After Lisbon we headed to the southern coast of Portugal. Initially we landed in Luz, which is about 30 minutes away. It was fine, but we were in the mood for something much more secluded and small. Salema turned out to be just the place, a small town that used to be a fishing village, though tourism has pushed that to the wayside. Still, fishermen actually do still fish here (novel concept) and the boats are beached at the end of the cove, where cats wanted around looking for bait scraps. We didn’t have a plan, or anything booked (like everywhere we went) but Salema welcomed us with open arms. After getting a quick bite we wandered up the street until w
e found a ‘Quartos’ sign, which lead us to a small market. The guy running the market called his friend up the street, and just like that we had a little room with a balcony and a view for $30/night. We would actually come to see him quite often, as not only did most lunches include a stop at his store for can sardines and wine, but we ran into him and his brothers (one being the innkeeper, one being the restaurant owner of the place we just ate) at a Karaoke bar one night, and shared several rounds of ‘small beers’.
Aside from the amazing food we ate (squid ink pasta, cataplana) in Salema, we ventured to a nearby town for a ‘seafood festival’ and got to try some perceives (also known as goose barnacles,or dinosaur toes) which were absolutely amazing. Our limited spanish and lack of on-the-spot-metric-translation ended us up with a giant plate full, and we easily ate every last one.
Moral of this story, we will be back to Salema someday, for sure.