Wish You Were Here: Watching the Fishermen in Carcavelos, Portugal

by Owen James Burke


Photo: Owen James Burke.

Lisbon is my favorite city in the world. Back when I was a devout surf rat, I’d pop out of school in the early afternoon, run home, grab my board and hop on the train along the Rio Tejo out to Carcavelos, a sleepy little surf town between Lisbon and Caiscais, Portugal. I wouldn’t even bother to check the report. I’d just go.

Sometimes, of course, the surf was flat. But there was always a plan b–grab a bottle of vinho verde, some caracois (snails) or percebes (goose barnacles) and sit along the outer reef while the old-time fishermen waded to the edge to cast their cane poles for branzino. I never saw them catch one, but it was always pretty to think so.


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