Go to the beach (take your rock hammer?)

The Praia de Foz is a small beach that is easy to find if you’ve already located it on Google Earth and translated that to your phone, or the equivalent. A single sign marks the turnoff onto a graded, graveled road from the main road but there are no other signs. You choose the various turnoffs at your peril. We were prepared, and even gave directions to a Portuguese couple.

It’s a spectacular setting.

5.28.16 Praia de Foz-010We walked along the shore as the tide rose, picking up a few tiny pieces of beach glass and looking at the rocks. They are full of fossils! I’m not sure all the sea creatures in these rocks are completely fossilized, but most are on their way. Jonathan dug out a spiral worm for me which proved to be very soft, like mudstone. I then broke it into several pieces. I could see other spirals, but the rock was too hard and I couldn’t get anything out. A rock far above us in the escarpment was full of scallop shells, others were full of huge oysters.

5.28.16 Praia de Foz-017sma
Here are spiral worms.
5.28.16 Praia de Foz-014sm
Look at the difference between rocks that are side by side.
5.28.16 Praia de Foz-015
All the bright/white patches on this rock are shells that are embedded in the rock.

5.28.16 Praia de Foz-013smThese seem to be places where shells or fossils have eroded out of the rock. The layers that have all the shell in them are high over the beach, 40 to 60 feet up. The big rocks on the beach have fallen from the escarpment. You could spend an entire day digging sea creatures out of the rocks along the shore. I came up with an oyster.

5.28.16 oysterIt’s probably a good thing I didn’t have a rock hammer with me.



Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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