Porto

Our first experience in Portugal, Porto, was not planned at all. We knew we’d be passing through, but had no intent of spending any time there, until we saw it. There are so many things you want to look at it’s dangerous to be driving. We decided it’d be much safer to park and walk around. People’s homes are stacked on top of each other all the way down the hillside to the river. As you walk down the infinite staircase through the center of the neighborhood you can smell food cooking, laundry drying, and at least 4 different people’s music at once. It feels like you’re intruding, but they don’t seem to mind. There is a strange contrast of poverty and tourism, but overall it’s a fascinating place to walk around and take pictures. We didn’t spend more than a few hours, but it’s stuck in our minds as a place we’d love to explore more.

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CARRAPATEIRA AND SAGRES

Carrapateira is a legendary surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing spot on the west coast of the Algarve region in Portugal. We chose the first winding dirt road heading towards the ocean with no idea what to expect and found a beautiful surf beach with layers of coastal mountains sloping down to the ocean. We drove curiously through the parking lot, which was full of the most incredible trucks and campers. Big old surf vans that look like they’d been there since the dunes formed made us feel like total losers in our brand new Citroen.
Our original destination was Sagres, another 45 minutes out on the peninsula, so we decided to continue on our way to find a place to sleep. We ended up exploring the fortress at the most western tip of the peninsula, a 20-minute walk around an incredible landscape that really makes you feel like you’re on the edge of the world. We found an RV friendly parking lot to sleep in and headed back to Carrapateira the next day to play on the beach. After a few days of sleeping in the car and exploring the scorched landscape, we decided we needed a real bed to sleep in. We found an amazing place in the country just outside of Lagos. This gave us time to relax for the night and explore the surrounding area. Our hosts Isabel and her son overwhelmed us with their welcoming hospitality showing us secluded beaches and letting us in on their culture. It was an amazing experience that we will never forget.

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