travel

Backyard Pool In Portugal

San Martino BayMy backyard swimming pool has changed a bit. Instead of a crystal clear tiled screened in chemical hole in the ground I have to pour money into, I have this lagoon that is filled with mineral rich water when the tide is in or shallow with lots of sand that is home to people and seagulls digging for clams. Twice a day….either one or the other. Full or shallow, it’s really fun.

It is a tributary off the San Martino bay, and this place has the coolest pool art! Old ruins are on the end of the cliff where the ocean is right around the corner. There is a huge sand dune, at least 4 stories tall. The kids never tire of climbing up and rolling down it. Beyond the ruins is a mineral spring, the Spring of Santa Ana. I think it is the same water as Fatima without the Virgin’s cred’s…but that’s just my theory. It is fed from a pipe flowing out the side of a cliff and it is in a square chisled rock basin about 6 foot square and 5 foot deep with old stone steps into it. People climb the side of the cliff up to it like goats with empty bottles and fill them up with the water and bathe it in for it’s healing properties. Also, the muddy, algae sand is used for a face and body masque. So, not only do I have a swimming pool, but a spa that would cost quite a bucket of Euros if you went someplace anyone knew about…so shhhhh.

All of this comes with a view of San Martino Baythe village of Salir with hills filled with casas topped with their red tile roofs, the big white cross overlooking the village set on the big hill, small sailboats and windsurfers skipping across the bay.The town of San Martino do Porto with it’s holiday crowds under beach umbrellas dotting the distance.

All this just a walk down the hill. No loud radios, no rowdy drunks with coolers full of rum, no garbage, no rules posted about anything! I got to tell ya, that water is cold, still, best pool I every had.

Constance left the U.S. not for spiritual enlightment (Eat, Love, Pray), or to run away from anything, but to challenge herself in a new culture, living a simple life. Portugal seemed to be the best fit, and so far it is just the right size. Read lots more at her blog Con-Toons.

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