Chicks on waves - The first two days of adventure
After months of hard work and neary a break I was ready for a lovely holiday with my bestie in the South of Portugal. We had booked a Yoga & Surf retreat where only girls are aloud, called Chicks on Waves. Located on just a one hour drive from Faro airport and close to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean sea, Chicks on Waves is ideally placed for surfing and relaxing with beautiful views.
Saturday evening - 7 PM
Eli and I had just landed after the most horrific flight of our life with the sound of a sea of crying babies was still ringing in my ears, next to the images of a couple making out on the chair next to me burnt on my retina’s. Luckily our Russian driver had one of those signs that makes one feel important (Ms. Jacobs) and was easy to spot and ready to take us out of there as fast as possible. Holiday feels? Yes, finally!
After one hour driving we arrived at the lodge and were immediately taken in by the amazing views and the cosy and welcoming house. The final sunrays of the day were gliding over the white walls of the villa as we walked around back to the terrace, where a group of girls were enjoying dinner next to the pool. (Which had a bright pink flamingo gliding on top of it of course) With joyful greets we were summoned to join the girls at the table and could immediately dive into some soup and a amazing salad with walnuts.
At that time the girls were already on the subject of vagina’s, so we knew it was gonna be a fun vacation. (Yes, because all girls like vagina talks - Immarite?)
We finished the first day of our vacation by sharing a glass of wine on a terrace full of girls talking about adolescents discovering their sexuality and naming a bright red model of a penis used to explain said sexuality to youths in the US. Pretty great, right?
Sunday - The day of rest?
Sunday is the day or rest, especially on holidays, where any excuse is valid to just lay by the pool. However, this is not the case with Chicks on Waves! 8 am sharp we started the day with a yoga practice on the rooftop terrace of the lodge. I pondered the reasons for partaking in such a high intensity vacation to myself while I was climbing the stairs and looking for a place to drop my yoga mat. Can I go back to bed please?
However, our yoga teacher was something out of a book. With a trailing voice that can put crying babies to sleep, Icia our yoga teacher, pulled me through the first session with ease. And after an hour of vinyasa yoga I felt reborn and ready for breakfast.
We headed down to find a table filled with healthy and delicious choices for breakfast. Nothing to ruin your diet, but tasty nevertheless. At 12 our surf teacher was coming to collect us so I scarfed down my breakfast for some previous hours at the pool of tanning. (By that time I had gotten so white in winter, people needed a pair of shades just to be able to look at me.)
12 o’clock came within a blink of an eye and I was getting ready to suit up for surfing when Maria, our Brazilian-Italian surf instructor, arrived in a worn out van that had clearly been next to the ocean too many times. Soon we hit the road and Maria was telling us about her adventurous life in Milan, Brazil and Portugal while we were driving to the national park on our way to the surf spot. How I felt way less cool with my whiter than a sheet skin, greasy hair and sweaty ass stuck to the seat, but hey maybe the ego did need some time off. :)
We arrived at Praia do Castelejo and put on our wetsuits and collected our boards. We all wore a brighter than neon pink t-shirt for Maria to recognise us easily in the water. I would rather not be quite as visible face planting a 1000 times, but yes being visible as I am drowning is more important.
How do you start a career in surfing? On a beach learning about currents, waves, wind and sandbanks.
Part one of surfing is a geography lesson, did you know that? Part 2? Surfing on the sand, trying to figure out paddling and ‘doing a pop-up’. Maria was not too strict with us and we got to try out actual surfing quite soon. Now… when I say surfing I actually mean getting hit by waves trying to walk into the ocean in order to get far enough to actually catch a wave. As my friend Julie would say: “I went swimming a few times to get ready for this vacation when I should have just let someone pummel me with a floaty stick while I was walking in the water” That pretty much sums up the experience.
Worn out and semi-burned we returned to the lodge at 5. Oh boy, I was just not going to survive this vacation. However my bestie, who is infinitely more fit than me, was still looking powder fresh and went to take a swim in the pool. I threw myself down on the bed and watched an episode of Project Runway, just to hear Tim Gunn say Make it work.
After a shower I felt alive again and went down for dinner at 7.30. Our Portuguese chef, a wonderful woman called Amina, had made a pumpkin soup (Yes, they eat soup in summer) and a typical Portuguese dish with salty cod and potatoes. It was so delicious I asked her to marry me later on in the week. She sadly did not accept.