Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Raposeira round trip via Cape St Vincent . . .

Sitting in the sun at Sagres, last town before the end of the south coast walk and the beginning of the western one - Rota Vicentina . . . spoilt for choice, since the Via Algarviana to Alcoutim, through inland Algarve, also starts near here.

The Ayamonte - Cabo St Vicentina footpath is my own creation, the official version is the eco-via cycle route, which I have followed from time to time.

The walk has been an immersive experience in the hell that has been created over decades of over-development, separating locals from their land, bribing them into servitude, wealth for some, slavery for others, ecocide evident everywhere, with exceptions of course. Jorge said older Portuguese people were rude to English people. I find them reserved, but maybe they express their feelings within the Portuguese community. His father yearned for some land to grow some vegetables. Now the property owner Jorge works for is renting him a small patch. Once land values are tied to building, who wants to grow potatoes? Though the tighter planning in the national park means houses surrounded by vegetable gardens re-appear after Burgau.

The feeling at the surfer hostel was so good, I booked another night, since the new route goes back through Vila do Bispo and I really enjoyed being with the surf dudes . . . soul cousins. It is an international crew, connecting to Nature in an elemental way, open-hearted, interesting and interested.

They talk of another international set nearby - hippies, living their own version of the free life. With drugs. Musing on whether to drop in with the drop outs for blog material, but not drawn.

At Sagres tourist info is easily found, a beautiful soul, Candida, engages readily, offers a guide book for the Rota Vicentina, free "for now". Mentions Sir Francis Drake, who destroyed the local fort. My memory from school was his heroic defence of Britain against the Spanish Armada. They still give knighthoods to scoundrels.

The final 5km to the Cape was quick . . . and spectacular . . . and after a picnic lunch, it's on with the return to Vila do Bispo and the first leg of the new challenge - 230 km up the west coast, the first 14 now done. At the hostel the fire is on, the surfers are back from the sea, tea has been cooked and eaten in the shared kitchen and tomorrow's stage is 22 km to Carrapateira . . . relaxed after today's 30+ . . .

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