by Taetske | 5:59 pm
(Last Updated On: January 26, 2019)

Fossil hunting in the south of Portugal

 

We recently got a chance to take a week off so we left Spain. As some friends were on holiday we took the car on a nice drive (~600 km) to the south of Portugal.  The drive was comfortably casual as the traffic was sparse.  Just before the border with Portugal, we stopped in a lovely small town (Lepe) known for its strawberry plantations and had a wonderful meal.  This was in the tapas style, small amounts of four different dishes.  One portion was an eggplant dish that was absolutely delicious.

 

Beaches in the south of Portugal

Lovely Beaches

 

Arrival in the south of Portugal

We arrived at our hotel in Albufeira later that afternoon.  We actually got lost several times but with the help of 4 or 5 different people, we did find the place.  Albufeira is an old community but has grown quite big due to tourism.  The hills go right down to the shore and a lot of the hotels are built a short distance from the beach.

 

Norfolk Island Pine

Norfolk Island Pine

 

A few days later, we took a drive up into the mountains north of Albufeira to a town called Monchique.  The region is hilly with lots of cork trees.  As a reminder, cork trees do not die when part of their bark is removed but it takes 25 or so years to grow it back.  The photo to the right is a perfectly formed Araucaria heterophylla (common name “Norfolk Island Pine”.)

The old part of Albufeira is quaint with its narrow streets.  There are a lot of shops with local products such as items made of cork (handbags, wallets, photo frames, etc), and there we bought a hat and a nice belt.  One shop, in particular, was interesting because it had some wonderful stone and shell items.  Lamps made from crystals and some made from seashells.  Not the usual bulb in a shell but really artistically crafted items.  We stopped in at a small out of the way restaurant that had recently opened for the season.  They offered a very nice menu and again, the meal was delicious.

 

Cabo San Vincente

Standing at the end of Portugal

 

At the end of the world, Cabo San Vincente

We took a day trip to explore the most western part of the south of Portugal.  Going all the way to Cabo de San Vicente, it appeared that we were heading to the end of the world.  This video was taken from Cabo de San Vicente and shows the storm surge from Hercules (2014).  With what looks to be 40-meter cliffs, being there you can imagine what people must have felt when it was still believed the earth was flat.  You kind of fall off and then what?  The scenery is impressive with a lighthouse high on the cliffs and the waves breaking on the rocks.

 


On the way back, we passed what appeared to be an old monolith.  Who knows how old it is or if it is even remotely related to the monoliths of Stonehenge.

 

Monolith

Monolith

 

Before reaching the hotel we made a stop at a cactus nursery. I was amazed at the different varieties I saw there. I bought 2 small and pretty ones for my collection on the patio.

 

Fossil Layers on the Beach

Fossil Layers

Me on the Beach

Hard Work

Fossil lying on the Beach

Wonderful Fossi

 

Adventure on the beach

Before the trip, we investigated the possibility of fossil hunting and we found a beach with sediment that was part of the Miocene epoch (5 – 23 million years old).  This part of the coast is known for its small beaches and caves. There you will see the different layers of the rock with fossilized shells. I tried to hack some small part out but was not successful as the rocks were too hard. While walking on the beach I was so lucky to notice a strangely shaped stone, it turned out to be an intact fossil with hardly any rock attached, I just picked it up to take home.

 

hand painted ceramic

Hand-painted Ceramic

 

Beautiful Handpainted Ceramic

On the road back to Albufeira we stopped at an old house that was converted into a pottery shop.  The shop, Porches Pottery, has a wonderful garden along with a café where we saw a number of locals and tourists enjoying coffee and conversation.  This little shop was started by Patrick Swift and Lima de Freitas who were determined to prove that this craftsmanship was not a thing of the past.  Since they started the pottery shop over 45 years ago, they have continued to train more artists.

 

shopping for ceramic

shopping for ceramic

 

You can find out more about this world-famous shop at the following website: http://www.porchespottery.com/en/.

 

We present some of our photos for your pleasure.

