TE19 Iberian Adventure

Passing Time in Portugal

don’t struggle, just go with it.”

“An apt metaphor.”

Further out surfers tamed the swells and hours passed rag dolled by the breakers, kissing the seabed in a split-second cycle that endedwith a violent expulsion to the surface, exhausted, battered and bruised. When you were raised in the gentle countryside, an encounterwith thewild Atlantic opens your eyes. The imminence of the water was a kind of transcendence through nature. Above us Storks tend their basket-like nests in the granite cliffs as mythical spirits bid sailors enter their rocky grotto lair. Atlantic, Mediterranean, and African birds crossed above pine thickets and wild oregano that liens the winding coastal road. Fishing nets and faded buoys litter unmarked roads that offer sweeping views across the bay to the end of the world. Distant high-rise hotels mourn the Faustian pact of package holidays while locals pour into simple restaurants with flapping tablecloths, for soup with salted cod or dogfish soup —a kind of shark, white-fleshed and sweet. A stork looks down on the wind-whipped coast. The horizon turns gold, then indigo. The remaining days passed much the same, errands in the town andwalks over the hills, music nights at theTavern and sunsets on the terrace. The house was a portrait of my Grandfather, a hilltop home in the middle of nowhere. Alone save for his neighbours, simple folk who did not need to understand. “But these hills have eyes,” I heard him say, “they’re always 189 ***

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