Henry the Navigator isn’t the only one who made a big discovery in Lagos. We have discovered the “Winesicle”, the best beverage to take to the beach. Drink it while your skin is drying in the hot sun from a dip in crystal clear seas and a cheap box wine is an exotic frosty treat.
It is summer in Lagos, the brilliant weather; sandy beaches and cool emerald sea are once again enticing holidaymakers from all parts of Europe (and a surprising amount of Americans). Summer has always been my favorite time of the year.
There are beaches for every mood; Meia Praia is the biggest beach, curving around the edge of the bay all the way to the Alvor estuary. The towering cliffs and grottos of Praia da Dona Ana, then there is Porto de Mós, with two nice restaurants and a great big wide beach with surfers at one end and swimmers everywhere. . (http://www.lagosuncovered.com/about-lagos/beaches.aspx)
Portuguese beaches are wonderful. The most dangerous thing that can happen is being beaned by a wayward soccer ball. No rules are posted, none are needed. All ages and sizes of breasts are freed without shame from the confines of underwire. Men wear their little Speedos with pride not caring how the chill of the sea causes shrinkage. Recycling stations for plastic, glass and metal are prominently and used and there are nice public bathrooms.
Our favorite beach is Praia da Batata, in English, Potato Beach. It’s right smack dab in the middle Lagos and there is the centuries old city wall and an old fort complete with moat still standing guard. Cool rock formations decorate the sand and also the water, windsurfers launch off and race around. There aren’t loud radios, it’s clean and very, very mellow. The water is crystalline, at first plunge it is terrifically cold, and then you are used to it, a blessed antidote for the heat of the sun. This is where we picnic; cheese, olives and winesicles.
The secret for good winesicles is buying individual box servings of wine, ours cost about 41cêntimos (note: just read an airline will be switching to personal wine boxes for their passengers). Pop your little boxes of wine in the freezer for at least a couple of days, you want them as frozen as you can get them. When cocktail time comes at the beach, instead of heading to the bar, we reach in our backpack cooler, peel back the opening, Ah…icy, winey slush that brings on a nice little buzz.
It is wonderful to relax in a chaise under a tiki, beach boys spritzing cooled Avian water while you sip on a fruity rum drink complete with umbrella. That is a vacation, a break from “real” life. Living as an ex-pat on a budget, I am enjoying my winesicle on Praia da Batata and smoothing the #30 sunblock on the citizen’s back.
Starting my third summer here and am prepared with sunblock and winesicles. Bring on the adventures!