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Comfy Comporta

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As Columbus and seemingly the entire United States reels from the frigid, testicle-shying relentlessness of Jack Frost, lately I’ve sought warm and cozy places. Physically, sitting by my fireplace to thaw out my chestnuts and mentally drifting away to sunny daydreams.

One location I keep fondly returning to is Comporta, Portugal; a little slice of heaven similar in transition and progress to the earlier (read: sleepier) days of Tulum, Mexico. And you can imagine my internal struggle in telling you, my dear readers, about such a wonderful place; a place I’d like to keep secret to guard from the touristic hordes. But alas, I’m one of the idiot tourists (keep reading to find out why) in a locale primed to explode onto the travel scene, anyways.

So here it is:

Comporta is a lovely hour+ drive south of Lisbon, along empty, comprehensive highways leading to country roads that look how I imagine stretches of Morocco, look.

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We drive south on N261, past Comporta Village, and hang a right down a gritty road towards Brejo Da Carregueira, a very wild west looking village where we meet our Air BnB host, Felipe; a taller, slightly older version of myself if I were really cool and Portuguese and lived in Lisbon and owned rental homes in paradise and drove a sweet hunter green Vespa (Felipe, I’m jealous of your life – borderline man crush).

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Felipe takes us down a sandy path to Casa Verde, a cute little hovel in the middle of nowhere.

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He gives us quick tour of the place, hands over the keys, and I instantly gravitate to the outside patio for a lounge-sesh, surrounded by piñon trees and open fields. If you’re planning on visiting Portugal please use Comporta Homepage. And don’t let me abbreviate ‘session’, ever again.

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Felipe leaves us with directions to the beach:

Take the keyfob to get through the gate to rice fields.

Follow the rice fields to the “road” (quotations added) with the big water spigot

Hang a left, then a right

Follow this to the bamboo trees

Park the car under the bamboo grove

Subdue the evil mongoose

Walk about a quarter mile over the dunes

Fight Tusken Raiders

Bask

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I remember thinking this may be the part of the Roam About Mike movie where Caitlin and I are murdered by Portuguese banditos, or Felipe is the Air BnB Ripper, but, we’re in paradise so, I guess it’s not the worst way/place to go out.

Instead of a disembowelment, we’re offered absolute seclusion down a snaking path through an interesting landscape along our very own beach stretching for miles each way.

There’s no one around…

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Come here often?

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Here’s lies this Clorox bleach container. He didn’t disinfect as well as we thought…

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There’s a fishing boat off chugging off in the distance, but no resorts just legitimate freedom from modern-day trivialities. So secluded are we that it’s a bit unnerving, and I have to make a conscience effort to get my brain to unwind.

After a couple hours of playing Lost, we start craving frou-frou drinks. With nothing around to create such concoctions, we decide to head towards civilization in Comporta proper.

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Conde Nast has written a couple of pieces on Comporta. The presence of super high-end boutiques in a quaint little village of less than 2,000 people affirm this accreditation from the travel riche. Someone is buying this expensive stuff. And the proprietors of these sweet shoppes drive really cool motorcycles and reside in one of the cutest little towns/houses I’ve ever seen.

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OOUOOO

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Stupid American 

American travelers get a bad rap. While we may not have the stylish flair of the mullet-ed, Affliction branded and white vinyl shoe wearing Russian travelers, nor the knack of always cutting lines, being generally obnoxious with the I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-anything mentality of Chinese travelers, the Americans’ rap is deserved.

Go ahead and throw me on the pile.

As we make our way to Comporta Beach, a 3 minute drive down the road from Comporta Village, I make the (first) mistake of missing the turn to the beach, and the (subsequently) double incredibly estupido mistake of banking the Fiat Panda into the sandy shoulder for a quick turn around, promptly sinking the bastard car two feet into the earth.

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No Pandas were hurt during this dramatization.

After the couple attempts at shoving sticks and tree bark under the wheel do nothing to dislodge the Panda from the depths of gritty humiliation, I swallow my pride, hike up my shorts, to attract passers-by with some pasty skin. A couple of extremely nice locals stop (out of pity, not my hot quads), hook the Panda (which, to my defense, has the responsive turning radius of a stoned blimp) to their jeep rigs, and bail me out, sarcastically joking that I should, “Take a picture for American Facebook friends.”

Babacas (assholes).

I’m kidding. Thank you, random Portuguese dudes. I’m an idiot and you saved me big time.

‘Sup, Beaches!

Comporta Beach is simply amazing. The people are beautiful, the beach is stunning and the two restaurants, Ilha Do Arroz and Comporta Cafe, offer refuge from ex-lax (exposure to too much relaxation) with delicious menus and better cocktails.

What more is there to say about this?

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Or this?

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Or thi…

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..s…ah! Reality. Daydream shattered. Buzzkill.

Please, go to Comporta. Buy a house. Invite me over. I’ll bring vino. We’ll hit up the aforementioned restaurants on Comporta Beach, or Restaurante Sal on Pêgo Beach, or we’ll gorge on some Arroz de Polvo com Camarão at local favorite, Dona Bia. And I’ll drive you around in a rented Panda…please hurry! Go! Visit!

-Mike

34 Comments Post a comment
  1. You had me at mongoose! Now I’m Jonesing for a beach!

    This time of year, when the days start stretching out again, I am reminded of family spring break adventures: Hawaii, Panama, Costa Rica and right up there on the list, Cali. They’re predicting a huge snowstorm here, (finally) after a warm dry winter. No complaints about the mildness since I’m still laid up after knee surgery – see today’s post…

    Good to see something lit a fire under your butt to post again. 🙂 I missed your Roaming!

