Lagos Photo Dump (day 1) - Vuelta a Iberia - CycleBlaze

November 4, 2019

Lagos Photo Dump (day 1)

OK, so I guess it’s a working vacation.  I thought I’d take the day off from the blog, but we’re both so wound up about today’s walk along the cliffs that we thought we needed to post a photo or forty.  Be forewarned: nary a bike to be seen.

First, a few photos of Lagos itself, so you won’t think there’s nothing to see here but the cliffs:

The marina
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Santa Maria Church
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Just some little fortification on the waterfront. It doesn’t even rate a name on the map.
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A typical street in the old city. There are many different patterns - I haven’t tested out yet whether each is unique, and if you could just orient yourself by learning the patterns.
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Saint Antoine Church
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When Isabel gave us her orientation to the city, the number one thing she advised us to do was to take the cliff walk, and outlined it on the map.  It’s 7.5 km from the old city to Porto do Mos, following the shoreline in roughly a reverse L shape, with the lighthouse at the bend at the tip of  Piedade Point.  We thought we’d do that today, and something different tomorrow - maybe including an excursion on one of the many small boats that shuttle people out to the base of the cliffs to explore the grottos that undercut them.

We were only half successful with that plan today.  By midafternoon we had made it only to the lighthouse, after walking nearly five miles.  It’s about 1.5 miles directly, but three times as far at least if you check out beaches and explore a representative sample of the myriad pathways that run through, along, under and over these fantastic eroding cliffs.  We’ll come back for the second half tomorrow.

We’ve never been any place quite like this.  It’s really phenomenal.  It reminds me a bit of Bryce Canyon, but set on the shore; or Australia’s Great Ocean Road, but with about a hundred apostles instead of just twelve.  Or maybe the  Badlands, but I wouldn’t know - I’ve only seen the photos.

Before showing you the cliffs though, you have to look at last night’s dinner, at Dom Dominique’s.  It was pretty phenomenal too, in a quite different way.

Grilled salmon with a bread crumb crust and assorted vegetables / grilled sole with spinach and sun dried tomatoes.
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Oreo and lime cheesecake / fig, carob and almond cake.
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It was surprising to me to discover that Lagos’ beaches and cliffs start just a few hundred yards from the old city and the mouth of the harbor - pretty obvious if you look at a map, but I never bothered before we arrived here.  The nearest two beaches, Batata and Estudantes, are both fairly accessible if you don’t mind steep, unrailed stairs.   The further from town you get though, the more precarious access becomes because the cliffs above them are so intensely eroded.  There are danger signs everywhere warning you to stay well back from the cliffs, either from above or below.

Oh, wait - this is just a photo dump.  I keep forgetting that I’m supposed to be on break.  I’ll shut up now.

On Batata Beach
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Batata Beach is segmented by fins of the eroded cliffs that extend to the water line, but there are connecting tunnels that cut through them.
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The steep, unprotected staircase to Estudante Beach
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Bruce LellmanIt appears Rachael has taken up rock climbing.
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1 month ago
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On Dona Ana Beach, the last one we succeeded in reaching today and possibly the most dramatic.
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An odd pose. I think it has an injured foot.
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The staircase to Camilo Beach, which breaks down at its base into an eroded mess. You’d have to jump down the last bit to reach the beach and then scramble back up to get out again. Maybe with younger knees.
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For the rest of the way out to the end of Piedade Point, where the lighthouse stands, the land structure breaks down completely not a maze of eroded fins, abrupt precipices, and precarious paths through the crumbling sandstone.  There are a few small beaches at the bottom, but I think only accessible by boat or the completely foolhardy.  From above though, it’s amazing.  We kept stopping every twenty yards or so to just gaze in wonderment.

A road ran through here, once upon a time. I wonder how quickly this is all washing away?
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Looking across the bay to Portimão, the next town to the east.
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There are myriad pathways through this maze, some of which just end at a sheer drop or a stroll out a razor thin fin. You have to watch your footing every step of the way.
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I don’t show them here, but the water is full of small tour boats circling the stacks, darting through tunnels, and exploring grottos. And this is the quiet season! It must be a completely crazy scene at its height.
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Amazing that this is all so close too town. It’s taken three hours or so to get here, but Lagos is only a mile and a half away.
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Yow! The trail I’m on ends here. I wonder how many unwary hikers are rotting away down in that hellhole?
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The trail out that fin looks particularly attractive. It drops off just as steeply on the opposite side.
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That’s it for today.  Tomorrow we’ll walk out to the lighthouse and then explore the cliffs on the other side of the point.

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Jen GrumbySpectacular!
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1 month ago
Ron SuchanekYou mentioned Bryce (I believe) and the Badlands.. Iaven't been to Bryce, but it does remind me a little of Makoshika Badlands in eastern Montana. Beautiful.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Ron SuchanekI’d forgotten about Makoshika and that the Gumby’s went there last year. Yes, them too - also the formations around Capitol Reef that are similar to those.

So, not so unusual after all. Spots like this are a dime a dozen around the world, it seems. I don’t know why we were so impressed.
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1 month ago
Ron SuchanekTo Scott AndersonWell, unusual or not, it looks spectacular. I understand why you would want to spend more time there.
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1 month ago