July 6: Baleal to Lisbon to Ericeira


When Romi and I said goodbye again, this time for real, we held each other for a long time.

That night when I was falling asleep, I thought about how I had sometimes misjudged Romi.

Mainly because she was the one who was getting all our butts in gear at Salty Way when we had to wake up and pack the van with the surf boards and wet suits.

The lot of us would be sound asleep and then you’d hear Romi’s German accent touting the hallway...

“Time to vake up! Get vour boavds and vetsuits!”

Ughhhh….of course this was also before we would find out that someone drank every last drop of coffee.

Double ughhhh.

Romi is an incredibly amazing person. She can be stern at times but she is adventurous and supportive. She’s not afraid to sleep on the beach alone or buy a plane ticket to a random country. She’s not afraid to have wild romances or go for the largest set of waves. There were days where she said she didn’t want to surf alone with a bunch of guys but if I had to put my money on Romi or some guy who has been surfing his whole life, I’d pick Romi. She would never back down from anything.

(Romi, I see your sailing somewhere in the wild ocean. Get em girl and I hope our paths cross again during some other amazing surf adventure.)  

I woke up early on the July 6th to rain lightly hitting my window and finished packing. A few snails came out of the garden and onto the stairs to greet me.


“Hello little snails,” I whispered to them in the calm, wet morning.

I made a few trips to my car with my bags and then went to say goodbye to Jeane and Donny the black lab. Jeane was so sweet and let me keep extending my stay at her gorgeous and perfect apartments and of course it was great to have Donny around to play with.

I got in my way too expensive but beautiful rental car and drove out of the rain and into Lisbon. 

Even though I love the rain, it always makes it easier to leave a place. 

I went straight to the Canon store in Lisbon and dropped off the camera and then went to a café to confirm my couch surfing reservation.

Once I saw that everything was good I hit the road again.

Next stop on the surfing road trip…Ericeira.

My host was not going to be back from work to let me into the house until the evening so I just popped in the town of “Ericeira” into my GPS. 

Random road trip observation: Portugal has brand new highways, that no one uses, very little traffic, and pristine gas stations


 After an hour of easy driving, I pulled into a parking lot that overlooked the ocean.

I sat on the concrete bench and watched the ocean flow for a while.

That might be the second best feeling…

Nowhere to go, nothing to do, no items to cross of a list...

When you allow yourself to just…be.


After relaxing, breathing in the salty air, and observing for a little while, I started to walk around the town of Ericeria and wandered right into Green. Is. Good. aka GIG.

It was exactly what I was looking for, a cute little café, with decent wifi perfect for blogging and catching up with friends at home.

I asked the waitress if it was alright if I stayed for a while.

I didn’t want to take up a table if they were really busy.

“Of course, stay as long as you like,” she said.

So began my hours of writing and powering up with juices, coffee, and amazing food.

GIG became my home base and the waitress, Martha, became a fast friend.

“What are you writing?” she asked me.

Soon we were telling sharing life stories. She was from Ericeira but had lived in London for the past few years and decided to move home to help her friends open GIG.

It turns out that the café had JUST opened. The group of friends restored the old store front and kept the interior as original as they could. They felt like there was a need for a healthy but delicious café in their small surfing hometown and they were right.

I spent the night at the couch surfers house close to town and left early in the morning to get back to the ocean.