Second day, Saturday, April 27, Praia de Sao Torpes

After having fun at Praia de Melides we went to our hotel. Our hotel is beautiful and every part is very tastefully done.

The balcony door opens to a shared garden, from which you can see the castle of Santiago do Cocém, and in the distance there you also can see the ocean.  There is also a pool, but now the weather is not so good that anyone would venture in.  The hotel is very family and dog friendly;  there is a separate communal “living room” with a huge TV, with a children’s area in the corner.

After checking in, we went to Praia de Sao Tropes, but we didn’t stay here long because the wind was very strong and quite cool.  This stretch of coast can be one of the favourite places for surfers.  There is a a surf school nearby, a restaurant and a parking lot for caravan cars. The funniest caravans are colourful, and their interior arrangement is down to the point: sometimes they make their own bunk beds out of weathered wood, and it fits the purpose!

The special atmosphere of the place is given by the huge chimneys visible in the background. There is a thermal power plant here and the plant’s heated discharge warms the sea slightly, benefiting swimmers and anglers. Walking around it’s like stepping into the cover of Pink Floyd’s ’77 album “Animals” and finding yourself right next to London’s Battersea power station.

Looking south, the sandy beach stretches off into the Southwest Alentejo Natural Park, which occupies an area of 895.7 km2 (345.8 sq mi) (605.8 km2 (233.9 sq. mi) on land and 289.9 km2 (111.9 sq. mi) at sea) and is one of the last strongholds of the wild European coast. It has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the country with over 12 endemic species of plant and several bird nesting sites.

We visited the small town of Sines, where we will return later for half a day.  We went there mostly because Mafalda promised me a lighthouse, and I love lighthouses. You might understand my disapointment 🙂 .

From here we went back to the hotel.  We celebrated the first day of our joint vacation with a hearty dinner.  I ate a vegetable soup, we shared a huge pizza, and for dessert we divided the three sweets recommended by the restaurant between us.

Next time, I will show you the most interesting part of the coast.