Lagos, Potato Beach: Why we came

A few months ago I stumbled upon a photo of a beach with turquoise water surrounded by tall rock formations posted on Pinterest. It read, Lagos Portugal. Would it be a mistake to visit a country based on one photo? My advisor later joked about visiting Portugal before attending PhD camp. And, of course, we live in little Portugal…. So, Portugal.

Yesterday we went on a boat tour of the coast. The tour guide cracked jokes, pointed out animals and faces in the stones, and lead us through grottos. He also took us by Potato beach, the beach in the photo, and the adjoining beach, Student beach. After our boat tour was over, we walked down to Potato beach for a swim the super salty, but warm and calm water. The water in Lagos is completely different from Cascais and Faro, the waves aren’t strong, the water is calm, and the water is really warm.

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The ends of the earth, or the ends of Portugal, anyway

Going to the ends of the earth with someone or for someone is a strange cliche. I’m a fan of making things literal, if only to dismantle their meaning. So, we went to two ends of the earth, or at least of Portugal: Cabo de Roca near Sintra, the Western most point, and Ilha Deserta, the Southern most point.

Cabo de Roca had a spectacular view of the ocean. We hiked down the trail, then climbed past onto the rocks as far as we could. We spent a few hours staring out over the water.

Ilha Deserta is an island about an hour south of Faro. The island is “deserted”or uninhabited, but features a gorgeous bio restaurant run by solar power, and a sandy beach dotted in shells. We spent a lovely day lounging on the beach, and had an incredible lunch of xarem, a starchy polenta with prawns and clams, and clam rice.

Having traveled to a deserted island, I guess we answered the proverbial hypothetical question: what would you take to a deserted island? The answer: gf cookies, towels, bathing suits, a kobo glo with Game of Thrones (him), a print out of a Levinas article (me), and our phones ( how else could we share pics?). What would you pack to a deserted island?

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