After three weeks of hiking and public transportation around the hot Cape Verde Islands in West Africa, it’s time for some cooler temperature and creature comfort. Once we land in Lisbon, Portugal we indulge in the independence of a rental car in search of excellent food and scenic drives. Our car includes a “hot spot” which provides internet and google navigation from our cellphone. Let’s go! A road map would be useless on these infinite streets with no names.

looking back at Lisbon

Looking back at Lisbon from Costa de Caparica

We stop in Costa da Caparica, a short drive and hot spot for tourists. Enter our first delightful celebration in the form of seafood pizza and beer. Finish with wine and cockles and shrimp sautéed in garlic. Our best meal in three weeks.

couldnt wait

All that is left of “one of the best meals in three weeks”

Let’s head south to the laid-back beach town of Vila Nova de Milfontes for some raw oysters and octopus salad. Our best meal in three weeks.

octopus salad

Octopus salad

We will eat our way through Portugal. Delightful.

Rota 2

Near the lighthouse south of Vila Nova de Milfontes

Our waiter for dinner that evening, Antonio, explains that he works 12 hours each day, with a two-hour break in the afternoon.

seafood platter

Seafood platter

He recommends the seafood platter crowded with shrimp, lobster, fish chunks, and an array of shellfish. Our best meal in three weeks.

Rota trail

The Rota Vicentina walking trail

Along the way south, we spend the day hiking a segment of the Rota Vicentina walking trail.


Views from Rota Vincentina walking trail

No need to bring sleeping gear, as the 217-mile trail cuts through small villages where hikers can secure food and lodging.

Rota 1

More scenery from Rota Vicentina walking trail

We stop in the small town of Zambujeira do Mar for a seafood salad lunch. Yet more delight.

Z do M

Zambujeira do Mar

Driving through broccoli-like forest, we reach the most southwestern point in Europe, Cabo de Sao Vicente.


Broccoli trees

Cool temperatures and harsh wind with spurts of rain greet us at this hot surfing spot.


It is a rainy, windy day at Cabo de Sao Vicente

Time to celebrate with wine and Cataplana Mariscos (like paella but no rice, just various seafood with potato), again, our best meal in three weeks.


Cataplana – the Portuguese version of paella

The sun shines in the town of Sagres. We delight in dramatic cliffs and secluded beaches.


Just one of the many secluded beaches in southern Portugal

Searching for coffee in the morning, a stranger who speaks no English motions for us to get into his car. We do, and he peels rubber flying down a straight road. We’re beginning to wonder.

Dramatic scenery near Sagres

Then he stops and lets us out at a local coffee/bakery off the main road. The kindness of strangers – traveling’s greatest delight. Stay tuned, as we continue to celebrate Portugal. Maybe we will have out best meal yet.