Daisy recently went on an epic roady through Europe. Here are a few of the snaps she sent us!
If you want to read all about Daisy’s shenanigans, read on:
One would imagine Europe might not be the first pick for a holiday over the Christmas and New Year period, especially after enduring a long cold winter in the deep south of New Zealand. As the days grew longer here in New Zealand the nights were dark and snowy on the other side of the globe. Alas I had booked a ticket.
England was the first stop, not for surf but for family time and to begin the adventure in a home on wheels. A good friend had been tinkering away on this project over the last three months, transforming it from transit to palace. The palace was set with insulation (which came in handy), electrics, and akitchen, the works. We stocked it up with tasty Christmas left overs, surfboards a plenty and woollen goods to keep us alive. Our goodbyes were said and off we trundled into the snow toward Folkstone where we would drive aboard the “chunnel” (a cross between a tunnel and a channel) aka a train that drives under the sea delivering you safely to France. Unfortunately there were no portholes to spot mermaid spinning and weaving, which was a slight disappointment that I soon got over once we arrived in Calais, France.
The romance behind dimly lit English pubs drinking Guinness was now a distance memory as we wound our way through to the Burgundy area of France. Here, I considered letting go of my necessity of having to be close to the ocean. Purely to indulge the romance of living in a big stone house over looking the longest river in France, learning the ways of beef bourguignon, pastry creations and sinking gallons of wine that is so easily consumed. Alas the ocean called and after a brief stop over we continued down to the Basque country.
Arriving late at night anywhere is always discombobulating. After many hours of car karaoke we pulled into the small fishing village of Mundaka. Streetlights dimly lit the cobblestones that led to a bar overlooking a tiny port where the locals were enjoying a drink young and old. We indiscreetly pulled up to the port and took in the atmosphere before hunkering down for some much needed sleep.
Winter maybe cold in Europe but with it comes winter swell; we knew there was going to be a good chance of experiencing what Mundaka and its surrounds had to offer. The winter light grew brighter as we wandered through the cobbled streets at dawn to see what was on offer. Rolling through the point were rather perfectly formed waves head high and bigger, one surfer obviously knew something we didn’t as they enjoyed near dark waves all to themselves.
In the ten minutes we watched the waves rolling through five, ten, fifteen moresurfers emerged out of the tiny lanes surrounding the Mundaka port on dawn; clearly a place of significance. By the time we had suited up and paddled out through the port channel the line up was almost shoulder-to-shoulder with predominantly local surfers. I had my little Sadhana south island quad fish with me that was the perfect match for fast down the line action, I certainly wasn’t up for hustling however but I did manage to pick one off. For the sheer beauty of the place it was worth a paddle. We packed up and left them to it to find something a little less crowded further south.
The west coast of France, Spain and Portugal is wild and rugged through winter. We found fun point breaks along the way to play on but once the winds changed we decided to gun it for the south of Portugal where the waters a little warmer and slightly more sheltered from the huge winter swells thatpound the west coast. The Algarve region of Portugal has long been a holiday destination and increasingly resorts and development line the coast. Lagos was one of these areas, however, during the winter it was very quiet and low key, I can only imagine what the summer brings. Low key and quiet is what we were after.
After a week logging the glassy peelers near to Lagos and frequenting the local fish market enjoying the diversity that was on offer it was time to explore further north. Where the coastal options opened up to more exposed beach breaks, Sagres, a sleepy seaside village, was our next destination. It may be a sleepy seaside village in the winter but there are definite signs of a pumping restaurant and beach scene during the summer months. We booked into a basic apartment block close to the beaches and market place, which sheltered us from a good downpour of rain after spending many nights at campgrounds and dedicated camping spots along the coast. Local market food was affordable and delicious, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, herbs and local baking left us feeling inspired to create baked fish delights for lunch and dinner.
Not to mention the infamous pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tarts). After shopping at the market regularly we became friendly with the local stallholders who proudly shared stories of the vegetables they had grown or the fresh goats cheese made up the hill. The Portuguese people are friendly and welcoming always generous with their time and space for a hearty laugh and exchange of stories.
Travel is always inspiring but so to is
Until next time.