Showing posts from April, 2024

Hike to Espichel cape. Lagoa Pequena and Lagoa de Albufeira. Portugal

Distance 22 km (gpx) , Elevation gain 312 m, Elevation loss 190 m On that hike we found ourselves drowning in a sea of soft sand and wading through a maze of sharp reeds. Yet, we managed to catch the last bus home from a distant cape as the sun began to set. Here’s a recount of that exhausting but rewarding day. In my ongoing quest for hidden natural swimming spots around Setúbal, I was captivated by the sight of two lakes on the map, situated to the north-west of town: Lagoa Pequena and Lagoa de Albufeira . With a quick investigation into public transport, I discovered an accessible route: a morning train to Coina, followed by bus #3540 to the Observatório das Aves . From there, I charted a 22-km hike to Cabo Espichel (the southwestern corner of the Setúbal peninsula), a journey that was supposed to follow the marked E9 route (or so I believed). As we rode the bus, a wave of concern swept over me. The endless fences lining the road seemed to suggest that our exploration of na

Hiking and skinny dipping. Rota da Serra in Grândola, Alentejo

Distance 17 km (gpx) , Elevation gain 405 m, Elevation loss 405 m A year ago, we traded the snowy peaks for the vast ocean’s embrace. Yet, the melody of swift cascading streams and the might of roaring waterfalls in winter and spring remained etched in our hearts. The thrill of skinny dipping in the crisp months lingered in our memories as a cherished pastime. Our longing for these experiences led us to the discovery of Ribeira de Grândola , a hidden gem nestled 80 kilometers south of our coastal abode. Anticipating the chilly caress of the river against my skin, I mapped out a 17-kilometer hike that partially followed the stream’s edge. Satellite images hinted at a smaller creek in the vicinity, a secret haven perfect for bathing. The journey began with an 8:45 bus from Setúbal to Grândola, costing 7.75 euros, a fare higher than expected. Accustomed to our county’s affordable public transport, we were unpleasantly surprised. But Grândola, part of the Alentejo region, operated