The Walker(s)

Today begins the story of a crossing of the Rota Vicentina, which is part of a broader personal project of reaching Santiago de Compostela on foot from the Algarve

T1 E1 – Cabo de S. Vicente > Vila do Bispo

This is about “stories” of paths and hikers but, for the guys who are not fans of the series, it is necessary to decode the T1 E1, which is nothing more than Season 1, Episode 1.

As in the TV series, there are some pilot episodes, to see if the subject has a leg to go (this phrase is really adequate, isn't it?) and then, if it works, there's a sequel with several seasons.

In this case, the first episodes are to know if the little legs can stand, and let's see how far I'll go. For now, we are going to follow the Rota Vicentina along a path that is not one of the most used, the Historical Path. Although at some points this route follows the most famous Fishermen's Route, I found it more interesting to go through lesser-known areas, hoping to see other landscapes.

Technically speaking, from Cabo de S. Vicente to Vila do Bispo it is 14 km, with an approximate duration of 4 hours and classified as “Easy”. We left in the middle of the Bird Watching Festival, hoping to see the people looking at the birds.

But there was no one upside down watching the animals because the day was full of clouds, threatening to rain, with a lot of wind, so the birds lay still, because the weather conditions did not invite big flights.

And it started to rain. As is well known, for a self-respecting Algarvian, any drop of water is a deluge. And we did have a flood. Lots of rain, strong wind, but, to our great surprise, we came to the conclusion that there are a lot of crazy people, as we came across others (and others, as they say now) who were also walking even in these weather conditions.

But a hiker is a hiker and off we went. The rain lasted about two hours, but it wasn't very unpleasant, as we were well equipped and it wasn't cold. At the end of that time, escaped, the wind quickly dried us, the sun appeared and we arrived in Vila do Bispo already with our raincoats in our backpacks and in our nightgowns.

A few words for the landscape, wild, rude, as is the tone of the Costa Vicentina, but more diverse than it seems at first sight. The woods are fine and you can see the different uses of the soil: there are untouched areas, where there is esparto, areas that were already intervened by man, but that are no longer and are now developing naturally, areas recently used for cultivation of cereals (since the soil is poor, it can only be used for this purpose again after it has been left fallow for a few years), stretches of sand, pine forest and some roads...

Another warning is that this was supposed to be a solitary walk, but at a good time and thankfully, friends and family decided to take a few days to share the adventure. And so, on this first day, the company was very comprehensive, as we had people from the areas of marketing, architecture, newspapers, procurement, education and this scribe, (recently) retired, who signs himself as:

The Walker.


(Go on)