Resuming the past week there is one word that fits best: it was intense. Meaning it both ways, positive and negative. I had lots of fun, met many nice people and we laughed a lot but also suffered together. Before starting the week I already had respect concerning the program starting the morning with a yoga class, doing surf after breakfast and another yoga class in the afternoon. Though I have to say Donovan Longaker (originally from California) and Yvonne Stolz-Longaker (Germany) (Apura Yoga), the couple organising the retreat and giving the classes did a great job. Even so we might felt a bit tired and exhausted now and then, the classes were well put together complementing each other so in the end we didn’t even had a muscle ache as hard as expected. Our highlight of the day was definitely the breakfast. Besides fresh made fruit salad and anything else you might need, every day there was a different highlight Yvonne prepared for us like humus, guacamole or – my favourite – chia pancakes. The good thing about doing so much sport is that you tremendously enjoy your food (several times a day.. we ate between 4 or 5 times during the day). Surfing was also great, I didn’t expect Peniche being such a great beginner beach as it’s famous for its competitions and championships though in our spot in Baleal waves were small and those days there was almost no current which made it perfect for beginners. Even the girls having difficulties and almost were to give up with the pop up managed to ride some white water waves after day five. After the classes there was always this sparkling in our eyes and a great energy – the complete opposite of before going to class. Due to windy weather and clouds we had to motivate ourselves quite hardly but once in the water it was just fun. Our group since day one had a great dynamic and we became friends instantly cooking together or watching the sunset. Besides hanging out together and doing our clases we didn’t to anything else. Nor did we manage to watch an entire film or read a book, being so exhausted that we also went to bed quite early. I was going to write about the retreat earlier but almost everyday we had something happening so there was just no time. Already on the first day of classes I happened to have an accident in surf class which left me with a little shock as the board crossed directly with a wave into my throat so I kind of got beheaded leaving my throat swollen and with pain moving my neck or swallowing water or food so I basically spend the rest of the day sleeping in my bed. As it didn’t really got better, I soent the day after in a Portuguese hospital which isn’t the most modern facility comparing to Germany and you have to basically wait for everything. Lucky me I had nice company so the hours pasted and after 4 or 5 hours I got X-ray done, knew that nothing was broken or damaged so at least I was allowed to follow the program and with some painkillers I survived the week. Besides that almost everyone of our group got some damage on its feed and on the last day another girl got hurt her knee.. we apparently were one of the worst groups related to the amount of injuries but definitely one of the best concerning team spirit which might also have been related to our small size of six persons though one of us left the group from one day to another which also was a bit of a shock for everyone. All in all it was a great experience, we cooked, we talked, we laughed and I finally tried out how it feels catching green waves (or at least trying to paddle for them), doing yoga twice a day and spending time with friendly and kind people. Yesterday we didn’t had clases so we went exploring the Peniche area by bicycle and today we finally got a day of sunshine so I went for a walk at praia da Almagreia before heading back to Lisbon.
The Portuguese people and the landscape with its beautiful beaches makes it for me one of the top places to go to within Europe. Besides that you can surf and nowadays there are also yoga studios in most of the towns. The only thing I won’t need so much is the wind. There was definitely too much wind. Cold wind..
I’m grateful for knowing such places but also feeling a bit upset knowing that tomorrow will be the last day in Portugal and with all the other trips scheduled I have no idea when I will be able to come back though I hopefully won’t take too long. To say it with an insider we made up this week: keep on padddeling! You must paddle more 😉 In that sense, Namasté and thanks to everyone making this week so wonderful. Even so it was just a week it feels so much longer as we had so many different experiences. Won’t want to miss a second.