In Lagos, Portugal the public pool sits on the banks of the Bensafrim River. Two stories of glass frame a postcard setting of sailboats bobbing at their moorings, storks and sea gulls fish in the shallows. Rushes and bamboo grow along the edges. A boardwalk winds it’s way along the river, benches dot the walk enticing people to linger.
Wildly inspired by Diana Nyad’s epic swims and needing to work out without stressing my rapidly disintegrating left hip, I am again endlessly following a line of blue tile. Forty years ago I hung up my speedo, walked out of the locker room and left competitive swimming forever. Now, I have a lovely view looking out of my chlorine-fogged eyes as I swim laps in my favorite lane, lane six.
This place has three pools: a 25 meter lap pool with eight lanes, a learning pool where they have classes in everything from water cycling, aerobics and swimming and an incredible hydrotherapy pool. The hydrotherapy pool has walls of water jets, water cannons (I can’t even begin to explain those) and a Jacuzzi the size of my bedroom. Above it all there is stadium seating and being Portugal, of course there is a café with an outdoor terrace and a window to see what’s doin’ down in the pools. It is very nice to have a café handy after a strenuous workout to relax with coffee or perhaps something stronger. Plus, the covered parking is made up of solar panels, this is a seriously great pool.
August they close the pool, why go to the pool (no matter how wonderful it is) when our beaches are so amazing? The rumor is, they close it in August because it was too packed full of squishy tourists. Now having experienced life in Lagos during the August crush, I understand completely.
The bathing suit won’t be dry much this winter. Hoping Santa will bring me goggles for Christmas and wondering if grey hair turns blonde the way my brown hair did when I swam my way out of my teens. I do feel quite smug that, after all this time, I can still nail a flip turn.
For more information and to support Diana Nyad, ( who if I didn’t live in Portugal, I might become one of her stalkers, not really Diana, relax) go to: