwest boy was out of his element.
But I wasn't ready to risk anymore. Without having the tide schedule in my hand, I wasn't up for trying to survive on jagged cliffs in a raging ocean. I walked back to the beach and hung out on the other side where I had come down. I laid in the sun for awhile, then climbed back up.
And, oh, what an experience! I imagine only a handful of people in the entire world have seen such beauty! This beach is so remote I had to pass by a farm house to get to it, bike down a sandy road, ditch my bike when the road ended, and then walk through brush, and then maneuver my way down an unstable cliff!
But it’s easily one of my most favorite places on earth.
Work in the morning, play in the afternoon, write and relax in the evening.
Yeah, I can get used to this.
2007-09-19 20:52:58 GMT