We’re overjoyed to wake up in our new hotel the next morning to see sun shining over the marina. This is our beach day, and it doesn’t take us long after doing a bit of shopping in town (supporting a local artist and his wife) to find an outdoor café overlooking a beautiful sandy beach. We eat a breakfast of eggs and freshly squeezed orange juice, and walk down the steep steps to join the other sunbathers on this beach. Randi suggests we stay at this beach all day, but I’ve heard people talking about the Pont de Piedade, and I have this strong feeling that it might be worth checking out. I push her to come with me to try and find this sight, the western most point in the Algarves. We ask a local shop owner how far of a walk it is, and he tells us 20 minutes. So we begin our trek.
As we clearly exit the beach town and find ourselves wandering into what looks like the local business/abandoned homes area, we find ourselves completely lost and unsure of how to get to our destination. We stop at a real estate office, because we figure, hey, if they sell homes in Lagos, they probably know how to get to places in the area. Wrong. Three of the workers standing out front on their cigarette break have never heard of this Point de Piedade. But they all speak perfect English, which is incredibly helpful. Luckily, there’s a British man inside the office who comes out to help us. Why the Portugese natives didn’t know where this place was but the British fellow did, we’ll never know. But we’ll go with it. He looks at us quizzically when we tell him our destination, and laughs when he realizes we’re trying to get there on foot. We’re directed back to town, where we are to take a taxi or a public bus. After our experience with the public bus in Cascais, we opt for the taxi.
Our second try – we take the taxi up to our destination, and the driver leaves us off at what looks like an abandoned cliff, with only two shops standing out front – one selling souvenirs, one selling pizza. She tells us to be careful and not walk too close to the edge. We realize what she’s referring to as we walk towards the edge and see that we’re at the top of a ridiculously steep set of rocky stairs with no railing. My fear of heights kicks in, but we’ve made it here on our second try, and we have to see it through after all this effort. I climb down the steps, crouching just enough to have my hand next to me for balance at all times. Randi is walking in front of me (below me?), and reaches a break in the steps. She looks out and calls up to me.
“Amy, you’re really going to like this.”
I do my awkward crouch-walk down to where she’s standing, and look out. Before me is the most beautiful natural scenery I’ve ever encountered. It literally makes me gasp, and I now understand the meaning of the word breathtaking. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to describe this in words, so here are some photos.
We continue climbing down these steps to get a better look. Every point we stop at is more glorious than the next. When we reach the bottom, we park ourselves on what seems to be a dock that no one else is currently occupying. We sit, staring in awe at these grottoes, a magical aquatic fantasy that we seem to have found ourselves in. Randi comments that this is certainly the grand finale of our Portugal trip. It was definitely the most visually stunning thing we saw on the trip, but our cultural grand finale was still a few hours away.