We decided to take our chance at finding a cafe open for breakfast rather than having it at the hotel. There wasn’t a lot of choice but we did find a place for a grilled cheese sandwich and coffee before heading out. It did take us a bit longer than expected so it wasn’t quite the early start we’d planned for our “somewhat difficult” 7 hour day.
We did take the hotel proprietor’s advice to head straight from the hotel rather than the marked trail, knowing that this savings of 2 kilometres might make the day more manageable. Right from the start we were back on the dunes and it was already quite warm. Just before midday we hit a pine grove for some very welcome shade and then before long arrived at the sweet little town of Cavaleiro, where there was a bathroom and a shelter and picnic tables. It made for a lovely lunch break.
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.
By this point in the trip my feet were suffering. Although my boots were well broken in, the combination of wet feet the first day and then all the sand had given me blisters. I was tending to them as well as I could, but by each afternoon they were quite painful. Nedjo started inventing games to play in the afternoon to take my mind off my sore feet.
A slippery descent led us into a small fishing harbour that was blessed with two restaurants. We chose the second and relished in an icy cold drink before tackling that last 3 kilometres into town on a path alongside the road. It wasn’t particularly pretty, but at least we knew it was direct. My feet were thankful that our hotel (Rosa dos Ventos, 58 € including breakfast) was on the near side of town as we approached and I was very glad to get my boots off.
At first we thought that Zambujeira must be smaller than we had thought as there didn’t seem much in the way of amenities. But luckily we went a little further and discovered a whole area ringed with choice. We also bumped into our German friend from the hostel in Milfontes and decided to enjoy dinner together. We had a lovely meal with a great view and another interesting conversation. The next day was meant to be another longer one, so we stocked up on provisions and opted for an early night.