I have already written about Côja in my post titled ‘Welcome to Vinhó’, mentioning that it is our nearest village which has amenities such as river beach, bank, DIY shop, supermarkets, newsagent, betting shop, bakery, butcher, greengrocer, fortnightly market, doctors, dentist, fire station, school/nursery etc. On Saturday we visited the market which runs every 3rd Saturday of the month. It was closed for a while due to Covid-19 but has recently reopened. The market is great and offers a range of stalls selling a wide range of food and crafts to include fruit, veg, sausage, cheese, jams, chutneys, honey, plants, clothing, jewellery, crystals, soaps, spices, cakes, art work, artisan crafts, tools, furniture and much more. I even spotted a hairdresser! There is street food too and a few stalls offering secondhand goods a bit like a car boot sale. I have never seen Côja so crowded. I really enjoyed the market and we haven’t visited it for so long but there was not much social distancing going on! Hubby visited the bakery whilst I waited outside, the cafes were really busy. A bit too crowded for me to stop for a drink and cake so we bought a drink and took it down by the river Alva where apart from 2 fishermen we were the only ones there. We found a tranquil little spot to watch the world go by.
I have forgotten how beautiful Côja really is. There is such a good vibe there and a mixture of Portuguese and non Portuguese. We sat for a while by the river in the sunshine just thinking about how lucky we are to be here. Then out of nowhere two ladies swam past us! They must have come from the direction of the river beach.
We visit this market quite often now as the number of stalls has increased significantly. Some folk call it “The Hippie Market” because it has a lot of Vegan foods and weird and wonderful stuff that I can barely pronounce let alone know what to do with it. Just for an example there are things like Cacau, falafel, tea tinctures and fermented stuff in jam jars. There are also folk offering yoga retreats and rhythm rituals. i do find the gluten free options great for my chronic IBS and there is a lovely cake stall that sells the yummiest GF carrot cakes. They are mini so I need to consume 2 (ha ha). I have also bought a lovely secondhand pre-loved lilac Next Jumper for €4 and a couple of Warehouse denim skirts for €3 each, so the frugal me is a happy bunny indeed. I also love that they don’t actually sale live animals except poultry, so no bunnies crammed into tiny cages which makes me want to save them all.