Surfing Camp Day 1 – May 22, 2023

  • Baleal Surfing Camp: Day 1
  • Weather: 70 degrees, overcast with a short rain sprinkle while surfing

Baleal Surfing Camp is in the heart of Peniche, Portugal’s world famous surfing beaches. Our instructors come from France, New Zealand, Brazil, and Africa. The 15 students from Luxembourg, Germany, India, China, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, USA.

Peniche, Portugal

Morning Lesson: Safety, centering on board, straight arm position, paddling, pop-up (standing on board).


Moans and groans were the collective sound as we squirmed into our wetsuits. It felt like putting a square peg in round hole. With top halves of our suits dangling from hips, the instructors moved about helping us. Their exposed arms and shoulders spoke of the strength needed for surfing. These men were ripped.

Doreen, amazing teacher.
Jimmy, the ever calm, ever positive assistant teacher.
Junior, our biggest cheerleading teacher. “Portugal is three ‘F’s’… Fátima, Fado (music with mournful lyrics), and football”
Polina squeezing into wetsuit. Sasha chilling out.

Stressing the importance of waterproof sunscreen can’t be overstated. Instructor Dorian had his face totally masked in vivid blue appearing like a character from Braveheart. He held up EQ Stick Soliare waterproof sunscreen, an essential under intense Portugal sun. The vivid blue color was optional.

Polina in lavender. Liss in yellow.
Sasha in lavender.

Morning classes went so well I contemplated where I could keep my own surf board…in basement, in the garage.

Hard choices.
Surf board imperfections needing sanding.
VISA Opportunity.

Afternoon Lesson: Pop-up

Like Geisha women, Elsa and Yuchen arrived for afternoon class with their faces completely masked white with sunscreen. Each cheek was finished with whimsical turquoise circles. They could have easily passed as mime entertainers.

Adorable Yuchen and Elsa. The only time they ran was when they were late for the first of three messages.
Yuchen with universal sign.
Elsa catching the breeze.

Afternoon class dissolved all the successes of morning’s class. How hard could a three step to pop-up be? First, hands on board. Second, łeft foot on board. Three, swing right foot forward on board. My right leg would not move forward onto the board. Mentally I could isolate the hip flexor but it wasn’t receiving the brain waves to move. It was as if the leg became paralyzed. With each attempt to get on the board, I tumbled in the water.

Sasha, Max, Meike surf gazing
Liss with Baleal Surf School in background.
Vishnu, always a favorite.
Meike and Sasha at sunset.

All thoughts of a surf board standing in my basement dissolved. Have I peeked out after the first lesson?

Sunset and surfer.


I literally ran into Radoslav in LIsbon. I recognized his profile from his surfing past me so many times. Serendipity.

Radoslov and I meet by happenstance in Lisbon. Cool.

Loop-de-Loop – May 19, 2023

  • Copenhagen: Tivoli
  • Weather: 50 degrees

The laughter level was equally loud at the kiddy and the dare-devil rides. Having finished my once-over walk through Tivoli I chose my one ride, the loop-de-loop roller coaster! Yes, they still use a measuring stick to make sure you’re tall enough to safely ride. My memories of being too short to ride roller coasters as a child are still raw.

Roller Coster inside orange circle.
Roller Coaster car inverted inside orange circle .
Roller Coasters car gaining speed.
Roller Coaster loop-de-loop.

All 8 Trails – May 19, 2023

  • Møn: Day 8
  • Distance: 12 miles / Total 104.5 miles / 20 km
  • Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 578’ Decent: 679’
  • Weather: 51 degrees 4 mph blue sky with white clouds

Møn Camino is 108 miles long and I logging 104.5 miles. I came close to walking all of it with the addition of Anna’s favorite walks. Compressed my walk looked like this…

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 Looks confusing? Imagine executing it.
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8

Finish! – May 19, 2023

  • Møn: Day 8
  • Distance: 12 miles / Total 104.5 miles / 20 km
  • Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 578’ Decent: 679’
  • Weather: 51 degrees 4 mph blue sky with white clouds

So ends one of the most scenic and peaceful walks I have experienced. Nature and the locals of Møn far exceeded my expectations.

Last walk by the water.
Strolling through Rapeseed and Queen Anne’s Lace.
Sømarke Dolmen burial mound from Neolithic Period, 3400BC. It’s an impressive finish line.