Music, Mountains, and Mugs of Champarrião

After leaving Hanoi at the end of May, my boyfriend and I took a detour through his home country of Portugal before I continued on my lonesome back to Indiana. I spent two glorious weeks trekking through Oscar’s home court: exploring ruins, meeting family, walking on beaches, and eating waaayyy to much food for any one person.

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But in those two weeks, one day stuck out to me even more than the rest, which is saying something considering I spent my first morning in Portugal working out at a castle (more on that later). This one day was so amazing and special; I even hesitated writing about it here because I’d like to keep the lovely spot a secret. But the day was just too good, so I decided I had to share. However, I will be keeping the exact location a secret, so only the truly ambitious can mimic my perfect afternoon in Portugal.

Tee he he, I’m so sneaky.

“Okay, okay, what was so great about this day?” you might ask.

Well, take a gander at this.

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Oh, what’s that? Nothing, just an emerald-colored lagoon on top of a mountain at the base of a waterfall so clean, cool, and deep we were able to swim in it.

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Yeah.

And it doesn’t stop there.

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What’s this? That, my friends is champarrião. A traditional Portuguese drink made with wine, beer, cinnamon, and sugar. Did I mention that it tastes exactly what I imagine J.K. Rowling had envisioned when she described butter beer? Suck on that delicious Christmas-flavored alcohol, Universal Studios.

And then, as we were finishing our drinks, who should appear but these guys?

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Who are they? Oh, they’re just a competitive, traditional, mountain music band that included a guitarist, a drummer, a singer, and more than one accordion-player. (More than one!) Oh, and they serenaded us. No biggie.

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All this while we munched on pork sandwiches, cabbage soup, and rooster wattle doused in some kind of very delicious sauce—wattle being that little red thing that hangs off the rooster’s neck; it sounds disgusting but tastes delicious. We stuffed ourselves and watched the sunset.

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Then on our journey back down the mountain, sleepy and happy from our afternoon, we spotted two wild horses running in the sunshine. I don’t have a photo, so you can either believe me or call them unicorns.

Regardless, my day spent up a mountain in Portugal has become one of my favorites in recent memory, and these photos will always bring me back to sunshine and the smell of cinnamon.

ALSO… because I love you guys, I shall provide the Trip Advisor page for the restaurant, which was located high in the mountain outside of Viana do Castelo where we spent our day, but the lagoons you’ll have to figure out yourself. ;p

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