At Peniche the headland sticks out into the ocean and it was even windier than ever, we did see a few brave vans parked up here. Also some fishermen were perched on the edge of a sheer cliff edge, not sure if the fish would hang on while they reeled it up the 100 foot cliff! We drove around the coast to Baleal and watched some surfers and went a walk over the causeway to wander around the narrow streets and white washed houses.
Then on up to Nazare, a traditional fishing village with a marvellous beach, where earlier in the year an American Surfer was towed out to surf a 100m wave before it crashed into shore. The large waves here are a result of a deep water trench just off the coast, which then shallows rapidly only meters from the shoreline. In certain weather conditions this produces exceptionally large waves. They were certainly crashing in whilst we visited, but not quite so big!
The little funicular railway took us from Nazare up to Sitio at the top of the peninsular for a couple of Euros. Here we got fantastic views of the sweeping bay below.
The classical image of Portugal is these fishing boats on the beach, which used to be hauled ashore by a team of oxen. We only saw them in this area though as many have now be replaced by modern boats and the old ones seam to decorate several town roundabouts!
In Nazare we also saw fish being dried on wire racks and many of the older generation dressed in traditional costume. Instead of mending nets the fish wives were trying to rent us a room, obviously more profitable, how times have changed.
At Sao Pedro de Moel, near to Marinha Grande we stayed at a campsite and chilled out for a couple of days. Tim even managed to put the hammock up for a few hours rest! Though we did cycle 10 miles to Praia de Vieira and had a scrummy sardine lunch while watching the waves crash ashore. The road was one of the straightest and with a great cycle track the whole way, but it just went on and on and on.....
At the end of the cycle track was a market place and these lovely candy striped houses.
As we had some tickets to use up for Orbitur Campsites we chose the next one up at Praia de Mira where there was a kite flying competition. The local children had made them out of paper and string and they where flying very well in the strong breeze. Some of the fishing boats shown above were here and the fishermen sorted the fish out on the beach. Some of it was quickly auctioned off and several of the locals were filling carrier bags with the smaller fish that had been discarded into the sand.
We hadn't planned to stay at Costa Nova, but it was a glorious Sunday and we found a small craft market taking place. We stopped and bought some biscuits from two sisters who also had some lovely handmade bags and purses for sale. They have a blog here.
The town is well known for its candy striped houses, each beautifully painted and full of character. We bought Dorado and prawns from the market as well as some lovely bread. The Portuguese rolls and bread have been tasty, especially for our pick nick lunches.
Now off up the coast to Porto.