 

lovely ceramic tiles

Some lovely ceramic tiles

 

The naughty seagull

On coming home to our Hotel Resort I washed the fossil with water and put it to dry on a small table on the balcony. In the hotel gardens live many cats probably all family of each other as they look very much alike. There is also a big flock of seagulls which have taken up residence close to the swimming pool. Often one can observe funny scenes like that one time where I saw a seagull with a stolen flip-flop which had been standing unattended to on a small terrasse. While the seagull was playing on the lawn a cat crept up from behind probably thinking it was something edible. Suddenly I heard a noise and went out to the terrasse, a seagull had tried to steal the fossil but as it was too heavy it dropped, luckily it did not break.

Finally, we had to go home.  Across the border, we stopped at a small town for coffee and said goodbye to Portugal.  This is the bridge which links Spain with Portugal

.

The bridge connecting Spain with Portugal

The bridge between Portugal and Spain

 

 

 

Source: My Life

Photo Source: Private Photos

 

Perhaps you like to read this post on Malaga province.

The fascinating archeological legacy in the province of malaga

 

Comments

Linda Frankson

wow I can picture your description in my head I love travel and seeing. I am going to forward this to my sister she has a travel site called Trip Trekee at TripTrekee.com in her blog section has beautiful places to go visit some day I would love to take a trip to places like Portugal. I Loved the south of Spain her culture and History. Specially La Alhambra

Apr 13.2017 | 01:34 am

    admin

    Hi Linda, Incase you do visit Portugal remember it is close to the south of Spain so we can meet, I would like that. Taetske

    Apr 13.2017 | 03:06 pm

Janet Kayzer

Hello Taetske, enjoyed reading your trip to Albuferia Portugal! If you would like to write a story and put it on triptrekee.com and link up to your blog here, I would look forward to hearing from you. Happy blogging for beautiful earthly treasures!

Apr 13.2017 | 03:31 am

    admin

    Good afternoon Janet, thank you for your comment. That trip to Portugal was indeed fun I must say. It is very kind of you to offer me this opportunity but you must help me and tell me about what I should write? To write about places one has to have visited them. Hope to hear from you.
    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 13.2017 | 03:00 pm

Steve Meyer

Awesome post, Taetske. We too love to explore different areas, especially when there is local food involved. And as I am an avid fossil collector, everywhere we go, I always have to pull over once in a while and look for fossils beside the road! My wife always laughs, she stays in the car visiting with whichever relative we happen to be visiting, or whichever couple we went on the trip with with while I scramble around on the rocks looking for long past life! Thanks for the great post!
Steve

Nov 12.2017 | 08:38 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Steve,

    My Mother was also very good in finding special stones, I think I have inherited this ability from her. She also loved to stop somewhere along the road, step out and then would find 4 leaf clovers. When she died I got a box full with dried 4 leaf clovers. I also inherited her little collection of stones, there are some unusual pieces. On a trip, I have to eat the local food, one of the nice things when one travels.

    Thank you for reading my post, I hope you will visit again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Nov 12.2017 | 08:55 pm

Anilise

This is a great article. When I saw “Fossil Hunting” as a topic, I was immediately drawn to the article. I am a history buff of sorts. In my limited knowledge of fossils and the mystery of their existence, I was reading your article and when I saw the hammer, I alsmost gasped! I know fossils need to come from their natural habitat, is that standard to use a hammer? I’m just curious. And I know they are embedded for thousands of years – and must be released. I just think they would be damaged with a hammer, no? And with that, I’m curious, are there other tools for harvesting fossils? Also do you need to put them in any special bag, cloth, or container soon after harvesting? All of my questions probably make for a new article maybe! Thank you so much!

Anilise

Jan 27.2019 | 09:03 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Anilise,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?
    When you look carefully at the photo of me on the beach you will see I do not use the hammerhead. I used the other side which has a sharp point. With a hammer, one would destroy everything. With the sharp point, I tried to go on the outside of the shell but I soon realized it was not possible. 

