The morning started off pretty relaxed in hostel seixe. Hanna, who had stayed in the night before, was enjoying her morning coffee in the living room and slowly the rest of us got up. Only the manager Robert i didn’t meet. He and the Walz-Robert stayed out a little later and let’s say were in good spirits by the time they got home.
Hanna and Robert were headed for Sines that day while, initially, I started out by myself. I ended up taking the wrong way out of Odeceixe adding a few km (I missed a pretty large bridge that you need to cross as therre is no way to pass the river later on), but on the flip side bumped into Jenny & Lukas from Trier who left a little after me. Lukas just finished his bachelor and is now contemplating what to do next while Jenny is going into her second apprenticeship in summer and meanwhile doing a mix of small jobs & travel. We would walk the next two days together.
Once you get on the core part of the fisherman’s way (a typically 4 day march between Odeceixe & Porto Covo, see here) you follow more or less the coastline. The views are nothing short of spectacular as the ever-moving atlantic hits the steep cliffs and battles with the rocks sticking out in the sea. Some pretty big waves and that during again perfect weather on both days with clouds not to be seen anywhere. Not sure it would to be surfing these guys … better be a good swimmer and/or total lunatic!
We talked about loads of things and found a common interest in fantasy movies – specifically lord of the rings. In fact, since Jenny also got herself a walking stick, we both looked akin to the wizard Gandalf (Lukas requested this reference … so here you go).
Distance wise I covered 22km on both days (the first including the extra km for going the wrong way). After day one, when we made it to Zambujera do mar, we were all pretty shattered. The nature of the path is pretty demanding for you walk often on sand. That slows you down quite a bit – on my estimates to about 3km/hour vs. my normal 5km/h walking pace. What slows you down further are frequent stops to take in the scenery – but thats why we are here after all.
Links to both sections on the official website
There aren’t too many stops on the way especially off-season – on day one we found one perfect cafe about 1/3rd of the way for lunch. Otherwise, better bring your snacks yourself. We reached Zambujar before nightfall and, after a welcome beer & a shower, enjoyed a Pizza before retiring in Casa da Praia. Ahh … if you are into nudism – there is a nudist beach just before Zambujar.
The next day started 5am for me, as I had to do my Russian homework still before my skype class with Daria. Next to our accommodation was a nice bakery for probably my best breakfast on the trail yet. Shortly after 9am we hit the trail towards Almograve.
The path wasn’t as sandy at the start (though it was later on) and we made some good pace. The only real stop on the way was Cabo Sardao (with a cheeky beer to celebrate half way) while otherwise there was no place to refuel. Well, we had our supplies ranging from apples/bananas to the dryest bread on earth and, of course, chocolate bars ;o).
Once in Almograve, we checked into a huge hostel (looked like some former military building now painted in white to me) and went shopping, as Jenny kindly offered to cook that night. Pasta with tomato, onion & cheese. It turned out pretty tasty and, over some local wine, got the conversation going quickly. We were joined by my room-mate Tim. He is from California and left his finance job for some travels before getting back into the job market. Another 10w lie ahead of him – enjoy!
While Lukas retired after dinner, the three of us headed over to a ‘bar’, watched Befica winning 3:1 and trying (hard) to have a conversation with an older local man. With little success admittedly. Portuguese is pretty hard and my spanish skills of close to no help (plus, they don’t seem to like the spanish too much – so keep it english/german ;o) Then it was time for a really cold nights sleep in the hostel – even two blankets were not enough!
And here the fellowship ended. Gandalf one continued to Porto Covo (aka mordor) while team Trier hopped on a bus to Lisbon (I still suspect they went to Isengard as I believe Jenny is Saruman in disguise). It was fun guys – thanks for the time on the fisherman’s trail & safe travels.