Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hello Gordon

The edge of Hurricane Gordon passed us about four o'clock this morning. After horrendous forecasts, the worst winds we saw in Cascais marina were only 26 knots, although we did have buckets of rain. The swell is now building again and looks as though it will peak here tomorrow (Friday) at something just over four metres. So we'll be here for another day or two at least. I was most concerned about a Norwegian family with four small children who set off to Madeira on Tuesday. Wherever they were when the storm passed (and they would have cut across the corner of forecast area Josephine, due for Force 9-11 and 10-metre swell) they must have had a most unpleasant time. I guess we'll never know*.

Anyway I gather Gordon is now on his way to end the heatwave you guys have been having in the UK. It is quite nice here but I don't think it's quite as hot as you have been having.

Yesterday we went to Sintra which is an absolutely gorgeous hill town above Lisbon. On the recommendation of the Intemperances we went to Quinta da Regaleira, a romantic garden full of ruins constructed around 1910. It's all impeccably maintained and you can explore these amazing tunnels which all joint each other and various follies via spiral staircases, caves, waterfalls and grottoes. Harry Potter would be right at home.

* Edit: we heard later that they made it Ok but spent something like 36 hours hove to in horrendous conditions

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