We started the day at 8 am with a 15 minute €20 taxi ride up the coast to Zambujeira do Mar where we had a lovely breakfast at the Por do Sol cafe. Fortunately, the rain stopped just before we departed in the cab 🙂
After breakfast, we started on The Fishermans Trail all be it the final section. After some confusion, we finally found the trail on the other side of a huge empty car park. This place must be heaving in the summer with the vast car parks and large number of hotels/b&b etc
The trail is delightful with splendid views and very hilly, constantly dropping down to sea level and then straight back up. Very reminiscent for me of my walk on the South West Coast Path in Cornwall. However, one huge difference is the sand! how does all the sand get on top of the cliffs? was my constant thought.
Once again the trail was virtually devoid of people even though it was sunny today.
The last 4km into Odeceixe was a bit disappointing as it’s along on a flat surfaced road, at least it had no cars on it.
The trail itself was a fine end to our short walking holiday of just over 80 miles and 7,260 feet of ascent.
By the time we had finished breakfast at 8.45 it was pouring down with rain 🙁 Neither of us had bought our full UK weather kit with us 🙁 so we hung around to see if it would stop.
At 10.15 we gave in and left, me with a small brolly Sally with my new rain jacket. It was still pouring down making the pavement slippery and gooey mud. The first section is uphill at the top it plateaus out and you meet the levada (water channel for irrigation) with the route hugging it, complete with mud 🙁
Eventually, we made it to Rogil and a cafe for a drink and pastry, it was still raining when we left but gradually turning into showers with longer dry spells. By the time we dropped down into Odeceixe the rain had given up allowing us to look around.
We found the Hospedaria Firmino Bernardino on the edge of the village, the owners baby daughter took one look at me and ran away screaming 🙁 (and as I write this, in the evening, she is still screaming upstairs). One interesting factoid on this trip is that none of the hotels we have stayed in have AC but all have heaters in the rooms, perhaps Portugal is not so hot after all!
The village is quite pleasant but cold and deserted. I guess most of the properties are holiday homes or summer lets. Tomorrow we hope to get a taxi to Zambujeira do mar and then walk back here via The Fishermans Trail.
We left the hostel with our fellow walkers and the donkey drivers 🙂 at 9.25 after the poorest breakfast of this holiday so far 🙁
We decided to take the longer route via the cliff tops. An excellent choice with the wildflowers in bloom along a sandy track so making it a very pleasant stroll indeed, at the cliff edge it is amazing to see the sedimentary rocks now pushed vertical!
At the disused buildings on a promontory who should we meet but Emma & Patty, the American ladies we met at the pizza place last night 🙂 Later still we dropped down to the lovely beach at Praia de Monte Clerigo and a cafe selling the yummy Portuguese delicacies Pastel de Nata, 4 were dispatched in rapid time 🙂
Afterwards, the walk turned inland and into a real slog first on the road and then onto tracks, very steep and like a roller coaster, more annoying to me was on the final descent you can see the beach we were on and a river with a road alongside totally flat 🙁
Aljezur is a very pleasant town built on the side of a hill with white painted houses, although its a pity that the 3 arch stone bridge destroyed by floods in 1947 was replaced with a steel structure. Our Amazigh Hostel is right in the centre and our room has an excellent view. The town even has a huge supermarket so we could buy some snacks for the first time to fill up on before hitting the restaurant.
All in all another very pleasant days walking in decent weather 🙂 Strava says we walked just under 13 miles with 1361 feet of ascent, although it felt a lot more!
Before I start this post it has to be said I’ve consumed rather a lot of alcohol this evening 🙁 and Sally is currently sleeping it off 🙁
We left the Carrapateiramar Guest House at 8,30 with no breakfast on a lovely still morning the walk started with a climb which is how the day continued, a total roller coaster very tough on the legs, I kept thinking how perfect this would be for Nick’s fell running! although it was a sandy track underfoot, After 5km in Bordeira we stopped for breakfast and had a lovely omelette with a custard tart and coffee, perfect 🙂
The route continued with constant undulations some very steep through Eucalyptus woods, curiously silent with no wild life 🙁 we bumped into a German couple with their donkey doing the same walk as us, then a drop to sea level and a climb back up in a rain shower before entering Arrifana and the Arrifana Destination Hostel where we are staying. Later we met the donkey couple in the bar, apparently they rented the donkey from PicoTours, amusingly the donkey knows the route and nudges them if they go wrong 🙂
The hostel rooms are excellent and the atmosphere is excellent especially meeting the folks you have passed en-route. In the evening we took ourselves of to the superb Artes Bianca pizza place just over 1km away where we had a lovely chat with a couple of Americans one from upstate NY and one who lives in Hong Kong (if you read this please leave a comment)