Fishing off the edge of the world

Sagres, Portugal

In days gone by Portugal was known as the end of the world.   Explorers and sailors departed the windswept promontory to explore and colonize the great unknown, some fearing they would sail off the edge, some never to return.

We encountered a different breed of intrepid types on a visit to Sagres, Portugal.    Perched precariously at the top of the sheer cliffs are folk with fishing rods, and stupendously long reels, dangling into the boiling water at the foot of the cliffs.  We watched many of them vigorously reeling back the line for what seemed like 10 minutes, rewarded sometimes with a fish, but often with a forlorn hook, only to have to re-bait and cast,  taking care to maintain their footing on the top of the cliff.

Sagres is located on the south western point of Portugal, where the Atlantic pounds the 200 ft high cliffs.   It was also the site of the Portuguese school of navigation, founded in the 1400s by Prince Henry, known as Prince Henry the Navigator.  Seems the Portuguese took to navigation pretty enthusiastically, if the world map is anything to go by.

The End of the World, Sagres, Portugal

We walked  circuit of the promontory, reflecting on the consequences of journeys launched from this land of explorers. 

In the distant bay, hardy surfers took to the waves and hippy types camped along the road in combi vans.

On a hippy trail..head full of the great Colin Hay sang

catch your wave at the end of the world

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Is it too late to have a gap year in your late 50s? To take back some time from our day to day working life to travel - unplanned, unescorted, unfettered? To take that leap? It was a defining year - liberating, challenging, humbling, scary. It was many things, but it wasn't a holiday.

4 thoughts on “Fishing off the edge of the world

  1. These really are such gorgeous photos and I love that cool, bluish light.

    It’s easy to see when you’re gazing off into that ocean how the early explorers thought there’d be nothing out there except a tall cliff to fall off of.


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