They build houses in the strangest places in Portugal…

IMG_5010The Atlantic ocean is about a ten minute walk from our house. Well, at least the cliffs bordering the ocean are. It’d take another four or five seconds of falling straight down to actually meet the ocean.

We’re on a peninsula of sorts; on one side of us are the cliffs and on the other side, about a seven minute drive away, is the very long sandy beach where we relax, watch the waves, and count our blessings.

But for walks, we head toward the side with the cliffs. There is virtually nothing but shrubbery and silence there, interspersed with numerous trails and dirt roads. Who made them, and when, and even why, is a complete mystery to me. But I’m grateful for them because they give us plenty of options to explore while taking walks.

Sometimes I walk the trails alone, and I’m constantly amazed at how quiet it is. Not even many bird sounds. Just the occasional drone of a distant boat, or the buzzing of an insect, or the wind whooshing by your ears. If it’s not a windy day, it’s as silent as a dream. After walking just minutes from our house, I can easily feel like I am the only person in the world.

On my latest journey, I noticed some stairs had been cut into the cliffside. I thought it was pretty amazing because there are no drivable roads that come anywhere close to that part of the cliffs. Some of the trails that crisscross the area are essentially roads in that they’re wide enough and have obviously been occasionally driven upon. But you’d need a Humvee or an ATV to get around most of them, and I have yet to see one try.


I assumed someone had cut the stairs into the cliffside to provide access to a secluded beach or a great fishing spot. I continued my trek over the next hill, and when I looked back in the direction of the stairs, I saw this:


At the bottom of the stairs, which you can no longer see from that vantage point, is a house of some sort. The only access must be by boat, or I suppose an ATV followed by a trek down the stairs. It’s hard to imagine a more secluded place to live. I zoomed the camera in closer hoping to view more details when I got back to the house.


It looks like there’s a large deck on what is for all intents and purposes a house. It doesn’t look much like a structure for fishing. In fact, I couldn’t see where you’d even tether a boat. I can’t imagine the logistics of building such a place.

I’ll need to either bring binoculars or a zoom lens to decipher further what it is. I’m not too keen on finding my way down to the stairs and walking down to knock on the door. It could be where Hannibal Lecter takes his victims, or perhaps its a hideout for drug runners. Is it a coincidence that I saw the Portuguese navy patrolling the waters right around there?


I did decide to take the image into Photoshop and see if a digital zoom would reveal anything further. Lo and behold I saw something I hadn’t seen before. I do believe that’s Luke Skywalker practicing with his light saber! Who would’ve thunk! Luke’s hideout was in Portugal all along!

Luke Skywalker

Okay, just kidding about Mr. Skywalker. I’m pretty sure his hideout is on another planet in another galaxy far, far away anyway. But it is a remarkable house, and I hope, over time, I can find someone who can explain it to me.


I found someone who could explain it to me. Our good friend Luis, who provided excellent painting and light hanging services for us, told me that it is a private building built to provide support for fishing. I still marvel at the construction in such a remote place, surely everything had to be boated over. Anyway, mystery solved. Guess I won’t be knocking on the door to find out anything more!


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