An American couple walks into a surf house with a Scottish doctor, a Northern Irish army officer, a Spanish male model, a Welsh accountant, and a Costa Rican massage therapist in Lagos, Portugal….
Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but in fact we have been having a “great crack” surfing, eating, drinking, and sleeping in the sunny Algarve Coast.
Northern Irish Army Surfer Girl
The beaches this time of year are deserted with the exception of some die-hard surfers and a few locals. Most hedonists flock to the beaches in the summer when the nightlife comes alive and the waves at the beaches are tame.
My Handsome Hubby
Our accommodation and surf instruction has been organized through Surf Experience which is run by three long time surfers from England and Australia. The surf house we’re staying at is reminiscent of a college fraternity complete with posters of surf dudes, women in g-string bathing suits and photos of people partying, passing out, and pissing on themselves – Jackass meets Lagos kind of atmosphere.
Our Scottish Doctor not taking any risks – in the sun that is.
Considering most of us in the house are around thirty, we’re all trying to re-live a little past glory. The condition of the surf house is definitely a throwback to collegiate years and I’m still in shock that I’m actually paying to stay at a place where I can’t put the toilet paper in the toilet. But, I guess that’s how the plumbing is in most of Lagos. The fact that the apartment is a block away from fun and cheap bars and restaurants makes it a great pad for partying and stumbling home to safety.
Our Surf Instructor...eat your heart out Carrie!
The best part of the experience (besides our fun group) has been the surfing and the certified instructors that drive us to the beaches and give us personal instruction depending on our abilities without any pressure. I used to boogie board religiously in San Francisco until a near death drowning experience that has kept me away from water sports ever since. For me this trip has been about being able to get into the water without my heart leaping into my mouth. Thanks to Sebastian, Phil, and Tobie I can get back in the waves and stand up on a surf board too! Yee-haaaa!!!
The food here is delicious, cheap, and served in huge portions. Which is exactly what you want after a long day of surfing. My personal fav is a fish stew called cataplana, cooked and served in a big copper bowl filled with shrimp, clams, chorizo, fried pork, fish, tomatoes, and cream.
During the day the surf instructors pack lunch for us, which normally consists of sandwiches, outrageously sweet orange slices, delicious picnic salads, fresh melon, cookies, and potato chips. Phil’s chopped apple, cheese, chikpea, sour cream, and chive salad was the group favorite. I liked Tobie's tuna fish with black beans and chopped green and red peppers. Who knew that surfers were such good cooks? Honestly, the lunches were super yummy everyday.
We leave for Paris on Sunday after stopping for one last night (of luxury I hope) in Lisbon with our muscles sore, faces tan, livers tired, and hearts happy. Monday I start the superior cuisine class at Le Cordon Bleu and it’s back to the grindstone for my final course before graduation.