No matter where I travel, you’ll find me watching the sunset. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to the magic of the sunset. It took me years of travel for me to understand that I was drawn to the west coast of whatever continent that I was on. When I found myself in Lagos Portugal, I knew that I was close to the southwestern-most point of Europe in Sagres and that I had to venture there for a sunset. After asking around, the best bet to get there was to take an Uber so off I went for the 32km journey. I’d researched buses and such to return to Lagos that evening but found out that the last bus back ran at 7pm and that sunset wouldn’t happen until 8:23pm so I left Lagos uncertain as to how or when I’d return.
Upon the advice of a friend, I packed up anything I might need for an overnight stay, just in case. Off I went to chase down the sunset at the end of the continent. I was dropped off at what the map said was the center of town. It was desolate, to say the least, with no businesses or people around to speak of. On my way out, I’d looked up restaurants to find a possibility and was rewarded to find Three Little Birds, it wasn’t too far of a walk and had excellent reviews. I ventured towards the restaurant, not finding too much else along the way which added to my anxiety of being trapped in Sagres for the evening. I arrived around opening time to find a wonderful and welcoming restaurant with a beautiful staff of young people milling about. It was myself and a young couple with a toddler for the early-bird dining experience. As I sat in the restaurant and did more research, I felt slightly more comfortable with my decision to throw caution to the wind this evening. I asked the young waitress where the best place to watch the sunset was and was told to go to Toral beach on the other side of town. After enjoying one of the best burgers I’ve had in a while, I sat and enjoyed the ambiance of the place as it gradually filled with eager people excited about dinner. After my leisurely time post-dinner, I packed up and headed back out onto the street and towards the main roundabout for this small town.
As I was crossing the roundabout, I noticed a small kiosk selling various sundry items that had a sign for “Taxi” and a local phone number. I ventured inside and asked the woman working there about getting a taxi back to Lagos after the sunset. She said that it would be no problem and that they would meet me there at 8:30pm. Had my dilemma been solved? At this point, I was hopeful but still uncertain if there would be a ride home or not. I continued my journey to the beach, putting aside the anxiety I had about how my night might unfold without a taxi home. What awaited me when I arrived at the beach was nothing short of spectacular. The rock outcroppings shadowing the beach in the late afternoon sun were breathtaking. The textures of the sand reflecting the burnt orange sky brought me out to the water’s edge as I did my best to take it all in. As the sun slowly made its departure, I reflected back on all the different sunsets I’d seen around the world and felt gratitude for the one I was enjoying tonight.
I slowly made my way back up the hills from the beach and back to the main road and onto the kiosk. As I wandered in, an older man was working around the shop. As graciously as I could, I got his attention and told him that I was looking for a cab to take me to Lagos? His response was “are you ready to go?” And just like that, we were off into the night.