The persistent clouds and high prices of Paris were beginning to wear on me. As spectacular as my time in Paris had been, my own loneliness was combining with the grey Parisian days to form a toxic combination. Rather than turn to antidepressants, I decided to turn to the natural cure for melancholy and go in search of sun, sea and sand (and perhaps some human warmth as well).
All of these desires led me to Portugal. It’s not a country I know well actually and if western Europe has such a thing as an out of the way country, Portugal is it. Ignored far too often for it’s more famous neighbor, Portugal has a charm all it’s own and while charm is hard to define: low prices, great weather, friendly people and beautiful beaches are more concrete.
My base for my time in Portugal was the small town of Aljezur. A welcome break after two month of cosmopolitan Paris, Aljezur is known for its beautiful scenery and great surfing. I enjoyed a beautiful few days there compliments of the excellent Amazigh Hostel which was kind enough to shelter a poor traveler like myself and which still hosted a great group of guests despite this being the off season (check out their cite for more pictures of the area!).
I didn’t want to overstay my welcome in Portugal, so I decided to move on. That led to the bold, but ill-advised choice to hitchhike to Spain. It’s not a long trip, but as most Portuguese don’t drive any farther than the next village what should have been a five hour drive turned into a 24-hour, ten ride odyssey. I’m not quite recovered enough from the trauma to get into all the details, but lets just say that Portugal isn’t n nearly as warm when you’re sleeping outside a gas station.“Do you see that out there? The strange, unfamiliar light? It’s called the sun. Let’s go get us a little.”