After a couple of lovely days in Lisbon, it was time to head to the trail head in Santiago do Cacem. The trip would be easy with just a short walk from our hotel to the metro and on to the bus station.
The day dawned grey and drizzly which was not perhaps the auspicious start one wants, but breakfast at the hotel was simple but good.
The morning in Vale Seco started cloudy, but at least behind the cloud, I could see the sun. Perhaps today, the Dry Valley would be a little less wet.
The trail splits here with the Historical Way continuing south on an inland route and an alternate connector trail leading to Porto Covo and the start of the coastal Fisherman’s Trail which was our chosen route.
Following the Fisherman’s Trail we now looked for its distinctive green and turquoise markers, rather than the traditional red and white of other long distance trails.
Here it was, our vacation from our vacation—a break in our walking routine that afforded us some lollygagging as well as catching up on some much needed chores.
After a delicious breakfast of fruit, eggs and fresh buns, we packed up our now delightfully clean and sun-dried clothes, and started another day on the trail.
The path for the second part of the day was a broader track and with clear skies, the water more impressive shades of turquoise, green and blue. Storks were plentiful both overhead where they seemed like kites and in their rock-top nests.
Right from the start, this section of the trail was different. It was much more hiking than walking with many exposed ascents and descents on small and winding trails.
Leaving Odeceixe we climbed up and enjoyed the historic windmill at the top of the town and the great views back across the river.
We lingered over breakfast to do justice to the spread and since it was pouring we were in no rush to head out. We were learning that the rain was usually short-lived but intense, and best just to take shelter.
The day started by climbing up to the castle of Aljezur which has prominence as one of the historic castles represented by stars on Portugal’s flag.
We were now back into the land of cork oaks, coupled with lots of old, abandoned buildings.
The sandy path down to the beach is part of one of the circular routes that can be added on to this part of the trail, but we had decided that we’d just make it beach time.
There was a lot of variety in the path and in the vegetation with pines, eucalyptus and oak. All along there were abundant rock roses and a stand of honeysuckle.
Our final day’s walk started by passing the market so we stopped to pick up some fruit and tarts and to admire the life size dolls that seemed everywhere.