Photographer's Note

Do you know the movie The Beach with Leonado di Caprio? It is about tourists arriving in Thailand who dream about finding a perfect beach and are able to do a lot to get there.

One day coming back from a fantastic beach near Lagos in Algarve we met a family who shared with us a secret: there are few fantastic beaches which have plenty of those orange rock formations, arches etc and yet the beaches are little known. We should drive to Praia de Alvor and we will find it. Next day in the morning we arrive in Praia de Alvor: but it seems a usual sand beach with thousands of tourists. There can be nothing to the west so we drive to the east. Map indeed confirms that somewhere between Alvor and Portimao should be Praia dos Tres Irmaos, which was mentioned by that guys yesterday. We drove up to Praia da Rocha in Portimao but we skipped the region between because it was not easily accessible and not marked in any way. Nothing –crowds again everywhere. Pissed off we came back to Lagos. But in the evening we meet same family again and they say that we gave up too soon because from those exact beaches we visited, at the very end there are passages to the unknown paradise beaches. Moreover we found few postcards confirming their tips with stunning views of Praia dos Tres Irmaos and Praia de Alvor. On our last day in Portugal we decided to give it one more try. We arrived in Alvor again and using navigation we tried to get slowly to the east keeping as close to the coast as possible. It was not easy, at a certain point area got closed for expensive hotels with restricted access and there was no place to park the car. Finally we found an unpaved road, left our car in the middle of nowhere and headed to the coast. The views were spectacular indeed, similar to those from the postcards. From a high rock we were able to see few guys walking down on a perfect beach. They were naked. We usually don’t pick the nudist beaches but we were so tired of the heat and our search that we decided to go down there. The access was not the easiest. Not everybody was naked so we did not feel that weird. There was however something going on in one end of the beach. It seemed that there is a tiny passage to another beach which naked guys were passing back and forth. I was afraid to see what is going on there but my wife curiosity forced me to investigate it. It was indeed one of the perfect beaches with a few usually naked gay couples. The beach was really photogenic but I did not want to take out my camera to disturb those people peace. On the other hand why can they enjoy the beach and I shouldn’t? There was no sign prohibiting photography. I tried to be as discrete as possible and not point my camera direction naked people, which was not easy. Finally we took couple of nice photos with ourselves but I could not get a nice view of the whole beach because of the nudists. Eventually one of them approached me and saying that this is a gay beach and we are disturbing the atmosphere. I said I am sorry but this is one of the most beautiful beaches and I like taking photographs. That was the first time in my life when I was discriminated due to my heterosexual orientation.

By the way it was not the beach which the family recommended but a neighbouring one. We never reached Tres Irmaos.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4002 W: 91 N: 10405] (42903)
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