Povoa da Varzim

John & Susan Simpson
Wed 1 Sep 2021 19:44
A pleasant day sail brought us from Baiona in Spain to Povoa da Varzim in Portugal.  There is a large marina here with plenty of space for visiting yachts.  As we approached the dock a number of people jumped off their yachts to take our lines and we were greeted by sailors from the UK, Norway and France.  Further along the pontoon there are also yachts from Germany, Finland and the USA so it feels quite a cosmopolitan mix. 
Casamara in Marina Povoa da Varzim

We took a tour of the area on our scooters.  The town is moderately attractive with a few lovely old buildings but for the most part Povoa is a seaside resort with long expanses of sand and there’s not much else to it.  The beach shelves steeply and, whilst the weather is very calm at the moment, you can see that the Atlantic rollers must crash fiercely all along this coastline.  There’s a slight swell coming into the marina even though it hasn’t been windy for days.  We were fascinated to see the beach tents all facing at right angles to the sea - presumably with their backs to the prevailing wind, which is non-existent at the moment.  It does look very odd when you’re used to the British beach hut!
Beach tents on Povoa beach

We were a bit stumped by knowing no Portuguese when we went out in the evening, but we managed to get by with a bit of French.  There seem to be few restaurants and those that were open had queues of people waiting.  However, we came across a lovely looking restaurant with absolutely nobody in it so took a chance that it wasn’t empty because it was no good.  We were their only customers all evening and the food was delicious, so quite why there were no other takers we have no idea.  John had ordered the equivalent of ham, egg and chips but there was an unexpected ritual to the dish when it came.  The restaurant owner presented the food in a big dish and with a flourish proceeded to cut it up into small pieces and mix it up with a fork.  She was clearly very pleased to be able to serve it as a Portuguese delicacy and John confirmed that mashed ham, egg and chips did indeed taste very good.  Of course it could be that this was not a Portuguese delicacy at all but the experience was the reason why no-one else was in the restaurant.  We will never know!