Frances refused to let us leave Portugal without taking surfing lessons, so we finally found a place that would take us last minute: Discovery Surf School.
As we sat on the curb at 8:30 a.m., waiting for our instructor to pick us up, we ended up befriending a couple Cuban guys from Spain that happened to drive by and apparently stopped after being struck by our beauty.
Our teacher, Marco, finally showed up and it turned out we were his only students for the day, which was good in the end because it ended up being more like a private lesson rather than a class where an entire group of people are all trying to catch waves at the same time.
Marco sure has the gift of gab! He was very nice, but admittedly, I was hoping to sleep in the van on the way there. Apparently that was not an option (note to self: don’t go out drinking the night before a day of surfing lessons). We drove all the way out to Praia Amoreira, where there were good waves that day.
I was nervous about learning to surf, but it ended up being so much fun! I definitely recommend it as an authentic experience to have in Portugal, which is supposed to have some of the best waves out there. I even caught a few waves and actually got up on the board. And I have the video to prove it:
But it was beyond exhausting. All that walking into the ocean against the current, paddling, dragging the board around, jumping on the board and pushing yourself up was beyond my physical capabilities at the moment!
When we got back out there after a lunch break, we were not being productive. I didn’t even have the energy to push myself up on the board anymore. I barely made it paddling back to shore! And that was the end of our surfing lesson.
I’m so glad we ended up trying surfing. It’s definitely a rush when you actually get up and ride a wave, even if it’s just a little baby wave.
On the drive back to Albufeira, guess who wanted to talk the entire time again? Thankfully, Frances kept the conversation going, asking a million questions about Portugal while I drifted in and out of consciousness. And she enjoyed his very surfer-esque philosophies on life.
Lesson learned: if you’re surfing in Portugal, put on sunblock – even if it’s cloudy. I was too lazy to put any on in the morning, and ended up with a sunburned face, hands and feet. Yep – the few areas that weren’t covered by the wet suit!