We briefly visited this river beach when we viewed the nearby Cascata da Fraga de Água d’Alta (waterfall) and I made it my mission to return on a sunny day to sample the beautiful water. The spectacular Santa Luzia river beach is located in Vidual in the district of Pampilhosa da Serra. It is such a unique spot: a mountain dam which is fed by water from the Vidual and Unhais streams and from the Rio Ceira reservoir, through a tunnel. The views of the dam from above are spectacular and the surrounding green mountains and rock formations make it a pretty setting. I love the fact that it was a huge lake with calm waters and has a blue floating pontoon platform so Teanna can practise swimming without the risk of drowning as she can reach the bottom with her feet. It is only a 45 minute journey from our casa and the route is very scenic.

It was a beautiful hot day in July so we ventured into the water to cool off. The beach has a few free beach umbrellas for shade, a delightful cafe and the toilets are clean! You can also hire kayaks and enjoy watersports on the crystal clear blue water. I also love the fact that there is a lot of natural shade from trees next to the sandy beach area with picnic tables. If you like to explore schist villages then the river beach is situated between two schist villages (Fajão and Janeiro de Baixo). It really is a spectacular river beach to visit with many hiking and cycling trails nearby. It looks a great spot for fishing and there were a couple of fishermen sat on the rocks. Here are a combination of photos from our 2 trips:

If you know anything about me you will know that although I have lost a lot of weight (7 stone in total) I am not happy with my body hence why I never have any bikini shots of myself. I always wear surfing shorts in photos or a sarong to cover the areas I feel most paranoid about. Anyway on this particular day hubby decided to take 2 photos of me by the water when I didn’t have any clothing to hand to cover up. I reluctantly agreed as I was sat down anyway so it wouldn’t be a full body shot. I wasn’t thinking about my rolls that instantly appear when I sit. The sun was so very bright on this particular day that when you take a photo you can’t see a thing so not really sure what the end result will be. I’ve taken many photos of the floor or my knee (ha ha). My hair was a right mess too and I know I need to gain more self love and learn to be body positive and believe me I am trying. Anyway it turns out hubby is no David Bailey and absolute shit at taking photos as they are hilarious! Just in case you are wondering, yes, it’s his finger not any other body part, it’s just magnified as so close to the camera phone.

Someone forgot to pack the picnic cutlery so hubby redeemed himself, he improvised and made me a spoon from tin foil which worked surprisingly well. I really wanted a fork for my salad but he’s not that skilled. He could of made me a spork, a combination of the spoon and fork but I think he got too hot and tired as suggested a visit to the cafe for an ice cream, I don’t need to be asked twice, if ice cream is on offer, I’m simply there.

We take a lot of trips to river beaches over the summer and I am always complaining that the house, especially the lounge is full of sand it’s basically a beach. It doesn’t matter how careful we are we always bring half the beach back with us. One day I said “The lounge looks like a bloody beach with all that sand” and hubby replied “There is an actual beach in the lounge” so I then replied “I know it’s so bad” and he then said “No, there is an actual beach in the lounge, come and look”. I walked into the lounge to find this sight. Hubby had made a little beach from my flash cards, a coin, shell and the sand that was on the lounge floor. I literally nearly wet my pants laughing. He even used a coin for Teanna’s head and made a tiny sun umbrella from cardboard. This is the typical hubby behaviour I have to endure and put up with 24/7 because he works from home. Do you feel my pain? (ha ha). I’m open to the idea of a husband swap, maybe for a week or two! If it’s a more permanent swap then instead of a man I’d rather exchange him for chickens, a friendly non bunny eating dog and a 6 pack of pastel de nata’s (ha ha).