Relaxing in Lagos

October 1, 2015 - 6:03 am No Comments

Our next stop was Lagos (“LAH-gose”, also the name of Nigeria’s biggest city), a small beach town on the Atlantic coast of Portugal. I’m excited about Portugal. For me, it’s the wild card for this trip. I don’t know much about it other than it was a powerhouse during the age of exploration and that it spawned Brazil.

On the bus to Lagos, Fredy and I had a long conversation about his worst trips, his worst travelers, our aspirations, and differences between the Spanish and American way of life. He discussed how Americans value money above all else. He told me a story about a Spanish ticket collector he met at a train station who was appalled that his manager had asked him to work more hours for more money for doing his job so well. The man spent a lot of time with his family and enjoying life. He was happy. How could his manager not understand that more work and more money would take him away from the things that made him happy in life? Any American would have taken that promotion.

Something that I’m reminded of every time I travel abroad is that Americans might be the most unhappy people in the world. Fredy got my wheels turning when we talked about my own life situation, about where I want to be and what I want to be doing for work. Maybe I need a job that gives me a bit more travel or remote work flexibility. Maybe I need to work in the travel industry. Maybe I need to work for a company like G Adventures.

At the Portugal border, the police decided to stop our bus and do a passport check. They spent a few extra seconds scrutinizing Nader’s Egyptian passport.

Our hostel in Lagos is just down the road from the beach. You can see the ocean from the rooftop deck. I don’t think there’s a whole lot to do or photograph here (thank goodness). Definitely thinking that this will be the relaxing couple of days that we all needed.

Jeff Tames the Bull

For some reason, I expected the Portuguese to be all black-haired and mustachioed, but they really just look like Spaniards. Lots of variety in color, size, and shape. As I studied the locals, it occurred to me how indifferent Europeans are to being observed. Due to some weird combination of self-consciousness and paranoia, Americans freak out of you look at them for more than three seconds. Europeans just don’t care, and I think that’s a good sign.

The group of us spent a few hours of the late afternoon chilling out at one of the many rugged beaches (Fredy calls them “bitches”) in Lagos. The waves were massive, the mojitos were delicious, and the conversation flowed. Nader taught me that when two men are entering a doorway, the one on the right should go first out of courtesy. I taught Nader that women with excessive tattoos or piercings have daddy issues.

Beach in Lagos

My Feet in the Atlantic

The next day was more of the same. In the morning, Fredy took us to explore the many beaches, cliffs, and grottos along the Lagos coastline. We spent the rest of the day chilling at the beach and sipping mojitos. Lagos has given me a nice, even bake.


Hole in the Rock

Fredy & Djenny-Ann Find a Crab

End of the Beach

Man with Guitar

In the evening, we played a good game of Spoons. In an aggressive spoon-grab, I inadvertently punched Ally in the face. A few rounds later, I knocked over Abby’s sangria and spilled it all over her leg. Feeling like an asshole, I excused myself from the table and joined a heavy discussion on the other side of the rooftop deck.

Things started with Garrett teaching us such novelty expressions as “Portuguese Breakfast”, “Mahogany Canoe”, and “Alabama Hot Pocket” (you can Google them if you like). Fredy’s thoughts about why he doesn’t want to propose to his girlfriend springboarded into a much more intense debate about marriage, the Catholic Church, and gay rights, sprinkled with the circular arguments from one person or another about how my country is better than yours. I mostly kept my mouth shut.

It got late, and some of the others went dancing, but I’m taking it easy. There’s a bug that’s been going around in our group, and I think it finally chose me.

Tomorrow, we catch an afternoon to Lisbon (Lisboa), Portugal’s capital and largest city.

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