Saturday, May 27 – Carrapateira to Arrifana

We were prepared a nice little self-serve breakfast this morning as we had told the owner that we were wanting to leave before the official breakfast time of 9am. I was initially concerned because when I went out to the common area to get it there was no food to be found. Thankfully, it was all in the fridge. It was a great spread including hard boiled eggs, ham, fruit, and bread. It was excellent – although as i am not much of a breakfast person normally, i am getting a bit sick of bread and ham. But I am still grateful.

We left around 7:30 again today, heading away from the beach, along the highway for a couple hundred meters before walking through the parking lot of a hostel-like place and heading up the mountain. Or hill, rather. What I do like about hiking here is that summiting the hills isn’t at all like summiting in Alberta. I am a slow and steady up hill climber and here it isn’t such a big deal!

Over the course of the day that was basically the overall course of action…up and down…and up and down…and up and down. We walked through a couple of farmers’ fields and saw some goats, horses, and sheep. The sky remained a beautiful blue with some white clouds in the sky. We stoped at about the 5km mark in the town of Bordeira in order to refill our water. It is a long day today and after this stop there was not going to be any water available until we get to Arrifana. It is a cute little town. Pristine, unlike many of the towns we have been passing through and staying in. The sidewalks here were well-kept and the buildings were all newly white-washed. It was cute. I really liked it.

I was dyeing a bit as I somehow got really bad blisters on my heels even though these shoes were broken in at home. It makes me mad as I have hiked lots before and this has never happened. I think that maybe we should have brought our heavy-duty hiking boots and not just light -weight hikers for this trip…I honestly just didn’t think about it. Next time!

After following a long red dirt path heading directly West towards the coast for a couple of kilometres, we started to feel the salty breeze of the ocean coming at us. Yes! I could see the ocean and the town of Arrifana. But then I saw a hill and a path…and realized we needed to descend all the way down the cliff path to sea level as well as climb the path up the other side before proceeding into the town (which, as it turns out, was not right on the edge of the first cliff I saw, but the second. So it was a bit of a hoof away after climbing back up the hill.)

Despite going up and down hills, it was totally worth it. The views were amazing. Normally being in the middle of the prairies, I especially love ocean views. So the hike up the cliff was still rewarding because of this.

We stayed at the Arrifana Ocean View Guest House. It was on the far side of town, but was an absolutely lovely hotel. When we arrived, we saw this hiking guy that has passed us on the trail the last 2 days. We chatted with him a bit today as he sped on by, so it was funny to see that they were staying at the same hotel as us. He and his wife are from New Zealand and are serial walkers…like they walk for months and months at a time! No wonder he is so fast. Unfortunately, she fell and hurt her knee on the first day, so she can’t walk for a few days until the knee heals a bit. I would love to have that kind of time to walk for months and months. Think of all the things you could see!! I guess I just need to take care of my feet and knees so I can do that when I’m retired and have time to do it!

At the hotel, we were on the main floor, but it was quiet and dark at night and there weren’t too many dogs barking or roosters crowing! I don’t normally care about these things so much, but when you have been walking over 20km a day, they become increasingly important.

We waited on the front patio for about an hour before we could get checked in and had a great time talking with a guy from Germany who was here cycling up the coast following a cycling trail. We had a great discussion about holidays and travel while we waited. I love meeting new people when I’m away. Especially here, most of the people we are meeting are all walking or surfing or cycling, so everyone is really healthy and active. It is great.

There was a wonderful shower and a patio with a hammock on it. Shawn and I made it all the way to the grocery store to buy some lunch food for tomorrow as well as a bottle of wine for tonight. We were able to enjoy our 1E19 bottle of wine on the patio while playing crib. It was excellent. We also were able to wash some clothes and hang them to dry outside, which was a great bonus.

Across the street, there was a pizza place that we headed to for dinner. After about 3 days in a row of walking 1/2 marathons, our feet were a bit sore (understatement of the day!), so we didn’t want to go too far. The pizza was good and the atmosphere was rustic charm with built in palate tables and glass window-walls that opened and closed. It was great.

We never made it to the beach here, because it was just too far out of the way, but hopefully in the next couple of days we will make it!

Sleep would have been amazing….but somehow ALL of the mosquitos are in our room. So I have sent Shawn on a killing spree so that hopefully we can turn the lights out soon!

Tomorrow we will be able to enjoy breakfast as we only have a 12km walk to do, so can leave a bit later.

Night!

–Allison

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