July 8: Finding My Center in Vila Nova de Milfontes

Vila Nova de Milfontes is about two and a half hours southwest of Ericeira. The drive was smooth and calm, no traffic at all.

I didn’t plan on staying there long. A friend told me about a secret beach there that I had to check out but first I had to find a place to stay.

I drove to one hostel that I saw on the map but when I walked to the front door it looked…fancy.

Mega fancy. $100 a night fancy.

The concierge at the front desk of a fancier hotel, told me that used to have a hostel in the basement but they decided to a go another direction.

However, the gentleman said he had a friend who just opened a hostel and he made a phone call for me.

The concierge handed me a piece of paper with an address on it.

“Go here, they have a bed for you.”

Obrigada!

I drove back through the tiny little town and knocked on the front door of the hostel.

A man in his mid 30s opened the door.

“How long would you like to stay?”
He asked me.

“Just one night,” I replied.

“Ok, 20 euros.”

Done! Then he showed me around.

It was absolutely gorgeous, and there was only one other person staying in the house. There was a beautiful living room with a record player and vinyl, a garden terrace, a fully stocked kitchen, and clean bedrooms and bathrooms. They had only been open for thirty days.


I picked my bed, grabbed my key, and said goodbye to my landlord.

The only other guest was in the shower so I unpacked and did surf and beach research.

I thought the lessons were too expensive and it dawned on me that perhaps the further south I went, the more expensive the lessons would be.

Shortly after that my roommate emerged from the bathroom.

“Hi, I’m Dora.”

We hit it off right away. I began to talk about how it was almost a full moon and we clicked.

Dora was also into astrology and we started trading star secrets.

We decided to grab dinner together and Dora lead us to this little place in town.

Dora is Portuguese and is living in Lisbon.

“I came to this tiny town to vacation because there is absolutely nothing to do here except go to the beach.”

Fine with me!

After dinner, we were walking back to the hostel and we saw a street performer dressed as a spiritual guide and handing out cards she designed.

I tossed a coin in her basket and she gave me a card.

“Center”

Talk about synchronicity.

I realized, this whole journey was about finding my center.

When we got back to the hostel, we met two more surfer girls. I was digging through the vinyl and Tracy Chapman’s Crossroads album called out to me.

I put the vinyl on the four of us talked for hours about traveling and surfing in Portugal and around the world.

The girls had one more day left and were trying to decide where to go.

“Baleal, you have to go to Baleal.”

I went to take a shower before bed but the water was a bit too cold.

Sigh, the Goldilocks story continues.