In my last post I promisrd to tell you some interesting stories about our beaches. Here I am keeping my promise and asking you to forgive the delay in writing.Let me start with São Lourenço: situated some 6 kms north of Ericeira in the parish of Santo Isidoro. A small but charming beach with white sand, although a little courser than the beaches to the south. However, it attracts many tourists seeking a peaceful setting..
At present it is included in the first european area of the worldwide Save the Waves surf sanctuaries. This area goes from the beach at Matadoro as far as the beach at São Lourenço and its inclusion in Save the Waves began in February of 2011.
Two interesting points distinguish this beach from the others in Ericeira: The Fort and the Outlet of the Safarugo into the sea. Santa Suzana Fort, also known as São Lourenço Fort, is still a historical mark at this beach. After independence from Spain in 1640 the fort was errected to protect the coastline from pirates. Recently and until a few years ago it served as a post for the customs and excise authorities, who tried to prevent the entrance of contraband.
The spring of the Safaruga brook is in the Royal Tapada of Mafra ( the former royal hunting grounds) and it winds its way down to the coast. It is in the sea at the beach of São Lourenço that it finally comes to rest giving a considerable beauty to the area.
From the view-point we had a few special moments watching the men playing malhada( a type of quoits), surfers catching their waves and line fishermen.
I still remember grannie Nazaré and her sister, carrying their buckets, walking down the narrow track that goes from the bandstand to the beach. They also carried small sticks which they poked into gaps in the rocks in attempts to find octopus. Of course people still do it today, but 50 years ago it was different. If they had a good catch they would go to the surrounding villages and exchange the octopus for potatoes, beans and many other food stuffs. The local economy still used bartering.