Triathlon = easy, isn’t it? Big swim, big bike ride, big run. Nothing to it really. So here’s the first big – the big swim. I am not a good swimmer, so this bit is definitely out for me. As it was for about 8 triathletes who ran out very energetically, dipped their toes in the water, then stood on the beach chatting to one-another as the braver souls headed offshore. Please bear in mind, folks, that Portugal is NOT a Mediterranean country. It is 100% Atlantic. So Luz is on the coast that was great for tuna, in the grand old days of tuna migration, but nowadays the water in April is a bit of a challenge. Have a look at the photo and split the folks into three. First, there are the triathletes, dashing out to the sea in their wetsuits. The problem here is the beach. It has a shallow part at the entrance. It is deep enough to make you think April in the Atlantic, but not deep enough for a swim. That’s why the triathletes are jumping about like tuna flapping in the net. Then it gets as cold, or warm, as the Atlantic proper kicks in.
Second, there are the helpers. The locals. You can tell who they are because they are in bog-standard clothes, just with footwear off in the water. The locals think that April in Luz is fine for a paddle.
Third, there are the wannabees. They have bought the wetsuit. They can afford to get to Portugal, complete with kit including bike. The folks who have paid a bucket-load of money, just to say they were there. After all, a chat on the beach in Luz with another non-swimmer surely should be on one’s list of 500 things to do before one dies? Mustn’t it?