I wake to a bright and sunny day. The wind has died down and the sea is much calmer. It promises to be a wonderful day hiking. Today the trail is only 15km and I have nothing to race to the other end for. So I take my time. I’m barely 3km from Vila Nova de Milfontes when I reach a white sandy beach. It’s too good to resist and I spend about half an hour just sitting there enjoying the warm sunshine.
Behind me are the first of the cliffs that I will walk across today.
I climb to the top of the cliffs and the trail turns east through farmland. Today I will spend most of my time walking through and past farmland. The farms come right to the tops of the cliffs today in some places. There’s a turf farm and a carrot farm and a cattle farm and some market gardens.
But don’t think that walking through farmland is dull. There’s still plenty to see. Like this moss covered rock.
And this insect covered in pollen.
And lots of pretty flowers.
The trail is varied and at times heads back through the dunes to the top of the cliffs. It’s fascinating to walk in such deep sand at the top of such tall cliffs. I have always associated sand dunes with being at beach level, not tens of meters up like this.
There are even sea shells up here.
And plenty of signs of life. There’s plenty of bird foot prints, small animal tracks and even some deer hoof prints. It’s so thoroughly enjoyable that it takes me over six hours to walk just 15km. That’s slow for me. But I’m distracted by the beauty and have nowhere to be.
I stop often just to sit and admire the ocean views. It’s just a lovely day to relax and walk a bit in between the relaxing. This is why I love hiking so much. You go at your pace in harmony with nature. You can’t fight it. When it’s windy like yesterday you move on a bit and when it’s glorious like today, you take it easy.
I arrive in Almograve late in the afternoon. I stay at an old-school youth hostel where the best thing is the 10 euro price tag and the kitchen that allows me to self-cater. There’s no wifi in my room so I fall asleep early for once (I usually stay up late to catch Paul with the time difference and to work / blog). It was another fantastic day today.