A Beira-Mar



How long had it been since she had seen the sea? From having spent some 30 odd years landlocked in the barrenness of desert clime to be catapulted to another world so completely abstract. And by what serendipity had she found this seaside jewel of a village forgotten by the world, suspended in time and far removed from the touristy trappings of most places where the land meets the ocean. Set out on a vespa with no map, no familiarity of the language, for the first time in her life having no plan at all, she'd taken an adventitious turn at a 'Y' where the tarmac ended at a sparkling expanse of viridian blueness. A dolphin jumped then surfaced again and bobbed its head southward as if providing her with the direction leading to her destiny.

That the village had managed to maintain its purity was evidenced in a sign posted on a busted oxcart parked in the middle of the lane leading into the town. "Sem veiculos motorizados, por favor" with the English footnote "No motorized vehicles please". A short walk around a bend revealed the most charming aldeia which would make any landscape artist drool. Quaint was too trite a word to describe the heavenly allure of the coastal community. A strand of cottages in muted washes of littoral life; shades of sand & bronze & coral, varied tones of aquamarine, neatly lined all in a single row as if somehow respectful that each resident was deserving of an unobstructed view of the ocean vista. And at the end of the the lane where the land rose to a rocky crest jutting out into the surf, was a tiny villa painted the color of the inside of a conch shell, with a fresco of a mermaid adorning the entry. As luck would have it, or was it providence, there was a sign in the window - For Rent.


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