More New Places
As I write this we are in the small marina in Nazare. An easy place to dismiss and not want to stay based on the marina. Marina is very small, smallest we have been in and looks very tatty and neglected. It is right next to the fishing fleet but there is surprisingly little wash. The surrounding area looks scrubby and industrial. The marina itself, is as the guides say, extremely protected from the weather. We arrived in fog and from what we could see little made us want to stay longer than necessary. However, Alec and his friend Dodi came to chat to us not long after we arrived. Alec, English chap, has been here for many years and has applied to take over the pontoons. There are a number of boats here for the long term having arrived and loved it.
I’m not keen on the stray dogs that are about although they are “no problem” that is if you are not jogging, on a bike or another dog.
We walked into Nazare town on Monday which is a fair walk from the marina. We walked along the seafront and it has a huge long beach and lots of tourist tat shops and cafes, bars and restaurants along the sea front as you would expect in any tourist resort. It wasn’t like “Blackpool on steroids” which is one persons opinion, certainly not in the day. I love to see people of all ages taking to the beach with their chairs, wind breaks and picnics. We see a lot of quite elderly ladies on their own just sticking a chair on the beach and sitting with their skirt up on their knees or paddling in the waters edge. In Nazare you can only swim with a green flag, paddle with an orange flag or stay clear of the water completely with a red flag. Today was a green flag day. There are loads of old ladies out to try and get people to rent rooms. It is obviously a managed business of sorts as they were all wearing what looked like an identification/license badge. It was like running the gauntlet of restaurant fluffers (you know those people who are stopping you to try to get you to eat at their place). Old lady fluffers – haha.
We walked to the cliff at the other end of the town and took the funicular train up the cliff to the village, Sitio, at the top. The view down and across Nazare is phenomenal. We had a bit of a mooch and a walk to the lighthouse. Nazare is the holder of the largest wave ever surfed and most photos of this are from the lighthouse on the top. Bizarely even while there are massive waves, the harbour itself is still accessible due to a deep ravine that runs directly to it. Not that I’d want to try it. Alec and Dodi said that while they were watching the surfers, a small yacht came out of the harbour and ended up riding up one of the massive waves, once he’d cleared the entrance. He changed his mind and went back in!
We had lunch in the square and listened to some local music while supping a glass of the local vino. It was a beautifully sunny clear day unlike the day before. We took the funicular back down and ambled back to the marina. We didn’t find a supermarket so dinner was distinctly crap to be honest. My supplies are running down and I could do with a large supermercardo to restock.
Today, I think it’s Tuesday, we walked back into town as I had been told there was a reasonable supermarket. It was definitely a red flag day on the beach. Due to the sharp drop of the beach to the sea, we couldn’t see the water line from the footpath but we could see the waves crashing and the spray. Loads of people on the beach still though despite the wind. The beach was packed at the bottom of the cliff to Sitio as it shelters it from the north wind.
The supermercardo was so not super. I got the feeling it was closing down as many of the shelves were empty and not well stocked and one freezer completely empty. They had no fresh meat of any sort, no butter, no salad veg. Really disappointing. We looked around for another shop or butcher but couldn’t find one. I did find a fruit/veg shop so got my salad stuff. There was a market but only any use if you wanted handbags, sunglasses, t-shirts and strangely a few stalls were selling coloured kitchen knife sets!
We hope to move on tomorrow, if the wind and swell has settled, to a little bay about 9 miles south. It is a sheltered shallow cove, described like Lulworth Cove in Dorset, and we hope to stay a good few days and have a holiday.
I’m glad we stayed long enough to have a bit of an explore but I must admit not somewhere I want to stay longer or long term. I can’t quite see the appeal that the others see.