Today we walked another piece of the Seven Hanging Valleys trail. We have a touchscreen gps in the car so I just touched the screen where I thought that the lighthouse would be. Perfect, it took us right to the lighthouse which is at the halfway mark of the trail. Today a short walk 30 minutes out then 30 minutes back.
A quick trip to the grocery store and then the liquor store. 4 Peroni beer, a bottle of local white wine, and a bottle of Portugese rose 9.44 euros or about $14 Canadian. It would be at least twice that in Ontario.
Monday is our cleaning day (or so we thought) so we are trying to get out of the way by going on an extended car tour. Today we drove to Monchique a village at the top of the highest mountain that is visible from the coast.
We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the top of the mountain near a village called Foia - it was a beautiful view.
We met a couple of Brits while taking in the view. Although British his mother had lived in Portugal for 30 years and they were reminiscing about how the road has changed in those 30 years. It was their job to come up the mountain to fill water bottles for their mother in the spring-fed fountain. Today she purchases bottled water.
Every morning Carol and I get up and scan all of the news broadcasts and government websites to see how countries (especially Canada) are dealing with the Coronavirus virus. So far we are freaked out about the impact on China but still feel that the Canadian medical system has things under control. It is a mess in China and will be very difficult to bring back under control. I have done some rudimentary pandemic planning in the past and this is unnerving.
Today we enjoyed another beautiful sunny day with a temperature that hit 70 degrees. We watched the finals of the Australian Open then went to the beach to soak our feet in the Atlantic Ocean. Very nice.
Then a walk to the top of the cliffs and along the boardwalk and back into town. Once back we stopped at our local British pub for a beer, sangria, and a shared toastie.
These are nice sentiments don't you thinK?
Our first trip in our rental car. First the car - a 2019 Renault Clio, diesel, 5-speed, manual, 5 door. A great little car. I had forgotten how much I enjoy driving in Europe. The cars are quick, the roads narrow, the round abouts are round but most of all the steering wheel is on the left side of the car.
For the 1st week we had power walked 5 kilometres to the interMarche for groceries. Now we can go every hour if we want.
Back to our 1st day trip to Silves. There is a beautiful little town about 20 kilometres inland with a cathederal and a fort. We toured both and frankly they are well done as an attraction. The cathederal was fairly run down but it was 800 years old. The fort has been restored in the 1960s.
Friday - between matches from the Australian Open and watching the proceedings of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump we drove to Benagil, a tiny village on the Atlantic coast so that we could walk another portion of the Seven Hanging Valleys trail. This trail was identified in 2019 as the best hiking trail in Europe and the scenary that it exposes is certainly worth it being called best.
Benagil is not at either end of the trail, it is somewhat in the middle. We did an out and back with a total up and down time of about 90 minutes.
Here are some of the sites along the way as taken by Carol.
Today a driving day trip to a coastal town about 30 kilometres along the coast. I was accompanied by a lady in a blue jacket. It was about 20 degrees today and the town was built on hills. Albufeira is a big town and it took us a while to get oriented in the oldest part of town. We ate our first toastie (English grilled cheese and ham - quite delish but not on our food plan).
I thought that delishish was a word but I could not find it anywhere. Hmmm
One of our Uber drivers spoke highly of her home village of Ferragudo. For our second trip in our rental car we decided to see some of the sights that she talked about. It is directly across the river from Portimao a fairly large city that she was driving us to so that we could get a SIM card for our phone. We now have a Portugese phone number for emergencies.
This photo is of Portimao across the river.
This 2nd photo is just a shot of a fairly typical street scene off the mainstreet of Ferragudo.
It has been raining all day. We have an umbrella but the streets are so narrow that any car or truck passing by can soak you to the knees (pants hanging near the register at this time). I have rented a car starting Monday so tht I can compete on a level footing with the other drivers. It reminds me of 'Rainy Night In Georgia - by Brook Benton'.
Have a listen:
Take out tonight: Chicken Korma, Steamed Rice, Potato Samosa, Garlic Naan, Peroni.
Our 1st morning of walk was 2.5 kilometers to the local supermarket to pick up some chorizo, bread, cheese and other staples. We have a Supermercado across the street but the assortment is limited and the prices a little higher. We will buy water there rather than carry gallons of water 2.5K and wine we have found at a great local store. I have downloaded Vivino to help pick wine.
Our 2nd morning of walk - up 80 steps to the crest and then a couple of kilometers on a wonderful boardwalk followed by another kilometer on a path. When we hit a large valley we turned back. We will have a second look at the valley another day with the objective to get by and to continue on for a few more klicks.
The following is a photo of the main street of Carvoeiro. We are on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the building with the portrait of a lady painted on its side. The top floor is our terrace (if you look closely you might be able to see a pair of my travel underware drying in the wind.) The owner of our unit also owns the main floor jewellry shop (Carol has already picked out her piece, y'all should send your orders along.)