October 2010

After months of desert-like conditions in Central Portugal (we had no rain at all even in September), a week of rain was forecast for the first week of October. Therefore we decided to make the best of our last day of sun and headed to Nazaré. It was our first time there and well worth it. Although the summer crowds had gone there were enough people about to give it a bit of life. We didn’t actually make it to Nazaré until later in the afternoon as we first headed to the clifftop village of Sitio for its stunning views. From the lighthouse you can see beaches spreading north for miles and we were captivated by the sight of the crashing waves on the rocks below. Back in the pretty village, we stayed for lunch in a pleasant seafood restaurant (all the restaurants are seafood restaurants by the way) overlooking the picturesque square. Here, we watched the old women in traditional costumes showing the tourists their multilayed petticoats and selling them dried fruit. Suitably refreshed we headed down to Nazaré proper. Again, we were pleasantly surprised. The beach was wonderful, the sun was warm and the sea breeze refreshing but not cold. Rather than selling dried fruit, here the colourful old ladies were drying fish on racks. But by now it was getting late. We headed off. We will have to explore the intriguing old cobbled streets behind the seafront at a later date. For we shall return.

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Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazare at the Sitio

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