It was also in Milfontes that I was given my first taste of surfing by the incredibly patient Pedro. While his ready smile and encouragement were no substitute for my complete lack of balance it was immensely satisfying when I eventually managed to get to my feet. The entire class shared my joy, in fact their applause lasted longer than I was vertical!
Kayaking along the river Mira provided a welcome change of pace and the chance to take in some great scenery and see a multitude of different bird species – those that were not scared off by my very rudimentary paddling technique!
South of Milfontes I walked along the clifftops that are home to migratory storks. These huge birds make their nests in the most precarious places and are a great spectacle as they catch the thermals high above the sea.
The villages on the coast and further inland all have their own character as well as their own culinary specialty. The Mabi bakery in Milfontes itself serves the best croissants I have ever had and serves ice cream until the early hours – to me this is the very hallmark of civilisation and just one of the reasons I will return to the Alentejo Coast.