Scary Story by the Lake

2018 3

(Our spot beside the lake at Macedo de Cavaleiros)

On Sunday we parked beside a lake. People arrived and left all day to go for walks or just to have a look. They brought children, dogs or cameras. Some just got out long enough to smoke a cigarette. Then there was one guy on a bicycle with panniers full of camping gear. He rode around the car park first while taking a video with his phone. Quite impressive, to be able to manage riding the bike and videoing his surroundings. He headed off in the direction of the forest path past the cork trees. I wondered why he was taking a video.

2018 5

(Cork tree near the lake. The number 7 indicates the cork was last harvested in 2007)

The constant flow of people visiting stopped as the sun set and it was just us. So peaceful and quiet… I began to worry. A thought struck me… maybe the guy on the bike was videoing his route in case he disappeared under suspicious circumstances. This was a deserted lake. This is the kind of place scary movies are made. Maybe we should be videoing too? No one knows exactly where we are…

2018 6

(Path is flooded. There was a lot of rain in Portugal this year)

Imagination is a great thing but not that useful to me at a deserted lake. Unless I want to write a scary story… Do I want to write a scary story? Well I do seem to have plenty of material, there’s a deserted lake, a forest, a cyclist, the dark. Just one problem. Unfortunately I take scary stories very personally. I get into the story and the story gets into me and before I know it I think it’s real.

2018 2

(In summer the lake is used for swimming and water sports)

It would be so much fun to imagine a lovely story and think it was real. One where the cyclist is a future famous filmmaker who travels all over the world filming his journey. One night in the future we are watching a documentary called, The camping experience that changed everything and we are astonished to see ourselves peeping out the window of Ruby in the car park at Macedo de Cavaleiros! We contact the cyclist/filmmaker and he tells us the amazing thing that happened that night in the forest by the lake in the dark.

Amazing. Mairead.

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