There are nights we never forget. Some nights we were too drunk to remember. And then you have some mornings that make you go, “GOD, what the fuck happened last night?”
I have to admit that after travelling for a while now, the best days and nights are those that are not planned. I returned to Porto, Portugal again, after a few days in Lisbon, and the remaining days in Portugal became one of the very best days of summer 2016. In fact, those nights might have been the best nights of my life yet.
Pre-Party in Porto
Vasco told me about this traditional party happening in the inner city of Portugal and asked if I wanted to join. Obviously, without a doubt, my answer was yes. And yes indeed, was the best time of summer.
We met with 2 other Portuguese and made lunch before heading out to the party venue. I love summer in Portugal. Everyone is just chilling with a beer in the garden, with the sun shining perfectly. Other optional things like music and cigarettes can be added too (and no, I don’t smoke).
Summer in Mondim
After cooking, washing and chilling for a couple of hours, we decided to finally head down to the summer house of one of their friends. And when I got there…
The house was so huge, the city girl in me basically saw a business opportunity to turn it into a 5-star resort (lol). Coming from Singapore, where land is expensive like gold, I was just overwhelmed by how big the house was.
The house had 2 mini-houses. With basements. There was also a huge garden with a small hill and the pool at the bottom. The best part? The view overlooks the mountains since it was a village. Sunsets were amazing.
We got comfortable and I met with all the other Portuguese. Damn, I wish I had learnt a few Spanish or Portuguese words so I could understand. They spoke English to me, and I was touched. We spent the evening eating, talking, chilling and making music. But above all, drinking.
Portuguese Doesn’t Drink Water
Something I found out about the Portuguese. Water is something that simply does not exist. All we drank for 3 days and 2 nights was beer, wine, bagaço, more beer, more wine, no more bagaço. We drank so much that there was not enough time to chill the beer and we drink warm beer. Ah, the Portuguese way.
Sunset came and we had dinner. We set off at around 9 pm to get to the village centre. The party was an annual summer party held in Mondim, where villages came to make music and compete with other villages. Everyone was dressed in traditional Portuguese outfits, making music, singing and dancing.
Before we left for the party, we needed more alcohol. So, usually, when I party, we would get about 1 bottle per 3-4 persons. But here in Portugal, that’s for the weak. We got like OVER TWENTY LITRES of wine for a handful of us. And that was just the beginning.
We drank, sang and drove all the way to the village centre. They’re all so talented with musical instruments! They met with other villages and friends, got our placements and started with more drinks and singing. I don’t know what happened next but something like this happened.
According to My (Faded) Memory
We were singing and dancing. They even printed song lyrics! In the end, I did catch a few phrases like “Eu vim d’Atei para comer e beber… Os meus amigos nunca os vou esquecer”. It has something got to do with eating, drinking and good friends. Well, catchy tune and lovely music. I think drunk Lisa actually sang the songs after a while.
I also got to play with some of the wooden instruments they had. They were so unlike any other instruments I have seen. I also remember holding a guitar or a ukulele and strumming it like I could make music.
And then, I simply remembered going back home with my slippers completely destroyed and waking up with a bad hangover. And I might also have puked. I woke up and it was sunrise. Went to the pool to tan and try to relieve the hangover.
According to Their Memory
So apparently the night didn’t go the way I remembered. Turns out, after some singing, dancing and making music, I joined Vasco and Fred to chat. We met with an old Portuguese bar owner (I think) and he was giving people bagaço.
For those who don’t know what bagaço is, it is basically something you should not try. It is a 70% alcohol shot. Pure alcohol. Shot. 70%.
Back to the story. Turns out, I finished the shot. Damn. I didn’t even know I took it. That probably explains the hangover. And the worst thing is that Fred told me that they didn’t want me to drink it. But I kept pestering saying that I wanted to try. And so they gave me a huge shot.
“One moment you are drinking the shot. The next moment I see you lying on the floor”
Ah, that was where I died. I was well and alive, dancing and singing, and the next moment, apparently lying on the streets of Mondim. They took turns to let me rest on them, and in the end, they’re like “Nah she’s dead” so they left me lying on the accordion box while waiting for Pepe’s mom to pick me.
Well, ain’t that embarrassing.
Somehow I managed to get into the room after apparently puking on Fred (sorry). My favourite Belgian slippers were completely destroyed, but at least I had my camera and phone with me!
We spent the following day chilling by the pool and going to the valley for a swim in the lake. We had dinner while making music and watching the sunset. It was an absolutely lovely moment.
Best Party in Portugal
I truly learnt that the most beautiful things in life can’t be photographed; they are felt with the heart. The best things in life aren’t material things, but moments, people and laughter. Making music while watching the sun setting over the horizon. The days were insanely incredible and my life was unreal.
Thanks to all the little Portuguese weirdos for letting me into your weird little world. I had such an amazing time in Mondim. I have to say that Portugal is definitely one of my favourite countries now. Party again soon! I will train my bagaço skills. #tradition #hotbeer #warmwine
Initially, we planned to stay for one night but ended up staying for 3 days. We had to leave because I had a plane to catch and some of them had to work the next day. I fell sick from the constant drinking, partying and playing. But damn, it was worth it.
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie at beautiful destinations. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always dreamt of.