After a short time without giving you any stories about this beautiful place, here I am once again to talk about The South Beach or Whale Beach as it is known by the locals. Many years ago a whale was washed ashore on the beach in this bay and of course this had great impact on the local people and they gave the name “Whale” to the location. The bones of the whale are still kept in the local museum, situated in “Largo da Misericórdia”
For a very long time Ericeira has been chosen by families in Lisbon and the surrounding areas as their preferred holiday resort. As soon as the first sun beams arrive, long before summer, in May /June the first groups of “bathers” begin to appear as they wish to give a better standard of living to their children, far from the pollution of the big cities.
The following postcard was entitled “Bathing Time” by the photographers of the time.
Adults believed that the waves splashing against their legs helped improve circulation and also cured varicose veins. On the rocks, far from the damp sand, we could see groups of people lying in the sun. Even today, on the rocks next to the Hotel Vila Galé right in front of the beach we can see the devotees of Ericeira taking advantage of the precious remedy, free to all. An hour of sun-bathing gives a chance to rest and to take in the magnificent scenery starting from our beach and on to Cabo da Roca the most westerly point in Europe. A most wonderful panorama.
Tiny children come to Ericeira without teeth and shortly after they begin to cut their first tooth. By the time the holidays are over they are already taking their first bites. For a few years much of the sand dissappeared from our beaches and it was almost impossilbe to bathe specially in the south beach. Luckily, thanks to the efforts of our local council leader, machines were brought in and rocks were placed in a circle forming a natural pool ideal for young children. Here you can see the result at low tide. For many we are reminded of our youth, our first love, our marriage plans, forming our families and thus will never forget the South Beach. Some of these promises of love were written in the sand. The sea arrived and all the words were gone. That`s life. True events from yesterday, today and tomorrow!
Today our beaches are still visited by the same families. Many of those, who arrived toothless continue to come with their grandchildren to receive the gift of our iodine with its strong odour that can be noticed from kilometres away. That is our sea our, our beaches, our Ericeira. Come and join us! You are most welcome.