Synchronicities and the beautiful winter Cascais

We’re at the Warsaw airport, tired and stressed out. Last minute flat clearing, packing and a sleepless night. At the same time, we’re undeniably excited with the new trip and with what’s to come. Happy that we managed to stay within the weight limits with the bike boxes and the dog crate, we pack them all back on the carts and slowly push to the oversize baggage check-in. I hear a female voice behind me, shouting: “Hi!!!”. I turn my head around and see a girl my age standing in the line we’ve just left, with a dog in a kennel similar to ours. She’s smiling. “Hi! I’m flying with my dog too! What do you have in these boxes?” “Bikes” I reply. She answers: “I kinda do a similar thing. Just my bike is in Portugal now.” Nice, it’s the first time Lima will fly with another dog. Possibly, because it’s still not certain that Karolina will get on our flight. She’s at the airport since the day before because she forgot her pet’s passport and had to rebook. Her next flight was cancelled because the aircraft computers froze! So here she is, waiting to get on our flight, hoping there is space for another dog on board.

Finally, after flying together and meeting again at the Lisbon airport. Karolina offers to store our dog crate, solving our dilemma of what to do with it. She also invites us to Cascais, where she works as a windsurfing instructor. We split ways – she goes home, we visit our Lisbon warmshowers host. After a few days, we leave the city and go to Guincho – a surfing spot near Cascais. We get on a bike path along the cliffs right when the sun is slowly approaching the horizon and we are in awe.

We camp right at a beautiful beach. The night is quite cold but still acceptable. When we check the forecast though, we are terrified. It turns out that over the following week, record lows were recorded in some places in the south and along the coast. Now we’re trying to think of alternatives to camping. On the next day we meet with Karolina in Cascais and this good soul doesn’t want us to freeze and invites us into her home, which she shares with three other housemates.

We participate in the costs and for a week become a part of this tiny community. Everyday people come to visit, some friends regularly bring freshly caught fish and other seafood. We drink quite a lot of cheap and good Portuguese wine and cook at home. We are cold anyway, as the insulation or heating are not necessary elements of a Portuguese home. During the day they open the windows for the sun to come in and warm up the place a little bit. That aside, we are happy having time to explore the area or just sit on a sunny bench hidden from the winds and eat Portuguese cheeses, chorico or juicy oranges in season. We like it a lot here – not only the old resort town but also its spectacular surroundings. We manage to visit Cabo da Roca – the westernmost place in Europe, which we’ll tell you about next time. Afraid of the cold nights, we are reluctant to start our trip south. Yet it’s finally time to say good bye to Karolina and pedal to northern Algarve, where our new Workaway host awaits us. See you again, beautiful Cascais!

 

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