Out at eight, into the rain again. Coffee and toastie and off to find a shop for provisions.
Rain eases and the path climbs steeply out of Monchique, becomes steeper and narrower, wind picks up and gets stronger as I climb higher . . . on rocks . . . cape thinks it's a kite, rucksack cover too . . . stash both and scramble to the peak and a viewpoint, with a tower to climb . . . pass on that, since there is no view today, but thanks anyway route planners . . . maybe better to mark such adventures as optional extras . . .
The next challenge comes a couple of hours on . . . a river, fuller than usual after yesterday's rain . . . a couple of fallen trees offer a tricky crossing and just feeling smug when the track wants to go back to the other side, this time with no trees, only submerged stepping stones, so it's shoes, socks and trousers off and in . . . water below the knees, but flowing fast . . . dressed again and very soon another crossing, this time there was a bridge, recently removed by the river in spate . . . wading again, over the knees . . . all of which slows the pace, along with ups and downs, but thankfully, sunshine . . . after the excitement it's just plodding on, watching for the signs . . . no towns or villages, no coffee, just hills, eucalyptus, cork and pine trees, a few houses dotted around . . . and finally, ten hours after leaving Monchique, it's Silves . . . another €15 room and a proper meal in an empty restaurant, which has just filled with a surprise birthday party . . . time to go!