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Day 12, Chabouco to Carrapateira, May 2

Abandoned farmhouse.
Body paragraph

We were just getting going on the day when we heard a light knocking on the door. There were our host and eight year old bringing us our breakfast tray. Given that there are no stores anywhere close by, the simple buns, cheese, juice and milk for our coffee was a welcome surprise. While normally not providing breakfast, this spot does so for hikers, knowing that bringing provisions is not easy. We were really touched by that and it just added to our sense of happiness at having found this more secluded spot.

Fennel-like plant along the trail.
A fennel-like plant growing along the trail.

This was another pretty day—as well as being shorter for us having divided up the days a little differently than recommended. Again there were a lot of ascents and descents along the broad track, and we were glad that for us it was a manageable 16 kilometres. We were now back into the land of cork oaks, coupled with lots of old, abandoned buildings. The little village of Bordeira provided a good spot to stop for a cold drink before our final long climb to a viewpoint up above Carrapateira/Bordeira beach. It looked beautiful and given that we had an extra day planned here, I could already start anticipating a beach day.

The guesthouse (Pensao das Dunas, 55 €, breakfast an extra 7.50 € each) was funky and a little bit run down. Our room came with saggy twin beds and was perhaps a bit musty but Nedjo thought he’d be fine. The same vibe as at the guesthouse seemed to be in the town which seemed half abandoned. Lots of the restaurants were closed mid-week so during our afternoon reconnoiter we realized it would be slim pickings for choice. We did, however, find the mini-market which was great—and became our favourite “go to” spot in town. We got a cold drink, some salty snacks and picked up some lovely looking fruit for the morning.

Back in town for dinner we settled on veggie burgers and fries at a little outdoor cafe and it was fine, just not the food experience one hopes for in a beachside town.

Our guesthouse was filled with a large group and they were having dinner provided for them in the main hotel space so that limited choices of where to be and also made it a bit loud. I hadn’t really expected the size of some of the groups that we’d encounter and how that would impact us as independent walkers.