I spend summers on a wild part of the Atlantic coast in Portugal, Guincho, just north of Lisbon. It is an untamed place in the dead center of the Sintra Mountains wind channel. The name “Guincho” onomatopoetically in Portuguese imitates the screech of the strong winds that blow constantly. But on the rare times the wind stops, or “flew away” as my 2 year old grandson remarked one day, it is absolutely glorious to go to Guincho Beach first thing in the morning, even before the surfers arrive.
In my early morning ritual at Guincho, I am there at 7 am with Maxi the dog, who is ecstatic. This beach is his idea of heaven. Mine too. Ours are the first footprints on the fresh sand. We share the beach with the seagulls until Maxi can’t resist chasing them, never catching them as the synchronized flock lifts off and he follows them into the sea, wishing he could fly too. Each morning is the world’s first morning.
On totally windless days we go in the evening to another nearby gorgeous wild beach called Adraga for a picnic as the sun goes down. At the moment the sun disappears we offer a libation of the best red wine to the sun and the earth. I can’t think of a better way to end the day.