July 15: Surfing and Earth Magic


I could not wait to introduce Jana to the calm and beautiful waves of Baleal. We got to the beach, I introduced her to the guys, and we rented some boards.

As Jana was getting changed she said,

“Oh, I love this wetsuit.”

I know! We talked about how the lines and rubber placements of the other wetsuits hit us in the wrong spots of our body and made us feel uncomfortable and oddly shaped. But these were great.

Hello Wetsuit Perfection. Thank you for not crushing our self esteem today.

The beach was a little crowded but that didn’t stop us from having a blast. We were catching white water like crazy and even a couple green waves.

Jana is an amazing surfer. Her take-offs look effortless and she easily glides along the water.

After an hour in that fun surf, we felt awesome.

“I love it here!” Jana said,

“I’m so scared at Praia Grande but here the ocean is like ‘play with me, play with me.’”

I know! It’s awesome!

We tried to drive around to find the farm where we were allowed to pick vegetables but we weren’t exactly sure which gate it was. We went back to the hostel and the helper came with us to Rita’s farm.

The metal gate was slowly pulled open and the most magical garden was revealed.

Sunflowers towered over us as we walked amongst patches of tomatoes, beets, and greens. There was even a little donkey to greet us.

We picked some beets and tomatoes and then headed out for a full day excursion.

We ventured to Caldas da Rainha. A gorgeous medieval town about an hour away from Baleal and wandered around the pond, spotted a pair of black swans, and meandered about the square. On the way home we visited Jeane and Sonny and had happy hour at an awesome best cocktail bar called The Base. It was hidden in this ominous looking apartment building with a laundromat but it was a fabulous place.  

When we got back to the eco hostel, Jana and I made a beet salad for dinner. 

Jana was cutting both store bought and our farm picked tomatoes. She pulled me aside and said,

“Taste this,” I had a bite of the store bought one. It tasted….bland, like nothing.

“Now, taste this,” and she gave me a slice of our farmed picked tomato.

A bright salty, sweetness enter my mouth. There was so much flavor, that slowly made its way through every tiny taste bud.

Hmm, earth magic.

None of us have time for gardening anymore. Why is that?