Walking into my favorite place, Lua de Pedra, this morning, Maria shouts from her stove, “Who stole my sun! Where is my summer?” It is now autumn or “outono” in Salir, the days of endless sun and balmy nights have given way to rains of various varieties, chilly toes and our first night of turning on the heater.
As the weather here is as changeable as my plans, we will see beautiful clear sunny days and starry nights often enough to surprise us into thinking we don’t need our leather jackets, but those days are now gifts. More and more we will be smelling the scent of wood burning chimneys in the air and longing for one of our very own.
For the first time since moving to Portugal, I really like outono. My faded black turtleneck and soft worn out blue jeans are comfortable old friends I haven’t been able to spend time with for months. The fluffy feather duvet invites me to snuggle under it and dream sweet warm dreams at night.
The cafes replace the beach as the social scene in the village. Three choices when a good futbol game on: Lua da Pedra (you can smoke inside), Dunes (been in the village longer, has many loyal customers and great pool tables), and the recreativo (village recreation center, you join for a small annual fee, everything important happens there). All have big screen TV and the cable package that carries the futbol games you can’t get on your TV at home unless you have expensive cable bills. Each has their own crowd, although you will see the same people at all of them, lots of bar hopping among the three.
The Asia Bar has, for the first time in 25 years has, closed until late spring. The local economy couldn’t support it without the summer seasonal trade. A problem across my new country that seems to be getting worse, Austerity.. We will make our own musical fun until João, the owner, returns to us and re-opens my favorite club in the world.
Now the hiking is fantastic. Misty clouds settle in the low valleys, the ocean is wilder and the waves spray higher, frightening really. You don’t sweat and after the walk, instead of a cool beer, a nice cup of café and a balloon of brandy to warm up at one of the three cafes is a perfect end to the adventure.
Maria, I am sorry you miss your sun, I will, for the first time, take time to enjoy my outono in Salir. I will be sitting by your fire and we will talk.