Sunset sail with a chef

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Amber Christian
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With the Tagus river running right through Lisbon, water access here is incredibly easy. We tried to take advantage of getting out on the water multiple times. So when an opportunity to go on a sailboat with a chef came up, we were in! Chef Miguel was our captain, and we headed off for a sunset sail. I took the opportunity to hang out in the shaded back of the boat, to avoid sunburn. That Portuguese sun is intense!

Having some fun pretending I am driving!

As our tour took off, everyone dispersed and headed to the front of the boat to enjoy the sun and the water. I hung out in the back. This gave Chef Miguel and I a chance to talk. Chef Miguel spoke English, a bit cobbled together here and there. But we managed to communicate. As we sailed along, he would give me a sentence or two about things we were seeing. Through his simple language, gestures, and non-verbal communication, I learned a tremendous amount about Lisbon and Portugal. We talked about the pandemic, how it hurt our businesses, and the resilience of life. And we enjoyed the beauty of a sunset sail. This is an experience I will always remember.

Chef Miguel

Here is a perfect image to capture our trip- sanitize liberally and then enjoy a drink!

Cocktail with white port

Our guide Adriana set the food out- some lovely Garum (fish dish) along with cheeses and fruits to enjoy.  At first, we all looked at the Garum. It looks kinda nasty. It's chopped up fish and it's brown. It's actually made from tinned fish. All of us had this same look on our face- are we really gonna eat it? But we all try it. And it was so amazing pretty soon that plate was empty!

We sipped our beverages and enjoyed conversations with our fellow American and French tourists on the boat with us. As we watched the sun sink behind the city of Lisbon, it capped off another amazing day in this lovely country.

As a post note, the next day I went back to the tinned fish shop. I told the owner about the Garum and asked for his help getting the right ingredients so I could make it at home. I prattled away about what a great experience it was. And oh yeah his restaurant was Aqui Ha Peixe (they told us at the end of the sail). When I said this, the shop owners eyes widened. "He's a really well known and respected chef in Lisbon. His restaurant is one of the best fish restaurants in the city." Somehow this didn't surprise me all that much. Miguel was a really cool and amazing person, and it makes sense his restaurant is the same. Next time we go to Lisbon, we will definitely check out the restaurant.

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