Hello from Portugal – Week 2

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The second week was very similar to the first, however the weather cooled off with Thursday morning being the coldest at around 5c. Our big outing the second week was a trip to Lisbon where we had a lunch of mixed tapas including squid, octopus, and a few things we never really figured out but made for a great adventure in eating enjoyed by all. We then visited the castle in the middle of the city, parts of which dated back to before the birth of Christ. We were surprised at one point to notice a half dozen peacocks in a tree above our heads (I hadn’t realized that peacocks actually flew). Our phone GPS glitched a bit trying to find our way out of Lisbon so we saw a lot more of the city than expected and some extremely steep and narrow streets.

Overall the 2 weeks were an amazing opportunity for both the paddlers and non paddlers. I have included a few pictures of the food from the resort. It was fairly basic but there was no shortage at breakfast lunch and supper (I saw one paddler with 6 steaks on his plate one night). Given the food was included in the price it was very economical for feeding hungry athletes. We ate out at a restaurant across the street the last night which was a great feast to finish off the trip.

This was a very intensive 2 weeks of training both on the water and off. At the end, everyone was tired but the feedback I received was that it really helped jump start their spring training and everyone felt they had improved over the duration of the training camp. Toshko did A great job at keeping all the athletes engaged and challenged throughout the 2 weeks. People were still smiling and talking to each other on the trip home which is always a good sign.

A huge thank you to the parents who supported their athletes on this trip. Whenever any questions arose they were quick to respond (and always supportive of suggestions we put forward). Also a very special thanks to Shelley and Logan who joined Patricia and I on the trip as chaperones and drivers, I can’t imagine how we would have managed without them and their ongoing support (and good sense) throughout the trip.

Overall this trip had a number of positive advantages and only a few disadvantages (travel time comes to mind). For Spring training, Nelo Portugal as a training facility depends heavily on the athletes that are interested in going but I would definitely consider it as a viable option for future camps.