What could be better than a sunny walk round a beautiful lagoon, with old friends who are happy to share their joy in a new home? The forecast was for rain, so we felt ourselves truly blessed. Did you see my Saturday post? Óbidos is a lovely little town, but we had been reluctant to believe that our friends would make the move north from their sunny Algarve home. So, when we decided that this was the year to finally witness Easter in Braga, it seemed the perfect stop off on our drive. And what a welcome we received! They had worked hard on the new place and we were their first visitors. We felt very honoured, and they were determined to show us exactly why they had moved.
By pure chance we were staying at Casa de Relogio, the same small hotel in the town walls that we had stayed in 10 years previously, in a grey, cool November. Though we had loved the Medieval Fair on that occasion, the other half had gout and limped painfully around the cobbles. And believe me, those cobbled streets are steep! Looking out on the surrounding countryside, bathed in sunshine, we could hardly believe our luck. We dropped our bags off and went to meet our friends, who whisked us off to the local beach at Foz do Arelho. A lovely spot, we had to agree, but it was Palm Sunday afternoon and it felt like half of Portugal were sharing the promenade with us. There are always compensations, though, and on our return to the hotel we were just in time to witness the Palm Sunday procession pass below us, from the roof terrace, while enjoying a complimentary glass of Ginja!
Fast forward to the following day, a swift shower caught us out but, by the time we’d had coffee, blue was creeping back into the sky. Raincoats at the ready, we set off for the shoreline opposite to Foz no Arelho, the lagoon at Óbidos. Nothing could be further removed from yesterday’s bustling promenade. In the distant past the lagoon is believed to have extended all the way to the town but, nature being prone to rearranging shorelines, today you need to drive there. The lagoon has an approximate area of 6.9 square kilometres and is surrounded by beautiful pine forests.
I seemed to be fixated on the roped fence which kept us from straying from the path, but the lagoon was flat calm and peace itself. We watched in fascination as a couple of divers bobbed to the surface, unsure for what they were fishing- clams, cockles, mussels, shrimp and green crab are all found in these waters, along with octopus and eels.
Rounding the shoreline we came upon a bridge. A few families had joined us by now, getting the youngsters out to burn off energy. Snippets of conversation, mostly in Portuguese, drifted to us through the silence. Nature was all around us, sublime in her beauty.
The lagoon is affected by the tides, a sand bar helping to mitigate the force of the Atlantic, just around the bay. We were hopeful that the restaurant at the end of the trail would be open but, it being a Monday, we were a little unsure. Huge smiles wreathed our faces as we toasted each other and the future, before setting off back around the trail.
A gentle breeze had started to blow and some youngsters were practising their kitesurfing skills in a shallow area of the bay. We watched for a while and chatted to one of them, who assured us it was great fun, if a little tricky at times. The landings certainly didn’t all seem to go to plan.
A family pootled about at the water’s edge as we made our way back to the beginning of the trail. Still fixated on frayed rope. The distance was about 8km there and back, but there are numerous trails through the woods if you wanted to explore further.
We could definitely see the attraction of the area. Can you? Here’s to friendship and many more meet ups.
No place like home, so I simply have to start with Sarah. Such a shame we didn’t meet :
It’s no secret that Drake loves Paris, but his photos of Mont St. Michel are very enticing too!
Teresa definitely has a love affair with Prague. It looks stunning!
Loving the wildness of Carol’s latest share :
While Janet shares the magnificent flowers of the torch cacti :
I really enjoyed a little reminiscence with Anabel, from her lovely part of the world :
But Rupali was much closer, celebrating Semana Santa in Alicante :
I feel sure I’d enjoy a walk in Suzanne’s company in this beautiful place :
And I think there’s something special about dogwoods, despite their name. Happy walking, Robin!
If you really like a challenge and you’re in Maggie’s part of the world?
I know some of you are going to bemoan the lack of cake! Hilary stuffed us full of her incredible curry, and there was dessert but I was too tired (or inebriated) to take the shot. Have a good week, all, and I’ll be back soon.