Welcome to back to wildpilgrims 2016 and a new-look blog! Although the ‘new year’ is nearly a month old, we’d love to share some pictures of sunset on New Year’s eve on the Atlantic shore of Portugal. Along the vast sweep of beaches there was not a soul to be seen, only the great foaming mass of white breakers and the mist of salt spray driven across the headlands. 2015 was a special year and what better place to see the sunset and welcome 2016 than there on the wild western edge of Europe.
The waves swept great scallops of white foam up and across the beach where sanderling skittered as they fed along the tideline. We lost no time in racing down to the sand where the warm water coursed around of feet and the salt clung to our skin. What follows is a series of photos from an enchanted evening on that lonely ocean shore.
The next morning, 2016 greeted us with the cavernous rumble of grey rolling breakers and drifting gulls. Waking within sight and sound of the ocean made us reminisce about our island days on Orkney. Back then, it was normal to wake up and sit with a cup of tea, eyes wandering the horizon of islands, white breakers foaming, the drama of rain-clearing skies, the smell of tide and glitter of kelp, the ghostly moan of seals hauled out on the skerries. Living on that little slice of land between the sea and sky, something was woven into our fabric, a knowledge of the ‘feel’ of the sea that will never be forgotten.
It was a fine and symbolic way to greet the new year and to start contemplating more adventures. Over the month since we have firmed up our plans and have two major ‘wild pilgrimages’ (aka long-distance hikes) planned for the spring and summer. We are excited to share our plans and preparations and there will be more details to follow shortly in the next blog.