    February 20, 2015
    • My future sister-in-law lives in Denver, and they’ve been bragging about 65 degree weather this entire mini-ice age. I’m jealous.

      What happened? Skiing accident? I’ll check it out.

      Trying to get back to my normal rhythm. Thanks, Susie!

      February 20, 2015
      • Congratulations!!!! You really need to update your readers with your personal life. Let me know when you come to the Boulder/Denver area!
        I had a skiing “incident” a long time ago. I wrote about it here – Being New and Improved Bionically… and today’s post is an update. I’m on the mend and should be able to ski in a few weeks!

        February 20, 2015
        • What? You haven’t met Roam About Gal yet? She’s right below this comment – ‘Caitlin’.

          Heck yeah – I think the next time we’re out West is in the summer though.

          Sorry about your accident – quick recovery!

          February 20, 2015
          • Very coo! Hey Caitlin!
            We can go hiking, river rafting or parasailing. Wait. Probably won’t be parasailing this summer.

            February 20, 2015
  2. Great post! However… you left out the piece about Sassy. Tell us about Sassy, Mike. Tell us! Tell us!

    February 20, 2015
    • Sassy Sassy she came from the sea
      We gave her water
      But she was hungry
      You were a shih tzu
      And we’re sure to miss you
      But sassy Sassy it wasn’t meant to be

      February 20, 2015
  3. Thanks. I needed that.

    Sincerely,

    Winter in Montreal

    February 20, 2015
    • Let’s be positive here, at least you have one degree today, BtF! Right?! *audible weeping.

      February 20, 2015
      • I appreciate your compassion but what about blowing snow and the notorious windshield factor – which has been known to drop 15-30 degrees off the temperature! I don’t like where this thread is headed, life is but a dream.

        February 20, 2015
        • My car froze to death today in such negative degree temps. I shall dream of a warmer life…

          February 24, 2015
  4. I wish I had a Felipe that would direct me to where the frou-frou drinks are. But I’ll settle for 73 degrees on Sunday and we’re near a beach. Frou-frou drinks shall be had, most likely.

    Hey to you and your lovely, Mike. Happy wife, happy life, eh? You are learning Mikey-son.

    February 20, 2015
    • I can pass along your info to Felipe…

      Where are you living that it’s 73 degrees!?!

      Same to you – I am indeed, Brigitte. I am indeed.

      February 23, 2015
  5. haha oh my goodness! i think i might’ve abandoned my car. so cool to read about this. just went to lisbon and loved it, but december was unfortunately not the time to enjoy the beaches. can’t wait to go back to see them some time!

    February 22, 2015
    • I almost left the thing there, but was afraid of the charges on my credit card.

      The water was getting a bit chilly in Sept, but it was still amazing. Less crowded.

      Thanks for stopping in, Laura!

      February 25, 2015
  6. HRH #

    GPS? Google Maps? Who needs those when you clearly have the exacting technology of “Mike Mapping”.

    Best line: “…responsive turning radius of a stoned blimp.”

    And finally, at the beach, the poles with flowy fabric look a bit like your wanker of a panda car in the sand except instead of the panda, they look almost as if the sand swallowed sailboats. Nothing but the sails remain.

    Researching Comporta (more like Comforta) real estate, specifically property between Beach and the Pretty People Fruity Drinks.

    March 1, 2015
    • Mike Mapping? TM!!!

      haha – what a vivid imagination you have, HRH. Funny stuff.

      That’s actually the name of the town: Pretty People Fruity Drinks. I think it’s French.

      March 4, 2015
      • HRH #

        I understand French? Oh my, another one of my many talents to list…somewhere…where no one will ever dare to venture to view same said list, mich less read it. Still…I will add it anyway.

        Languages spoken: English and French, the “RAM” dialect.

        My Dutch uncle (who, oddly, speaks Spanish, in addition to Dutch, English, and French) will be so proud.

        March 6, 2015
        • HRH #

          I think I’m drunk. Or my fat fingers once have again have betrayed me on this mobile device as there are missing words and typos throughout my previous post.

          Note to self: remove “accurate typist” from talent list which, again, no one will ever read.

          March 6, 2015
          • Don’t be an accurate typist; be a RAMmer!

            March 12, 2015
  7. Looks like you had it to yourself

    March 3, 2015
  8. Great to read. You’ve got a real talent. Keep sharing

    March 8, 2015
    • Thanks for reading, jcmindset!

      -Mike

      March 12, 2015
  9. Great article Mike! It is definitely spring in Portugal already. Temperatures in the 70s now.

    March 9, 2015
    • Would love to come back, soak up some of that Portuguese spring – thanks, medicalport

      March 12, 2015
  10. I’m glad you liked it! 🙂

    March 10, 2015
  11. Looks amazing…my favourite part of this whole post is the map “beach” “beach”.
    My kind of map indeed!!!!

    May 11, 2015
    • Beach Beach Fruity Drinks! I feel like I may have to start branding beach-centric maps. 🙂

      May 22, 2015
  12. What an adventure! I’m sure, some parts you would have liked to avoid. However, I’m learning that all travel experience, regardless of meticulous planning, will not all be pleasant. The beach looks beautiful.

    August 23, 2015
  13. Thanks for the shout out, Health Abroad!

    March 17, 2015

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