We are always searching out new places to paddle board and I found this perfect Lagoon (Lagoa da Vela) which translates to “Sailing Lagoon”. It is located in the Parish of Bom Sucesso, between the towns of Castanheiro and Morros beyond the Serra da Boa Viagem and within the Mata Nacional de Quiaios. I find the names of places really funny here, Bom Sucesso translates to “Good Success” which is a much better name place to live in than “Cansado” which translates to “Tired”. We live in Vinhó which translates to “Wine”. The lagoon is very close to the coastal town of Figueira da Foz which has a total of 5 freshwater lakes/lagoons and is surrounded by pine forests and wild vegetation which were damaged in the 2017 fires. The lagoon runs parallel to the sea which is only 5km away. It is so pretty and tranquil, bursting full of lily pads and frogs. We decided against paddle boarding as the edge of the lagoon was quite muddy and we were exhausted so we left them in the car and had a chill day instead. First we explored the area by the swing (Baloiço Isto é Timor) which is located down a dirt track close to a transport company (Transportes José Ferreira &  Acurcio Lda). The swing is quite small but very cute. There is a building here which is being renovated into what looks like a bar but there is also a small mobile bar selling refreshments. Then we drove around to the other side to explore the area where the “Passadiços” wooden walkway is situated. 

It is a magnificent lagoon, such untouched beauty and not commercialised at all so an oasis of natural charm. We found a deserted spot right by the lake and enjoyed a lovely picnic. I was so surprised that it was really empty and we only came across a handful of other people and a sailing boat. It is a well known lagoon so I expected it to be more crowded especially as it was a weekend. There were a couple of bicycle area stations with pumps to inflate tyres and fix your bike but some of the tools were missing and most likely stolen. You will find a few notice information boards which explains the species of fauna and flora. We enjoyed the fantastic wooden platform (viewpoint) and spent some time here watching the frogs leap around the lily pads. It was a beautiful relaxing day and a spectacular place to unwind and forget about the stresses in life and a chance to step away from our worries, computer screens and clear our minds. We returned home to our old Casa with a new surge of positive energy.

Baloiço Isto é Timor

Lagoa da Vela

Praia de Quiaios

We couldn’t visit the coast without visiting one of the many fabulous beaches. We drove onto the nearby beach (Praia de Quiaios) for a tasty ice cream and a romantic stroll along the shoreline, hand in hand listening to the sound of the waves and feeling the sand and foamy ocean beneath our feet. I love watching the birds and finding pretty shells and stones with unusual colour, shape and texture. There is a gorgeous cafe here right on the beach with picturesque tropical straw parasols which look so tropical blowing in the wind. I think we have our very own little Portuguese beach in the boot of our car as there is so much sand there now (ha ha). I am a little sad that the beach season is coming to an end. Time to pack away my lilo, sunscreen, bikini and embrace autumn with some great hiking trails. We have made so many beautiful memories this summer and although my tan lines are fading fast, our epic summer adventures are etched in my memory for an eternity.