The next morning I began my drive to Lagos, on the south coast of Portugal. Along the way, I decided to stop in Sines, another coastal town about half way between Lisbon and Lagos. Sines' most notable claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of Vasco da Gama, the explorer. While Columbus tried unsuccessfully to find India by sailing west, da Gamma went east, and reached India.

Sines is Portugal's oldest port, and today is more of an energy and shipping port than a tourist mecca. The whole town is surrounded by pipelines, there are LNG tanks, a coal port, and some kind of open-pit mine.

It does have a very nice beach, however. I found a place to park, across the street from the headquarters of the Portuguese Communist Party (I may well be a marked man in the CIA's records now...) and walked towards the beach. Along the way I spent some time in the small but interesting museum occupying a former fortress, now a sports and recreation space.

On the beach, I again waded in the Atlantic, this time in shorts and rubber slippers, letting me wade up to my knees.