This afternoon we arrived safely in Cascais, close to Lisbon and Sintra. With a lot of help from Viviana, we got the last place for our size of boat left in the marina, because there is a regatta of large yachts here this weekend and it is very busy. David and Gill say this is a nice place with live jazz from Thursday to Sunday nearby, and a fast regular train to and from Lisbon. We had phoned ahead to the sailmaker to check the Genoa and main, do minor repairs, and do the major repair to the parasailor, so our first task after checking in was to take off the sails and tie them up. Vincente the sailmaker will come to collect them tomorrow morning.
On the way, we had some great overnight stops, a longer stay of two nights to visit Porto, and for the crew to visit the Island of Berlenga off Peniche, and me to see old friends from Missouri days who just happened to be having a wee holiday in Lisbon and came up to Peniche for a morning aboard and a great lunch at Cafe Snack Bar Sol é Vida – we all thoroughly recommend this rocky spot with great views, and especially stuffed crab with Vinho Verde to eat! Vickie was a leading light in the beginners Celtic band in Columbia, which I joined while there, and later married Jim Berkley who works for the EPA in Denver, Co.
We also met other sailors – a Brazilian couple – he comes from Salvador de Bahia, and has all sorts of connections there, which could be very helpful. Also a friendly German couple in sabbatical, heading to Canaries and Azores on ¨Tiger Blue¨. To name but a few.
Highlights of the voyage in Portugal as far as Cascais were:-
Lunch at San Pedro´s restaurant in the district of Afurada in Porto, near to the Marina, and on the south bank just downstream of the large motorway bridge. Very highly recommended indeed! Just down the street, on the waterfront, we found a newly constructed public laundry house with large open air drying area outside, and ladies singing as they washed inside. This was both highly unusual in present times, and very encouraging in many ways, especially as it appeared to be a public facility.
Vies from Porto, including the drying green outside the laundry and the laundry itself, the cinematographic institute, and view down the Duoro river.
Next highlight was Peniche, and for me the visit of Vickie and Jim and our common lunch, and for the crew the visit to Berlegna island.
Vickie and Jim from Denver on thee boat. Note the Donald Smith watercolour behind, that I bought when visiting Frank and Agnes Rennie and Carola Bell in the Western Isles in about 1986! Donald was the Art teacher in Stornoway, and the picture is of a fisherman in Stornoway harbour. Svalen is not just a boat, but a home for Karen and me, out families and friends!
Unfortunately we were sometimes dogged by heavy sea fog down this coast, and at times it was even cold and damp. however, we also had good sunny windy days.
Now we have effectively reached Lisbon, a major milestone in our voyage. We will report more soon.