Our retreat site was a 45 minute hike, or shorter run, down to Praia Amado and Praia da Bodera. These are two of the best surf beaches in Europe. They're also on something like a Portuguese Appalachian trail, a beautiful coastal hike through Portugal's south.
If you didn't want to hike, the drive took about 10 minutes.
Surf schools had lessons on the sand. Rented campers parked in the lots while road trippers read novels in the open backs. Snack stands sold cappuccinos in addition to beer.
The cliffs created coves of natural shade. Additionally, one of our retreat participants had been gifted an umbrella. Portugal's west coast hit a COLD current of Atlantic. The little river tributary provided a warmer swim and shallow waters for kids.
After mornings spent in practice we spent afternoons hiking, swimming, sunning, watching.
From our retreat vantage in the hills, the beaches looked inches away. From our height we could watch the sun drop into the water each night. The ocean stayed with us.
As we hiked near, all the hills and valleys clarified perspective. Praia Amado and Praia da Bodeira, so near as the crow flies, were not so near!
Long hikes called for cold beers. And taxis back so we could make it to the retreat in time for evening Yin and meditation practice!
Our group was pretty adventurous, so we had a few days of piling into cars together and trekking to major points throughout the Algarve. South of our home in Carrapateira, we visited the famous beaches of Lagos. Praia Dona Ana is the stuff of post cards.
Little beach side restaurants sold grilled sardines and Portuguese baguettes in the shade.
Some of the beautiful women of our retreat.
Among many many topless women. Some of us joined them.
Still in Lagos, the Benagil caves are accessible by boat or swimming from some beaches. We decided to get on a little boat tour to visit some of the beautiful grottoes.
We had SUPER fun captains who did wheelies in the water and took us to private coves to swim.
The hidden treasures of the Algarve, the southwestern-most cape of Sao Vicente, the grottoes and smiles...
Lauren was the CAPTAIN'S FAVORITE! This chick knows how to play along and have fun!
My favorite part of a yoga retreat is remembering that yoga is not so serious. Meditation and practice don't have to be austere. Let your well-being swell with joy.