© Rita Draper Frazão

Inner Tour is a blog about People, Arts and Traveling by Rita Draper Frazão.
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segunda-feira, 28 de julho de 2014

Relax in Ericeira

Last weekend was time for a break in Ericeira. I'm sharing here my favorite things there, the drawings I've done about it and some of what I have learned too.

Its name Ericeira, comes from Ouriceirathe land of sea ​​urchins (Ouriço = Urchin in Portuguese).
One stumbles into these sea urchins till today, and while going to the Empa beach, I was amazed by the beauty of the colors of the varied sea weeds present there. Light brownish kelp, light green, red and garnet sea weeds, the color palette seemed a living watercolor.
I took a garnet one as a memento to this beauty and did this drawing: the beautiful see weed that amazed me by its color, who happens to be side by side to the sea urchins (which I chose to draw the shell) who gave name to the famous Ouriços, the typical cupcake from Ericeira.



It was a delight to eat those while there! I have tasted several and my favorite ones where the Ouriços from Café Central made by Manuela Estevão who bakes them since 38 years ago! Amazing!
Café Central is in the centre of the Village in a square known by Jogo da Bola.

I haven't been there since I was a kid and went on vacation with my friend Carol and her family. It was really funny to return to this square and notice the scale differences! The trees seemed huge at the time!

The extinguished pastry Casa das Cavacas was said to be the fist place who ever made this pastry delights, and the first to have a TV in Ericeira. Old stories reported by the nice and chatty waiter of Café Central, Sr. Manuel. It sure made a difference to be waited on with such sympathy and hospitality. Definitely recommend it and I will come back, but next time I think I will buy a whole 10 Ouriços's pack or so!

Other delights of Ericeira's typical food include sea food dishes (like Lobster Açorda, for example Açorda da Lagosta) and fish dishes as Caneja de Infundice. (Dogfish dish)

Indeed, Ericeira used to be a fisherman village but nowadays it is very famous by its Sports Life too: Surf.

As the World Surfing Reserve stands for, it proactively identifies, designates and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments around the world. This is the case of Ericeira, that back in 2011 - and along with Malibu and Santa Cruz, in California, and Manly Beach, in Australia - was chosen to be the first World Surfing Reserve in Europe.

Due to its outstanding conditions to surf, Ericeira has hosted important events like ASP World Tour and Quik Silver Pro Portugal.

The village overflows Surf and sea related items everywhere: the surf schools, the hostels, the street fashion, the film festival, the music festival... If you are in Portugal and are into this sport this is definitely the place to go.

I was pretty privileged since I had three super guides - Alexandre Costa CabralDuarte Bettencourt and João Guedes who generously received me on their Community Surf Hostel and gave me the best tips to enjoy the most.

The Community Surf Hostel started with three friends who had the passion for Surf, for Ericeira and for receiving others as part of a Community, and hence its name. I loved their informal tone.
Nil, who makes part of the staff was great too. Everybody was always helpful and friendly.

The three of them are experienced Surfers (João was the National Surf Champion in 2009) and will teach you how to surf or improve your skills if you're willing to. You can also try Stand Up Paddle. They actually even have a special offer, the Wave Hunters Pack thinking on this. Check out their prices here. And if you want to know some more Surf meanderings in Ericeira, its story, waves, beaches, swell and wind conditions, among other details, please check this out.

The hostel, just in front of Coxos's Beach, in Ribamar (is also very close to Ribeira d'Ilhas and São Lourenço beach) has a nice sea view, a fully equipped kitchen ready to use, and a little garden with a hammock in a tree, my favorite part of the decor.

I have to say I was impressed with the amount of work that these three had made in only two months so that the hostel was ready in time for this summer. I'm glad you made it because it is now the most comfy new place in Ericeira!

The famous Coxo's Beach wave has triggered the whole World Surfing Reserve application process. The Coxo's Beach, or literally the Lame's beach has several possible funny stories behind its name. Some claim that back in the days, the access to the beach was so rough (not anymore!) that people seemed like limping; others allege that after a shipwreck took place there, its lame Captain came ashore and was mistakenly shot. The beach was supposedly named Coxo's Beach in his honor. Some others yet say its high iodine levels took people with bone problems to visit it, looking for a cure. True or false, Charles Lepierre, a water expert chemist, considered Ericeira the most Iodine concentrated point of the Portuguese coast. Well, whatever the reason was, it sure entertained my imagination to search about it. 


In the living room there is a table to eat, nice blue couches, TV, books, and a guitar - loved that last one! Cheers up any place! The hostel's decor is breezy and the color stripes above turn out to be its interiors hallmarks. It inspired me to do this drawing with a wave taken from a Surf magazine I was given by Duarte.

One of the places they've showed me (yes, they went there with me!) was the Pizza Mobile Restaurant just in front of the amazing São Lourenço beach. The view of the restaurant is top.


Their relaxed mood and friendly tone led me to think about how that is present in the Surf world and how could I draw São Lourenço's name in a more informal typographic way: no serifs, no fixed widths and less color opacity. Had in mind too those days I devoured Sublime's music.


The paper table cover pattern was beautiful and the pizza I've ordered, great - it was half Rucola half Vegetarian one. (Check out their Menu here) I wanted to include some element of the restaurant so I started drawing during dinnertime and then cropped the paper table cover to finish painting it.
Loved the sight, the pizzas and specially the company, always with lively talking.

Night clubs and bars are pretty active in the region too. I was lucky that on this weekend, it was Barzinho's 26th anniversary and Ouriço's Sunset Party the next day. Ouriço exists since 1960 and is known to be the oldest disco in Portugal.


Yen Sung was in charge when I arrived. With her beauty and master skills in the music selection, I pictured her narrating and conducting a purple storyline. Like a Rhythmic Gymnastics Athlete, she made the music turn into a purple ribbon in the air.
No wonder she is a veteran, Yen makes part of Portuguese Electronic Music history since she started in the mythical Fragil and is a resident Dj in the most famous Lisboner disco worldwide - Lux Fragil - since its beginning, in 1998.
I loved the Ouriço club, its stunning view to Praia dos Pescadores (right in front), and its ever changing painted facade. It was just the happy day end I needed.

It was from Praia dos Pescadores that the Portuguese Royal family left in exile mode to England, when the establishment of the Republic happened, in 1910.
Talking about the Royal family, if you have time, also visit Mafra Palace-Convent, 10 minutes away from Ericeira. It is the maximum exponent of the Portuguese Baroque, built by order of John the V.
It's Library is famous as its stunning sculptures and Carillons. The construction took so long to built that an artists school was created there. Mafra gave visibility to Portuguese artists like Machado de Castro and Vieira Lusitano.
Also worth to know that this massive monument was the inspiration of the Nobel Prizewinner for Literature, José Saramago, for his book, Baltasar and Blimunda (Memorial do Convento in Portuguese).

Great to realize that 40 minutes away from Lisbon, there is such a mecca for Surf, a place full of history and tasty food with friendly people ready to welcome you.



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