As I hurried round to our meeting point, I thought that maybe only our little founding group would turn up to our first walk. It was such a foggy day. But I was surprised and delighted to see that 10 people had turned up in total.
So off we went, leaving behind us the restaurant boat, Vista da Lisboa. Usually, you’d consider the boat well named but not today. We couldn’t even see across to the western shore of the Baía do Seixal (Seixal Bay although I commonly hear it called South Bay). The fog seemed to be getting even thicker.
Today’s walk, being the first was straightforward. Our route ran along the promenade to the bottom of the South Bay where the `river’ (seems more like a muddy stream) dribbles into the bay. At least we wouldn’t get lost in the fog!
Birdspotting in the Bay
We saw a couple of little egrets eating their way along the edge of the water. Other waders were daintly picking their way through the seaweed too but we couldn’t identify them. They could have been sandpipers, dunlins or sanderlings. It’s difficult to distinguish between them.
We walked on past the most famous resident of the South Bay, Ganso. He is a solitary white goose. He has his own little floating platform where he sleeps. People bring food for him. If he sees someone at the steps, he makes a beeline to meet them. Someone had left him salad this morning. But he seemed to be having a snooze on his platform. He has lived there longer than I have been in Portugal. But we never see him with a mate, even though he’s clearly a fixture. And of course ‘he’ may be a ‘she’. (But doesn’t seem to look like one.)
Bridge Over Muddy Waters
Just round the corner we reached the wooden bridge leading into Amora. On google maps, it’s called the Ponte da Fraternidade (the Brotherhood Bridge). But many people locally call it the Jewish Bridge. I had always thought that the little river that flows under the river was called the Rio Sul (South River), like the shopping centre. But according to Wikipedia, it is the Rio Judeu, (the Jewish river), named after a former owner of the surrounding land, Quinta da Amora. His name was David Judeu.
Ganso the Goose Again
We turned back, giving Ganso a wave as we passed. He was standing up wriggling his wings and his tail. He must have had a good snooze. We continued on our way, all of us chatting away.
The Social Connection of our First Walk
We ended up in the café where we started and enjoyed a well-earned coffee. It was still foggy, but it didn’t impact on the fun we had. Our first walk ended with some lively conversation about all sorts of things. It was fun!
A Few Details of the First Walk
The walk was 5.2 km (3.2 miles) long.
Number of steps: 8630
Speed: 4.8kmph (2.98 mph)
There is another walk next Tuesday at 9am, once again meeting on the promenade by the coffee shop next to the boat Vista da Lisboa. We walk along chattting. Stop now and then to admire the sights. And end up going for a coffee and talk in the group. It isn’t usually foggy. We have got some fun ideas about how to make our walks interesting. To find out, do come and join us. You can find us on the Expats Seixal Facebook (Meta) page: Seixal Expats. We’d love you to have as much fun as we did on this first walk.