Berlengas, that place humans couldn’t conquer

A few weeks ago I decided to surprise my mum with a visit. I hadn’t been home since Christmas, and to be fair I was in need of some rest and vitamin D. Probably I could have gotten more rest – I had still to do some work remotely. But let’s face it – having your mum cooking for you, and being able to drive a car not depending on public transport was already a good start for a break.

Portugal is now like a trendy hashtag on Twitter. That small south European country, so many times confused with Spain is so much more than Lisbon, Porto or Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal will always be my home. And I’ve always grown aware of how lucky I was – good weather, a decent number of hours of sunlight, living near the beach, being able to smell the ocean even on cold winter days. But mostly because Portugal is part of this so much loved old continent that is Europe. I love Europe. And I love to know that I am a descendent of such heritage.

No too far from where I live, there is this coastal town called Peniche. In a good and clear day, when standing by the beach, you can admire from the distance this small rocky island called Berlengas. For many years I visited Peniche in the summer with my family, but we never got in the boat that would take us to that small island.

The thing about the sea is how agitated it can be. The Atlantic ocean has some serious borderline disorders. It can look like the nicest place to swim with, but don’t be fooled. It’s treacherous, it’s freezing cold. Oh, and when it’s on one of its moods… it creates gigantic waves. So yeah. Trespassing part of this ocean on a small boat might not look too appealing. Especially when you think that’s only to see some rocks.

However, lovely reads, that place is not just some rocks. That place is home to hundreds of seagulls and it once once disputed territory between monks, pirates and even vikings. Pirates and vikings were never people to stay in one place… the monks however, thought they could get the rest they needed for prayer. But well… constant assalants from these named pirates didn’t quite contribute to such peace. And then the plague, the disease came… they were isolated in a island not too far from shore, but with an indomable sea separating them from everyone else.

Everyone wanted a piece of those rocks… and in the end, only the seagulls seem to have won. Yes, sometimes nature does win! Yey!

But in a sunny day, with such clear waters…. it can definitely look like paradise.

This is indeed a beautiful place, as you might be able to see from my photos. Also a sacred place. It should remain to the seagulls and the seagulls only. We, humans, should be happy enough to get the privilege to visit it and make sure our impact in this natural reserve is minimal.

Love

Nic

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