When one thinks of paradise, they usually think of ethereal clouds with angels fluttering their wings next to a vat of cream cheese. When I think of paradise, I think of Portugal’s Algarve coast.
The pristine weather serves as the perfect setting for an untarnished blue sky that seems to blanket the entire universe. There is little rain and no humidity–paradise knows better than that. And the best part? While my Canadian counterparts are enduring -18˚C blizzards and freezing rain, I’m writing this article from a beach blanket with a beer by my side and my KLOS guitar on my lap. It doesn’t get much better than this.
THE COAST IS CRYSTAL CLEAR
In exchange for accommodation in Portugal, I offered to write articles for a Psychology magazine based out of Lagos. As I walked up to the front office, my jaw proceeded to hit the ground a few times, mesmerized with all the beauty.
To my immediate left was a scaling cliff overlooking the blue expanse of North Atlantic ocean. The sound of waves brushing against rocks is so soothing, I imagine it put therapists out of business here long ago.
I knocked on the front door and was greeting by a bubbly Estonian woman named Barbara, who had been working for the magazine for a few months. She welcomed me with open arms, taking my bags and my guitar as she guided me inside. Like most people I’ve met on this trip, she asked what was in the small guitar bag.
“Is it a violin? A ukulele?” she asked, quite innocently.
“It’s a guitar!” I responded, brimming with the kind of pride one has when they know something others don’t. As I unsheathed my carbon fiber axe, Barbara let out a little squeak of excitement.
“Ohmigod,” she said, seemingly out of breath. “We have to go the beach!” In one swift move she grabbed the guitar, a bag of beach supplies, and ran off towards sandier pastures. It was one of the more abrupt meetings I’ve had in my travels.
While Lagos is a popular tourist destination in the summer, the winter graces the area with a spell of peace and quiet. Barbara unfurled a blanket, demanded I sit, and asked what songs I could play.
“What songs do you know?” I asked. Unfortunately, Estonians have a bit of a penchant for Top 40 music. After playing a few acoustic covers of Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, I was ready to kick off my shoes and toss a frisbee around instead
DON’T LET ME LEAVE
I’ve been in the Algarve coast for three weeks. While my pale and gossamer skin is begging me to never leave the sun’s rays, I unfortunately must go. Travel loses a bit of its lustre when the feet aren’t moving. As it turns out, I’ve run into some visa issues that necessitate a brief stint in Canada to get things sorted. I suppose it’s karma for my earlier gloating.
Either way, with the perfect climate and breathtaking beauty, I’m pretty confident my time in Portugal was the highlight of the trip so far. Even if I did have to play some Miley Cyrus and Imagine Dragons on my KLOS guitar a few times.