Well Friday has very quickly come around and we’ve had our four-day beach fix here at Guincho. We love to wild camp right beside the beach. There are no services at all out of season so if you come here, be prepared. There is an Orbitur site just up the hill if you prefer a bit of comfort. It is one of the more expensive ones though. The town of Cascais is around 3 miles away on a very flat, easy peasy, cycle trail which hugs the sea. Electric bikes can be hired from an automated post in Guincho for about €3.50 each per day. You just need the app. It gives full details at the bike station by the bus stop, scan the code with your phone and the app comes up. The bus takes about 15 minutes and runs hourly if you’re not a cyclist. There’s also a fab walk on a decked path over the sand dunes and nature reserve.
We came here last year with our mates, Liz and Henry. Bruce and Maria, Jo and Karina and Paul and Lesley all joined us for a very messy night at Muchaxa a nearby bar/restaurant. Wish we could have repeated it this year! What a hoot! I still remember the headache next day.
Guincho is a series of beautiful sandy beaches. It’s highly favoured by the Lisbon surf set so the restaurants along the coast are more upmarket and certainly more expensive. At least one of them has a Michelin Star. We found a smashing spot with a pool for coffee and cake.
The sunsets here are special. We love to just sit outside the van and watch the show with a glass of wine, better than any TV. This place is food for your soul.
I always cook my special Enchiladas here which we have re-christened Guinchiladas!! It’s a simple, very tasty, dish to go to when wild camping, providing you have an oven or at least a grill. You will need:-
A pack of large floury Mexican style wraps, 6 at least.
Minced beef (or chopped stewing beef if you have electric hook up as this will need braising first.)
A finely chopped onion
Chopped green pepper
Small tin of sweet corn
Tin of red chilli beans
A pack of chopped cherry tomatoes
2 heaped tablespoonfuls of tomato purée
A teaspoon of chilli powder
A tablespoon of sweet smoked paprika
2 Beef oxos
A good slug of red wine
Blue cheese, (not too strong). Smoked cheddar works equally well
Sour cream and chive dip and guacamole to serve
Fry off the chopped onion in a wok or large pan until it starts to brown in a splash of olive oil or better still some smoked chilli oil. Readily available in Portugal and one of my favourite ingredients!! Add the beef and cook through. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, garlic, tomato purée, chopped chillies, chilli powder and paprika. Cook through on a low heat until the tomatoes are softened and the mixture is simmering nicely. Crumble in the oxo. Cook for about ten minutes. Add a bit of water or more wine if sticking but it needs to be quite firm not runny. Add peppers and mushrooms, sweet corn and chilli beans. Cook through until reduced down, thick and tasty. Lay a deep oven dish, I prefer an enamel tin, with the wraps in horseshoe shapes and spoon the mixture evenly into each one. Fold up the wraps as you go along, sealing each one with a cocktail stick. Cover with oiled tin foil and bake for ten minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven or grill until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown. Serve with a rocket salad, a dollop of sour cream and chive dip and Guacamole. Yummmmmmy! Oh and don’t forget the really important bit, a nice bottle of Vinho Tinto! I remembered the photo this time Helen!!
So we decided to dig out the Bromptons this morning and get pedalling into Cascais. It’s such a scenic bike ride with a sea view all the way, beats the bus any day. We fancy lunch out, for once, I admit, I’m a bit fed up of cooking. It’s a gorgeous day. I go down to the cove, at first light to do my exercises facing the sea. It helps, honestly. It’s very calming and I drawn strength from it somehow. I am a Piscean after all! Between us and a tennis ball we wear the dog out so he’ll sleep whilst we’re out. He just adores this beach. He runs his little legs off, bless him. Such a happy little soul is my dog. I love him to bits.
Off we go then, the waves are big today, they’re crashing over the top of the rocks, we have sunshine and sea spray in our faces all the way as we ride along. Just before you reach Cascais there is an amazing rock formation called Boca do Inferno, Mouth of Hell. It’s a deep natural chasm and very entertaining to watch especially when the seas are big like today. The waves come crashing through and spurt up through the blow holes.
Cascais lies just outside Lisbon. It’s a stylish resort with a flashy Marina. Despite it’s obvious holiday resort status it manages to retain a traditional charm. It’s quite a mix with grand mansions and former fishermen’s houses dotted around a sandy bay running down to Estoril. The fort which once guarded the harbour is now a swish hotel. The streets are mosaic paved and lined with bars and restaurants,all vying for your business. We dined on sardines and piripiri chicken, all cooked over coal, at a bustling little place, washed down with a carafe of chilled dry white wine. It was a truly lovely afternoon. All Fridays should be like this! After our late lunch we picked a few bits of foodie shopping up and then had a steady ride back to base. We finished off the day with a sunset beach walk with the dog, the sands were bathed in pinky golden light. The skies blazed red as the sun bid us farewell for another day. Just wonderful.
I checked the precious weather app and it’s given thick cloud all day tomorrow with heavy showers Sunday. Time to think about heading a little way inland and to a site. We need to charge things up, clean the van and it would be nice to have electricity if it’s going to rain. I feel a duvet and dvd day coming on!
We are going to do just a short drive about 20 miles into the Sintra National Park. We know a great little hilltop village there with a fabulous family restaurant serving wholesome locally sourced food. Monday is set to improve so we would like to have a day at Sintra and see the castle there. We did the palace last trip.
So, maps away and I shall bid you lovely folk goodnight and hit the sack. Turning in for an early night so we can be up and on it in the morning. Odrinhas is a popular little site and I would hate for it to be full when we arrive.
Hope you enjoyed reading and that our pics have given you some food (and wine 😉) for thought.
Wishing you all a very happy weekend! Eat, drink and be merry I say.
Totty bye chaps. Saturday tomorrow. Give yourselves a day off for good behaviour!