After an excellent nights sleep and an OK breakfast which we ate al fresco with a German couple who warned as about staying the night in a hotel with a name like the stuff that clogs your arteries we once again set off into the sun & wind!
Al Fresco breakfast
The going was much faster today mainly on good tracks some through pine & eucalyptus woods which gave us a break from the constant wind later we were sheltered by the hills we soon found ourselves having a drinks break in the lovely village of Pedralva.
Sally crossing a ford
After our break we started walking down a delightful river valley, stupidly we ignored the sign for the wet weather route which the Germans had taken yesterday, the first ford was OK by the sixth ford the water was getting quite deep flooding over my trainers 🙁 fortunately only one big climb was left before we descended into Carrapateira and our Guest House named after the village. The room has the bed on a mezzanine with a fantastic shower, kitchen & sofa on the ground floor.
After a bite to eat across the road we then walked to the cliffs to see the sunset. Totally amazing walk along boardwalks and seeing the dunes and crashing Atlantic rollers at Praia da Bordeira a great end to a walking day.
I tried using the new Apple Watch Strava app but it came in missing 5 miles, although it displayed the full route 🙁 quite pathetic especially how it dims the display. The good old Etrex20 came up with the correct answer on Strava of 14.3 miles plus an extra 7km to the headland and back.
Excellent scenery and a very enjoyable walking day. Dropbox pictures are here
Sally on the GR13
Sally decided that it was time for us to return to multi-day hiking 🙂 and go to somewhere warmer than the UK for her weeks holiday in March.
So yesterday we sat on the tarmac at Luton airport for the best part of 3 hours waiting for the Portugese flight controllers call to say we could depart to Faro. We eventually arrived at Faro airport at 8.30pm 🙁 having left home at 10.30am.
At Faro we had another wait for the taxi to Sagres, finally arriving at the Mareta View B&B at 10.30pm. We quickly dashed out for a rather excellent meal & wine at Mums Restaurant.
Today after a fantastic buffet breakfast we started our walk complete with rucksacks & poles my bag weighing in at 8kg. Once again mainly due to all my electronics.
The day was sunny but oh so so windy which bought the perceived temperature down to13 degrees, the scenery was superb especially with the crystal clear air and bright sunshine. The cliffs are stunning and the wild flowers very abundant. The walking surface was very varied with sand, ankle twisting rocks, tarmac & tracks.
We walked from Sagres to the castle but refused the entrance fee so then headed to the lighthouse at the end of the world using a variety of tracks and on road walking. After the lighthouse we went along the cliffs to Praia do Telherio and then back on to the GR13 to Vila do Bispo and the highly rated Pure Flor de Esteva B&B for the night.
A good walk of over 14 miles and 1300 feet of ascent according to Strava made harder with the constant high winds in our face 🙁 The days pictures are here
We are still undecided as to which route to go tomorrow 🙁 the preferred inland route appears to suffer a lack of accommodation whereas the coastal route we will be walking into the high winds again.
A nervous me with crocodile
The main reason for staying at the stupidly expensive Bentota Beach Hotel was so I could use their river cruise through the mangrove swamps. I opted for the one hour one as experience tells me I rapidly get bored sitting in a boat 🙂
It was just me and the guide, a young chap who spoke good English and had sharp eyes. So we quickly saw a lot of wildlife: herons, lizards, crocodiles come to mind. A nice tourist touch was pulling in and a guy with a baby crocodile stepping aboard so you could have a picture taken with it, me somewhat nervous of all those teeth.
My new found friend
In the afternoon after a decent swim in their 35 metre pool, the best feature of the hotel, I took myself of for a walk. The touts soon leave you after 50 metres of walking and I was soon on my own. On maps.me I spotted the Siri Sumansrama Temple (interesting that Apple use the name Siri for their digital assistant) so I headed over their. The place was deserted, its quite a modest temple but soon a monk came over and invited me in 🙂 He showed me around explaining why the Buddha is surrounded by Hindu figures and also the new Buddha statue they are making under the Serpents head. All very symbolic and interesting.
I was then invited into his house for a cuppa and cake, well I am a cyclist 🙂 Where he told me his story of becoming a monk when he was 9 and staying at this temple all the time and how he learnt such good English.
The subject soon turned to architecture the next thing I know we are in a Tuk Tuk to see the totally stunning former summer home of architect Geoffrey Bawa at Lunuganga. Wow totally amazing, he was obviously a keen arboriculturist as well the selection of trees was stunning! A gorgeous tall Teak at the entrance and then planted & trained trees inside like Balsa, Ebony, Temple trees (Plumeria) and a lot more. The whole estate is cleverly designed to maximise the elevated position in a dog leg of the huge river. I just loved it and reminded me of Chris & I visit to Henry Moore’s old studio near Cambridge. Totally incredible and many thanks to my new monk friend 🙂
A very interesting and enlightening day with loads more pics here
Wow, it’s been 140 days since my last update and those shiny new shoes in my last post are now worn out and replaced with the identical model but different colour! The other items have all survived.
Getting around The Trent
I did make it to Nottingham on the canals, all on lovely paths apart from the section when you hit The Trent and you are forced to make a tortuous detour to Sawley the nearest road bridge. Even though there is a lock with a bridge much closer but alas not accessible as you can see from my map. The scouts should set up a ferry service from their campsite.
From Blisworth I walked the 19 miles to Crick on the 17th June the following day I did the 26 miles to Fleckney and a camping night on the smooth grass by a lock, followed by a 14 mile walk into Leicester and a train home for the weekend.
On the 23rd I returned to Leicester and did the 12 miles to MountSorrel followed by a storming 31 miler to Nottingham and a good night’s sleep at Stephen’s house marking the end of this little hike.
Overall a good walk remarkably virtually traffic free. Especially good for me when recovering from my HoLEP operation and having to pee every few miles. At least all that is behind me now and I can start getting more adventurous again.