Monday, May 29th Aljezur to Odeceixe

My feet were feeling so much better this morning, but never the less, we decided to call it on our last walking day and catch a cab to Odeceixe instead. It made my heart sad, as I don’t like to “quit”…but it’s holidays, so meh. I am working on relaxing and Shawn made the executive decision that we should cab it to the next town. If we were able to walk the whole thing, we could have just had a rest day and carried on walking from there. But this time 4 official days was all we got in. And that’s just life!

We headed out via taxi (there was only 1 bus I could find that left from Aljezur to Odeceixe today at it was at 9:05, so we decided enjoying the included breakfast was a better call) around 11am and really enjoyed seeing the world go by at such a fast pace compared to walking!

Thankfully, the hotel actually let us check in at 11:30 when we arrived, which was really great of them. This way we dumped our bags and decided to explore the town for a while. It is not a big place. Calm and well-kept with a couple of very tiny grocery stores, a few restaurants, and many hotels and hostels. The streets are all cobble stone and the highway passes along right above the town, so it could easily be forgotten.

It was not the intense heat we had experienced earlier (and of course, we were not climbing up and down hills with backpacks on either), so after poking around the few shops and buying a couple of very non-local scarves, we decided to wait on going to the beach until it warmed up a bit. Instead, we found a nice restaurant in the centre of town and ordered a beer and natural orange juice (the juice was more than double the price of the beer!) and sat people and dog watching for a good couple of hours. I was getting nervous about the bus for tomorrow to head back to Lisbon, so thankfully, the waiter was able to tell us where to go to buy tickets and the location of the bus stop along the highway on the outskirts of town.

By this time it was nice and warm, so we headed back to our hotel and packed up my backpack full of our beach gear and started the almost 4km walk to the beach. It was warm, but it was okay. However, even with no pack my feet were aching, so I was happy we decided to do the beach walk instead of the Historical walk for today.

By the time we approached the beach and climbed the hill to the top of the cliff to look down on the ocean, I was going nuts. It was crazy beautiful! I had all the cameras out and was taking pictures of everything. The golden beaches, the rolling waves, the immense dark cliffs, and the multi-tone blue of the water. It was spectacular. I was so happy we decided to walk out here.

We made it down to the water and pulled out our travel towels and plopped down and enjoyed the sun. The lifeguards came over and re-located the “Danger” sign for the riptides and undercurrents that were hiding in the water in front of us. We decided we should probably go for a swim considering we made it all the way out here, so we moved down the beach to the safer area and jumped into the freezing water! It was really cold on first impact, but it was the temperature of water that you got used to, so after a few minutes we were totally submerged and it felt great!! It was so much fun to dodge the waves and get sucked under a bit. So worth the walk.

You know it’s a beautiful day when you leave the beach after 5pm! It was still a nice hot walk back to the hotel, but we were all nice and refreshed from the ocean, so it wasn’t so bad. I was really glad we decided to miss the walk between the two cities in favour of walking to the beach and back instead. I know we would not have made it to this wonderful beach if we had done the walk between. Even though we only visited the town and walked to the beach we still walked over 13km today! Not bad.

After getting all organized and hanging up our stuff to dry, we wandered through the town to figure out where we should eat dinner. Because it was a bit cooler now because of the wind, it wasn’t necessary to eat outside, and we had already eaten at the restaurant in the main square. We decided on a restaurant (I already forget the name….it was like “Natural something”) and there was a huge cork tree inside of it.

Not long after sitting down to eat (and them immediately binging our “covert” of olives, pate and carrots) guess who would walk in – Jenni and Bruce! So random. What are the chances. We heard a bit about the hike we missed today and that finally Jenni was going to be able to walk tomorrow again. I guess we know we won’t see them now that we are getting on a bus for Lisbon tomorrow!

Dinner was spectacular. We ordered another two person dish that is cooked in a covered metal dish (I will Have to get the name – it is a local dish). Inside was a tonne of seafood and potatoes. There was so much food, I couldn’t quite believe that it was officially a dish for 2 people. It could, once again, fed 4 people! We couldn’t finish it all and I felt bad leaving the seafood behind.

Tomorrow we take the bus back to Lisbon. We were hoping to squeeze in Sintra and/or Vila Nova de Milfontes because I know people have raved about these locations. We had too many travel days in our less than two weeks here, however, so we won’t be able to hit these until next time we’re here.

Later

-Allison

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