Did I get into a stranger’s white van parked outside of a cafe in Lagos? Yes.
But was it intentional? Also yes.
I was talking to my roommate Mel about how I still needed to book my bus ticket from Lagos to Lisbon. It would be about a 3-hour bus ride filled with discomfort and crying babies. She then told me about a low-key tour company that she took a few days ago. It was called Heaps of Tours, and it was just this guy and his van. Instead of taking a direct shot to Lisbon, he would make stops at local beaches and quaint beach towns along the way.
Um, yes please.
I didn’t exactly know what to expect, but my friend and the Facebook reviews all raved about the tour. So I thought I’d take a leap and try it out.
When I met Fabio, my tour guide, I felt a bit of relief. He was just a very normal looking Portuguese guy around my age. I also got to meet the 7 other travelers taking the tour as well, and we got along quite instantly.
And just like that, we headed towards Lisbon.
Being a local, Fabio knew the ins and outs of every beach we went to. He took us to amazing lookouts and knew exactly where to park. It was all so effortless and laid-back. We went to about four beaches and made one food stop. All were absolutely wonderful. It was 1000% better than taking the bus.
After about six hours of beach bouncing bliss, we arrived into Lisbon with smiles on our face. I grabbed my backpack and day backpack, and I headed off to find my hostel. When I arrived into the lobby, I then realized that I left my bag of dirty laundry in the back of the van. I quickly messaged Fabio who came back to deliver my bag like a hero.
I can’t recommend Heaps of Tours enough. It’s laid-back yet organized, and it’s with great people. 30 euros well spent.