Nazare, after 39 years

CR and KN Williams
Sat 1 Sep 2018 18:23

39.35N 9.04W

Nazare, Friday, 1st September, 2018

Just arrived after a moderately lumpy 12hrs from Cascais with an 06:30 start.
Cascais is a rather expensive marina but really nice, as is the town, and the cost is all right for just a few days.
The staff are really helpful and on the shore are several restaurants (one of which was tres simple but excellent), a reasonable chandlery and shops. For me this is a ‘normal’ place as I usually find the pedestrian-only marinas rather twee and populated largely by noisy motorbikes and aggressive cyclists; if you don’t look where you’re going you deserve to be run over (unless you’re outside Westminster of course). The town is really nice with a house nearby the marina which is actually worth seeing; large airy rooms, lovely views and its own little beach. Usually these places contain only dozens of paintings of anonymous nobs in fancy dress and chairs you can’t sit on. We went on a long journey to Sintra (a taxi and no fewer than 3 buses), which apparently is quite famous. Despite leaving early it was still heaving with back-packers arriving by train from Lisbon. The magnus opus is a bizarre castle cum folly at the top of a mountain. It’s a cross between a wedding cake and Disneyland – the queues started in the town and were a constant feature until we left 3 hours later. Even when inside the building we had to shuffle very slowly through each of the remarkably small rooms while the punters blocked the way taking photographs of soup spoons. King Carlos I entertained George V here in 1903 before the former was killed by his subjects and the latter rapidly changed his German surname to avoid the same fate. I’ve definitely got some sight-seeing credit in the bank though.


I would happily have stayed longer in Cascais but we need to progress N while the NW winds are light and there is not too much swell. Uncomfortably rolly all the time. The best bit of our trip to Sintra was the local bus with little old ladies in baggy cardigans with shopping bags; remarkably similar to Breton old ladies. I had a baggy cardigan too but no thick stockings or sensible shoes! We have just arrived in Nazare where we camped in 1979 with Horace, Robert and Hettie aged 7 weeks. We were seriously bonkers.