Running on Portuguese time

After a sweltering stopover in sunny Lisbon, we were making our way towards the coast to our beach-side retreat for the week. As we grew closer to our final destination the temperature began to drop and then, in the distance, a gloomy grey scene came into view, and we seemed to be heading straight for it.

Not long after arriving in foggy Peniche, we were on the little "island" of Baleal at our home for the week – Balili House. A lovely little surf house with bright green shutters and within touching distance of two beaches.

On our first morning, we were greeted with even more fog and our hopes of surfing in the sunshine were quickly slipping away.

That afternoon we had our first surf lesson of the week at Escola de Surf de Peniche and our lovely instructor, Antonio. After a brief struggle with our wetsuits we were in the water and the sun had even come out to greet us.

A moderately successful 2 hours later we were headed back to the house and straight onto the roof and into the hot tub.

Then we were back to our usual regimen of surfing, yoga and generally being beach bums.

Without too much time for relaxing, we were into our first yoga session of the week (and of my life), which I was a touch sceptical about. Not that I have anything against yoga, I'm just really inflexible. That said, it was actually really enjoyable, if a little tough at times.

The rest of the week played out pretty similarly, with the yoga and surfing occasionally swapping places and fortunately for us, the sun kept shining.

The only day which differed was Thursday, when we swapped our surf boards for Stand Up Paddleboards and the largest salt-water lake in Europe. Then we spent the afternoon in the beautiful medieval town of Obidos, where we tried Ginja (local cherry liqueur) served in a little chocolate shot cups, and passed the time in an odd little bar.

That night we made our way to Yoni's, a unique combination of organic farm, school and wooden surfboard workshop. A very interesting concept and worth stopping by if you're in the area. Our primary reason for being there though, was to make our own pizzas. And we were very excited about pizza.

Then we were back to our usual regimen of surfing, yoga and generally being beach bums.

Other items of note from the week were:
Taberna de Ganhao – a packed little restaurant on Baleal island.
Surfer's Lodge – a lovely bar/restaurant in Ferrel.
How cheap and good the wine was.
A tribe called quest blasting in the van to/from the surf school.
Adjusting to Portuguese time (aka 15-30 mins late)
But most importantly how lovely all the people we were sharing the house with and our wonderful hosts and instructors for the week.

All in all, it was a great week and we're already thinking about our next wave-based trip.

About Paul Selby

Hey I’m Paul, I'm a multi-discipline designer living and working in London. You can find some of my work here.