Nazaré is known for giant breaking waves. It is there several world surfing records were broken.
Just how big the waves can get? Here’s a “historic” one on Ocotober 29th, 2020:
Nazaré canyon, situated under water in front of the North Beach, plays an important role to this pheonomenon. The largest submarine canyon in Europe serves as a ripple polarizer, redirects waves and amplifies the swell by as much as three folds the forecasted height.
We arrived at Praia do Norte on a calm afternoon.
There were no surfers out there, nor big crowd of spectators.
After spending sometime strolling down the beach, collecting seashells glistening under the sun, we decided that it was time to head into town in search of a dinner spot.
There were racks of fish drying on the Nazaré beach
As well as colourfil fishing vessels on display.
For dinner, we picked Rosa dos Ventos.
We selected a large seabass for grill and poured house white from a frozen jar.
The amêijoas à bulhão pato, named after the Portuguese poet Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato, was the best clams-cooked-in-olive-oil-and-garlic I’ve had so far. The clams were big and flavourful.
The seabass was fresh, meaty and oily.
We finish the meal with a complimentary shot of Portuguese Liqueur wine, which was a little too sweet to my taste.
After the sun went down the temperature dropped sharply. It’s time to return to the car for our 1.5 hour drive back to Lisbon.
Big waves in Nazaré usually happen during winter months, from October to March. The Nazaré Waves website is a good place to check big wave forecasts as well as live webcams of Praia do Norte.
A little incident:
At the Nazaré Beach, there was a group of local women selling preserved fish. In passing, one woman in particular looked at me in somewhat of a menacing manner and murmured in Portuguese: “You come from China with Coronavirus, you should go back to your country.”
My immediate reaction to this was sadness. The Portuguese people, as I remembered, had always been kind and welcoming. I had heard of the rising violence against Asians back in the States, this was the first time I experienced something like this in Portugal. The impact of Covid-19 goes far comprehensive beyond the number of cases. I can only hope that the Asian community would stand strong and dignified in the aftermath.
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.” — Jack Layton former leader of the New Democratic Party in Canada
Summer is coming. Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic!
Coming up next: A Taberna do Mar, Lisbon