July 14: Back to Baleal

In the morning, Tamara and I decided to grab some breakfast before I took her back to Carrapateira. Jana, one of the helpers from Salty Way, who became my friend, had a few days off and wanted to get together. Jana recently had been hit in the head by her surf board, an action that required some stickes, so when we were trying to decide where to go together she told me,

“I want to go to a beach were the waves are smaller and I will feel safer.”

Instantly, I knew, “Baleal, we have to go to Baleal.”

Tamara and I had delicious breakfast sandwhiches while we played with Noah, our friend’s baby, and then she told me we had to visit one more beach spot before we went back to Carrapateira.

She was right.



We ran into some other friends at the end of one of the cliffs who invited me to go surfing with them but I knew I wouldn’t make it back to Jana. In that moment, I wished I could freeze time.

In that frozen moment, we would have been the only ones on the beach; walking on the waves, sleeping on the sand in the sun. In that frozen moment I could have a spontaneous surf and still meet Jana. But alas, choices must be made.

When we got back to Carrapateira, I dropped Tamara off at the beach and we said goodbye. Well, not goodbye but, see you later.

It took hours to get from Carrapateira to Sintra, it was the first time I encountered a traffic jam on the road trip and hitting Lisbon at the height of rush hour did not help the situation. Plus, I did not have a way to contact Jana either.

When I arrived at Café Saudade, I knew I was late and Jana…wasn’t there.

I tried to connect to wi-fi so I could contact her but the café’s wi-fi wasn’t working very well. I knew that I just had to sit there, be patient, and trust.

After fifteen minutes, Jana walked through the door. We gave each other a big hug and then made plans for the evening.

Every single digital device we tried would not connect to the café’s Internet and I was beginning to feel like we were living inside some kind of sitcom.

“Try my iPad! This this laptop! Try this smartphone!”

Zip. Nada. Nothing.

The apartment where I stayed in Baleal before was booked. Since the wifi wasn’t reliable we realized the best idea would be to drive to Baleal and then start knocking on hostel doors.

I remembered the location of the hostel that the Baleal boys had told me about so I figured we would start there.

We packed up and Jana admired the rental car.

“Ohhhh niceee, caarrrrr,” she said.

“Um, yeah, it better be. I have a long story to tell you about that.” (Watch video posts)

Jana was my navigator. As we started our journey from Sintra to Baleal, Jana and I had a lot to talk about but then I realized that we’d missed three turns in the first five minutes.

Each time Jana would laugh and in her sweet German accent say,

“Oops sooorrryyyy.”

Let’s just say, I became driver and navigator pretty quickly.

On the car ride, we caught up with each other about the weeks we’d missed and it was so great to be together another for the next part of our adventure.

We arrived in the small surf town of Baleal around 9 p.m. There was a phone number on the door of the eco hostel. Jana and I managed to call it with one of our phones but no one answered. Then, the person called back.

Her name was Rita and she was the manager of the eco hostel. She had room for us and she’d be there in 15 minutes.

Thank you Universe!

Jana and I hung out in the car thanking our lucky stars and, it was about to get better. Rita was so sweet and showed us the eco hostel and our room, a four bedroom dorm, all to ourselves for eighteen euros a night.

What Magic Is This?!

The price also included access to their farm down the street, use of other food in the pantry, the kitchen, and more. The bathrooms were nice and there were only a few other people staying the hostel.

Jana and I got settled and made plans to surf in the morning.