Hi mom. Your answer to the question, did I go cliff jumping finally gets answered. Truthfully if you didn’t figure out the answer already, I’d be pretty disappointed.
The worst part of the day is how early we had to get up. It was freezing outside and knowing my dislike of being cold and especially being in cold water, I was a bit trepidatious about how the day’s adventure would go.
We met up with our guide from Coastline Agarve next to a firehouse station. At first look at the van, it felt pretty sketchy. It was a white van. There was branding on the van but it was so faded that it just looked like some random design or that it was dirty and old. But hey, we got in anyway and sped out of town.
First stop to pick up gear. We stretched our legs for a couple of minutes and was quickly reminded how cold it was….serious concerns about getting into the water. (Secret, I didn’t even get into the water the previous day on the beach past my ankles. NOT A FAN OF COLD WATER)
We finally arrived at our destination. Our guide, Nelson, told us that this was a national park and that camping up here wasn’t permitted. As we could already tell by the abundance of RVs parked, this was not a strictly enforced rule. In fact, I’m not sure we were supposed to be driving up to the cliffs. But hey, check out this view.
First time putting on a wet-suit. It was a little difficult, but I’ve got to say the insulation was amazing. I actually felt comfortable despite the cool windy air. And we began our journey. The shoes that they provided had practically no sole support which was totally awesome especially with the jagged rocks we were scrambling over.
Basically the first thing we were told was not to get too close to the edge. Considering that I haven’t unintentionally fallen over an edge yet, I think I’m pretty good at knowing how far out I can get. Neither Nelson nor Ora nor Kelli agreed with me. In fact they told Nelson that I was the one to watch out for in regards to getting close to the edge. (You’re welcome mom….)
The view was absolutely gorgeous. Bright blue skies, clear water, couldn’t ask for a prettier hike down except for the caution needed to descend the uneven path. The walking was definitely the worst park. But we finally got to the bottom and Nelson showed us proper form for cliff jumping. This was like 1-2 meters. We were progressively going to get bigger but on the small ones we could mess around a bit. Ora and I actually skipped the very first one because 1. it was stupidly small and 2. we could.
Just on the other side was a few more jumps.
Then we got to stay in the beautiful water and swim around. As we got closer to the shore again, we had to use the currents to help pull us in. Then we got to climb through rocks. Not literally through rocks like the Flash phasing through objects, but basically a tunnel, almost like splunking except not really.
Nelson showed us the barnacles on the rocks, not too different from other places. And then more walking. There were even sharper rocks and it was more slippery. At one point there was a tidal pool that we had to navigate through by waiting for the water level to go down, quickly pass through before the water rose again with the strong currents that would slam you into the rocks when it retreated.
After that we actually got to explore a cave. We were wearing life jackets which was wonderful for the swimming and coming back up after cliff jumping, but to get into this cave, we had to hold our breath, pop under water and swim to the other side. It’s a lot easier said than done. Literally had to push against the stone above my head to keep myself underwater as I navigated forward. Yay for helmet otherwise I definitely would have gotten a bump or two.
At the beginning of the expedition, Nelson pointed out the cliff that we would be ending at and finally we were there. The first jump at this point was around 8 meters. Finally we got some good jumps. Oh, did I mention Kelli was scared of heights. After Ora and I jumped off, and climbed back up, Kelli was still prepping to jump off. Each jump we went up another meter.
The last jump was into this amazing cave. The water glowed in the sunlight. At this point, even Ora was nervous. She was the first of us to jump in with a yell to banish away the fear. I stood at the edge after she had cleared the jump zone. It happened so quickly I can barely remember the jump. But I can say IT WAS AWESOME!!!! (See video) Now Kelli, who had skipped a few jumps and was planning on skipping this one, decided that she was going to come in. I mean, who else can say they have cliff jumped into a cave!!!! In the amount of time that she took to jump off, I could probably be caught up on all my recent adventures. But that gave me the opportunity to enjoy the view and commit it to memory. The cave wasn’t too big so got to explore that a bit too. When she finally took the plunge, we all swam around the cave.
Last and certainly least, was the walk back. Again the view was amazing, but the shoes and pointy rocks don’t agree with my feet. Basically if you have the opportunity to go coasteering, I highly recommend.
To end the day on a perfect note, I went back out to the lighthouse to view the sunset. Kelli and I chilled around for a bit later to watch as the stars came out. It took FOREVER for the sun to finish setting and the stars to being to appear. We were far enough from civilization to see some pretty good stars and there weren’t many lights. So I put up with the temperature dropping to appreciate the finer things in life.