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Portugal Day 4 — Odeceixe (August 2017)

Stinker Shaw joined us in bed during the night and slept fine until 4 a.m. when he was wide awake and wanted to play. After attempting to ignore him/wrestling him for who knows how long, he slept until 8 a.m., when the first bells began. He didn’t move through all eight bells, so I thought we were in the clear. but then he popped up and said, “DING, DING. BELLS!” Soren slept until 9. We ate fruit and bread with peanut butter and honey for breakfast and took our time getting ready.

Then on to our family “hike” to Odeceixe beach. It was not quite the hike we were expecting. It was mostly along a road and it involved some hills. Soren was a little out of sorts and cried here and there, wanting to be carried. So… kind of a terrible hike.

But the end result was lovely — a really beautiful beach with huge, long waves. It’s situated at the end of a river, so the beach is actually a peninsula surrounded by ocean on one side and river on the other two. Nice to have two varieties of water fun! We weren’t in swimsuits but played in the sand and shallow water. The beach was fairly crowded, and there were tons of surfers. The waves started waaayy out and slowly rolled in. And the water was fairly shallow for a long distance, so surfing instructors could stand in the water near people learning to surf. Per usual in Portugal, there were huge cliffs surrounding the whole place. Lots of campers on the other side of the river, and they would cross over to the beach by fording the river (carrying their things over their head).

Some people brought their dogs across the river on boogie boards.

Cute little beach village, complete with horse-riding police.

To save us the misery of hiking back to town, Tim ran home to get the car. (It took us an hour to walk the two miles there; it took Tim 20 mins to run it). On the short drive home we stopped in a tiny market to get bread, salami, and sheep’s milk cheese for lunch at home. The cheese was amazing and the whole lunch costed about 8€. Europe is the best.

After lunch, Shaw took a super nap — three solid hours. Tim and Paulina napped as well. Soren did quiet time but mostly interrupted my nap. I read and relaxed while being annoyed by Soren. Once he and I got bored of waiting for everyone to wake up, we went on a walk to find a treat. Most places were closed for siesta, and it’s a small enough town that we walked the whole place. But the little market we’d stopped in for lunch ingredients was open, so we bought fruit and popsicles/Magnum bars. Funny to see Soren deliberate over a fruity popsicle or a chocolatey Magnum bar.

We made our way back to the house and got ready for the beach. This time we opted to take the tourist train there (although Tim drove the car there so we’d have a ride home — we knew we’d stay there longer than the train’s schedule allowed).

The beach was lovely — we played for a few hours and stayed until 8 p.m. We outlasted all the natives. Tim and Soren went on an adventure while Shaw played in the sand and shallow river water. Paulina and I took turns playing and read.

With the tide out, Soren and Tim found they could walk over along the cliffs to the next beach. Along the way, they did lots of jumping in”rivers” and holes full of water. Soren had the time of his life. Turns out the next beach was a nude beach. Lots of creepy old dudes walking around looking at themselves, Tim said. Weird. They then headed for the other side of the beach and started climbing up the rocks over there. It quickly got pretty rough on their bare feet, and they gave up.

Soren and Shaw spent the last hour or so having the time of their lives together goofing off in the river. Tim said he’d never seen them have so much fun together. It got a little chilly as it got later and later!

Classic Soren — always observing other kids.

We eventually made our way back home and bathed the kids while Tim went on a long search for a parking spot. It was Saturday night, so everyone was out and about (including a free show in the town center by a theater group — Tim wandered around after the kids went to bed to check it out). Tim eventually found a restaurant that would let him order pizzas to go (it took him five tries!). The kids devoured a few days’ worth of fruit waiting for the pizza. Shaw went to bed very easily, and Soren eventually made his way to his room — after 10 p.m.! His last night as a 4-year-old!

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