Today was a long, fairly hot walk. We set out at 10 am when it still looked as if it might rain a bit but by mid-afternoon Mike's thermometer read 32, The countryside was lovely. On one side of the river it was hilly with lots of cistus (white rock roses), lavender and eucalyptus plantations. On the other side of the river it was hilly with many orange and tangerine groves. We als saw vegetable gardnes by the river, "beaver tail" cactus and century plants. We ate our lunch of bread and cheese and custard tarts by the side of the track. According to our map, we walked about 16.5 km but accoridng to our pedometer it was more like 21.5. We got home about 5:30 and after having showers and me doing the hand laundry we walked into town to the Lidl (supermarket) to buy some water, fruit, tarts, e tc. for our walk tomorrow.
The practical travel note for today - if you go away for 5 weeks and only take 3 tops and walk around in the hot sun, you will eventually have to do some laundry. This is not too hard if you have a sink - but the worry is getting things to dry overnight. However, Portugal is so dry that I think everything will be dry by tomorrow morning when we leave for our next walk and next hotel.
Dinner was delicious and again a very good bargain - $15 for couvert (bread and olives and sardine paste), mistrel (mixed) salad, chops or hake plus carrots, beans and fries, dessert and a small bottole of wine and a smaller bottle of water - and tea. Which needs to next travel tip - getting enough to drink in Portugal is a challenge because the water is very high in calcium and we have been warned several times not to drink it - but bottled water costs as much as wine (though not that much). With us in the dining room were 24 cyclists from Germany, travelling in a big orange coach with all their bikes in a trailer behind - they ignored us... We have never seen so many thin people in one room together.
Tomorrow on to Monchique to walk up the highest point in the Algarve.