About a 3h 45min hour train ride away from Lisbon, Jen and I reached Portimao. This would be our temporary oasis for 7 days. Jen gets to escape from her PhD and finally gets to finish her PADI scuba certification and I…. well, I will get to sun tanning for 7 consecutive days. Yeeehaw! This would probably be the only time in my 6 week long Eurotrip that I would have the opportunity to actually do nothing and I took full advantage of it!
This place is gorgeous. It’s a classic beach town with a boardwalk that allows you to walk the entire length of Praia da Rocha. We ended up staying at Hostel San Jose, a spacious, bright place. It was fairly empty as we went during the end of September/early October, an off-season (even though daily temperatures ranged from 18 – 30 degrees – woohoo).
Since there weren’t many tourists around, we practically got to do all the activities we wanted, whenever we wanted. This meant, running on the boardwalk in the mornings, doing yoga on the balcony at sunrise, scuba diving, snorkeling, peeing in the ocean, getting unexpectedly destroyed by high tides and getting everything wet, sun tanning, more sun tanning, not being harassed by street vendors, drinking on the beach and more sun tanning. It was THE LIFE.
While Jen went diving, while I slept in and hit the beach late morning to early afternoon congested as ever. I just needed the vitamin D to be absorbed into my body and sun sort of acts like an antiseptic right? The idea that the sun can burn off the toxins / flu out of my body was good logic to me.
What wasn’t good logic is when I decided to go scuba diving even though I was feeling approximately 95% normal. My nasal passage was slight congested and I felt that I was pretty good to go.
Just don’t do it.
The waters can be a real b–h and she will easily let you know that you can be and you will be destroyed. Of course, me, being stubborn, I walked off the plank, plopped into the water, descended slowly and struggled equalizing even though I was 1.5m from surface. It was so frustrating knowing that I was almost completely healthy but being smart about diving and holding back.
Hanging out with the captain and snorkeling around the boat in full neoprene, I made my own fun harassing schools of fish with my GoPro.
Although I was unable to dive, having no blown ear drums is a much better win!