EARLY MORNING –AND LATE AFTERNOON -- RITUALS IN PORTUGAL – part I



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.







When the wind transforms Guincho beach into a screeching sand-blasting inferno, I go to another wonderful place for my early morning ritual. I will show you that next time.

38 comments:

  1. Oh, Maia - what a lovely post and what beautiful pictures!

    Please tell me you drink the rest of the wine.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is so breathtakingly beautiful there. I love seeing these photos. You capture something so atmospherically essential about the place, I can almost feel the air. Wonderfully done.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your pictures are magnificent!
    "...first footprints on the fresh sand" How wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful rituals. How funny, I was thinking of libations when awake in the middle of the night - the verse from the Rubaiyat about "Turn down an empty glass" which isn't about that, but could be.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my, you are living my dream. I can't think of anything better than being on a beach, any beach, greeting the morning and then waving good-bye to the passing day.

    Maia, write me on my email and I'll tell you the story of the IMAGINE rocks. In the meanwhile, your evening is approaching. Please salute the setting sun for me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Celeste Maia,

    Beautiful post thanks.
    Could smell the sea and sand.
    Love,
    Herrad

    ReplyDelete
  7. How absolutely beautiful, and the descriptions you offer are great!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It looks like I should put Portugal on my Bucket List. Somehow I never thought Europe would have stretches of deserted beaches. In Australia you can walk along the Indian Ocean on 90 mile beach without seeing another human being but lots of turtle tracks. Thank you for the beautiful pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a magnificent sunrise and sunset you just shared! These two beaches are also among my favorites.
    I had never offered a libation of wine at sunset... it is a beautiful gesture!
    I was there with you, just now.
    Thank you for such uplifting and beautiful moments and images.
    And the rituals that celebrate life and beauty.
    Isabel

    ReplyDelete
  10. How gorgeous! What a wonderful place to live and what a great way to start your mornings!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I simply adore the beaches anywhere in the world. Your beach photos are spectacular. I wish I could have been there with you and Maxi celebrating the morning.

    I use to work with a company in Portugal and wish I could go there sometime too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Absolutely glorious, " indeed!
    Your photos have captured that wind swept vastness so beautifully.
    I'm so enjoying discovering these peeks of Portugal, through your eyes ---

    Judith

    ReplyDelete
  13. These are wonderful pictures. First thing in the morning anywhere is great - no madding crowds to have to share the peace and tranquility and beauty with. Lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Maia, looks like my favorite beaches here in South Australia although we tend to go in Spring and Autumn and on lovely winter days, usually too hot in the summer. We tend to toast the sun going down in champagne, sorry, cant call it that here any more, bubbly. Love my red too but somehow bubbly goes with a warm summer night at the beach and watching the sun set.
    Our beaches here are all surf beaches too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Celeste your picture first thing in the day is just such a happy face and It can get me into a more positive mood quicker than anything, Thank you for finding me, Lucy

    ReplyDelete
  16. I absolutely love the beach, not to sunbathe, but rather like your version. I also kind of experienced the post through the happiness that your dog must emanate everytime he gets to repeat this bit of heaven. And a granchild, too, running through the wet sand. You are truly blessed. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. Mother Nature is always fun to view from different places on the planet.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh I would love to live near such beautiful beaches. It's been a long time since I've seen the sun come up or go down over the water...
    Beautiful pictures.
    Sheri

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh how lovely! It makes me wish I was a morning person!

    On my boat at sunset, we have coffee and donuts!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful! You are a very fortunate lady indeed.
    Your photography is breathtaking.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a friendly comment.
    I shall be back to see more of your posts, if I can bear to do so without feeling extremely envious.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thankyou for taking me n your walks on the beach. I could feel tha sand under my feet and smell the scent of the sea.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I saw your comments in Friko’s blog and came to take a peek at yours. What glorious photographs! The sunset on the beach is breathtaking - I could hear the waves and feel the mist. I’ll come back to read more of your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Celeste, I found your blog via Lucy at What is Left ... Your photos here are beautiful, the beach is always a special place for me. I lived by the beach, during my early childhood, where the sun rose from the ocean, to see it sinking into the ocean is just as awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a peaceful stretch of earth. The first footprints on the sand is apt for an early morning run.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Celeste, I had modem problems this morning again and just wanted to let you know after a completely frustrating morning that it was nice to see your cheerful face and message. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Totally and utterly superb. What a magical place and how lucky is Maxi...Enjoy the rest of your weekend, xv.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I had to just come and admire this post after enjoying the above one so much. It didn't matter in the slightest that I viewed part 2 before part 1. Both exquisite! And I'm still envious! ;D

    ReplyDelete
  27. I do believe every time I come to your blog, I feel like I am living right there. Thank you for the anniversary wishes. Just to explain so you don't think I am totally bonkers, Jack who I speak of, Have been first writing in Journals and then we all migrated together when they closed Journals in AOL. He is a really fun person and his wife, Who he worships never writes on a blog but he has been heckling me for years, never met in person but I feel I know him and his wife, just as I feel I know you and it has been short time for us.

    ReplyDelete
  28. WOW! It's such a beautiful place!! And on top of it, coffee along :)

    Slow and Beautiful — Snail

    ReplyDelete
  29. You are truly blessed to be able to see these views all the time. You live in a lovely part of the world. Your photos turned out very nicely. Enjoyed your post.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Mommy, these pictures are absolutely amazing, incredible, my favorites are the ones of Guincho beach. You can totally feel being there and you can see there isn´t any wind and it is completely calm, just glorious.

    ReplyDelete
  31. VOOOVOOOO!!! its me nicolas i love the photos of guincho and maxi!! , i was the one who said "the wind flew away"!! i love your comments like for example= each morning is the worlds first morning!! i lovee! it!!
    VOVOOOOO!! I WILL SEE YOU ON SATURDAY!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Vovo i love you and Maxi and Bob. It´s me Katia, i love the pictures of Maxi running on the beach and chasing the seagulls. My favorite painting of yours is also into the moonlight! You are the best vovo, i am going to bed now, the fairy that Patrick and Annicka gave me I´m going to dream of Vovo and your blog! i will see you in estoril and eat a torrada with you in garrett! i love you!

    ReplyDelete
  33. No fair that they are going first! These pictures of Guincho beach remind me of 3 years ago, when I was pregnant with Alex and we took these walks each morning. So beautiful and it's true that you can smell the salty sea air through these pictures...Does the Portuguese tourist board know about your blog??
    Love, Joana

    ReplyDelete
  34. Estas fotografias são lindas!!!

    um beijinho

    ReplyDelete
  35. Celeste, I see you grew up in mozambique. That is so cool - my corner of the world.

    This is a lovely post and so is the one ofter it. Living in London, I think I honestly forget how uplifting and beautiful a blue sky can be sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Looks and sounds like a magical place. Love the sunset and the libation to the sand and sea. ;D

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow. These photos are breathtaking. Have you read - most like you have - The Patagonia Express? An old Paul Theroux (sp?) book.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.
    謝謝你的文章分享,請你有空到我

    參觀,Thanks

    ReplyDelete