    We did have a cloth bag  to put any found fossils. As it was not a success you can imagine how happy I was to find that beautiful fossil lying in the sand. When you look at archeological sites many different tools are used, even small brushes to take the grains of sand away. With the next high tide, it would have been covered again so I came at the right moment. 

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 28.2019 | 04:08 pm

Sujandar Mahesan

Portugal is one of the antique places in the world that I definitely want to visit once in my life. This article has tons of information about fossil sediments in Portugal. It can be really useful for anyone who is hunting for them. Thank you so much for this amazing information.

Jan 27.2019 | 09:04 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Sujandar,

    Good to hear you found my post interesting. Do you have fossils where you live and do you go hunting for them?

    Mother Earth has so many beautiful places to visit. One lifetime will not be enough. 

    Thank you for your comment. I hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 28.2019 | 04:00 pm

lesabre

Hi Taetske, I enjoyed your post on Portugal as I like nature related subjects. Then I stayed some more on your site. I certainly felt sad and invigorated by it. It is a beautiful site and it is nice to see the appreciation you have placed on Mother Nature’s gifts.

The scenery is beautiful, the prayer by the Lakota Sioux prayer very inspirational. The healing power of the stones I believe in. Crystals and stones do have a health factor.

The sadness that envelopes me is the lack of respect to our Mother Earth. I think greed is a factor in messing up the planet. Also rude people that do not take a responsible role in keeping our planet clean.

Unfortunately, I was not able to get into the cancer link. Could have been my browser.

I certainly do appreciate your site. 

I have a site that lists a lot of natural cures instead of paying for the big pharmaceutical companies. I do believe that there are natural cures for many diseases provided by Mother Earth.

It has been a privilege for me to visit your site and I thank you,

Michael/lesabre 

 

Jan 27.2019 | 09:12 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Michael,

    Thank you for pointing out that the Cancer widget was not ok anymore. Normally it would show you the first video of a Cancer series. Ty will certainly do more of those series in the future and then I can update the widget again. At the moment he is busy with the Vaccines series. 

    My other website is more health related, perhaps you like to take a look at http://www.healthyantiagingalternatives.com I would be interested  to also see your website. 

    Nice to hear you liked your visit. Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 28.2019 | 03:54 pm

Mike

Hello Taetske -After reading your post on Portugal I had a look around. What a charming and wonderful site.  I would think your followers are very loyal and, like you, are “of the earth.”  I’ve enjoyed my journey around your site – very well done and easily navigated.  

When I was 12 or 13 years old we had this “mad scientist” type for our geology/earth science teacher. At the time I thought he was wacked and then I didn’t but now, again, I believe he was.  He was great, he was fascinated by rocks and he got us all involved up to our elbows.  

He arranged a field trip and we left the school, took a rather circuitous journey only to park right in front of my house.  We unloaded and as a group climbed the craggy rock pile in my back yard.  I was quite a star that day and a memory was born along with a fondness for stones.  

In any case, your site and your niche are wonderful – Thank You – Mike  

Jan 27.2019 | 09:21 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Mike,

    Really nice to hear you liked your visit to my site. That was an unusual story you told me about how your interest in stones was created. I think I would have liked your teacher, he had good ideas.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 28.2019 | 03:43 pm

raju

I live in Spain but I have never got a chance to go to Portugal.  I have heard a lot about the beautiful places to visit there. While going on your website post I again feel that I should once visit this place as it has a lot to see and cultural things to know, Portuguese people are very nice and friendly. 

Jan 27.2019 | 09:31 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Raju,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    You should really make it possible to visit Portugal. As you said it has many interesting places to visit. I hope you will be able to go one day.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 28.2019 | 03:35 pm

David

Hi Taetske, what a fabulous post! After reading your article I feel like I was there with you. Very refreshing, beautiful pictures and video. Especially love your writing about hand-painted ceramics, such a beauty! the photos are authentic and interesting, the whole website looks cool. I really enjoyed reading, thanks for a very interesting story. Best of luck.

Jan 27.2019 | 10:51 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening David,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Nice to hear you enjoyed my post and photos. I hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 28.2019 | 03:30 pm

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