T1 E3 – Carrapateira>Arrifana
It was hard. 24 kilometers, 550 meters of accumulated ascent, 500 m of accumulated descent. Classified as "something difficult".
Right outside Carrapateira, we had a problem. Remember yesterday's watermelons? The box where they were going, duly cut up and ready to eat, did not seal and spilled into the backpack. There we had to improvise a dry cleaning.
We started the path animated by the singing of the red-breasted robins…and we really needed it because the climb was strong.
The team was the same and we continued to find many hikers. Just in the first kilometers, before Bordeira, we came across a Brazilian and three Italians.
After 5 km, we reached the village, refilled with water and had a cup of coffee. That's when we had a very interesting conversation with Francisco, a nine-year-old boy who studies in Lisbon, at the Escola Alemã.
Continuing the walk, I was summoned by fellow biologists to refer, I quote, “the intoxicating smell of cistus, eucalyptus and fig trees” that we were finding. My scent system isn't a big deal, but I believe what they say – and I learned that strawberry trees don't smell.
It doesn't smell, but the arbutus we were eating tasted very good. Along the way, we picked up some quinces, as well as some pine cones to light the barbecue planned for the night. And even the watermelon box was filled with pine needles.
We started to consider taking a 2 km detour for refueling, but the path, with the ups and downs, started to take effect and we gave up on the idea.
But luck also exists. Didn't we come across, right on the side of the road, the bar-restaurant “forty & four”? If we hadn't eaten our sandwiches a kilometer back, we would have had lunch there, as promised. So, we stick to the traditional imperial ones.
A very important note: we make these technical stops because we like to support local businesses, don't get us wrong.
We took a long stretch of straight and it even felt like we were in Australia: red earth and eucalyptus trees on both sides.
However, the legs and feet begin to show the first signs of effort, indicating the brutal ascent of the Canal beach. At this point, we were already very quiet and introspective, ranging from “but why did I get into this” to “we have to take care of the barbecue”, passing by “let's go guys, it's almost there”.
On this Canal beach, there were dozens of surfers and it is very interesting to see its importance in the region. In the most remote places, there was a surf camp, local accommodations geared towards this sport, vans transporting personnel, an entire economy based on this activity.
After six and a half hours of walking, we reached Arrifana. Tired, but we've arrived. The hiker went for a swim on the beach, while we waited at the bar, to the sound of “It's a beautiful day” by U2.
By the way: it's not easy to get a stamp to document the Pilgrim's Credential. This time, I was helped by the wife of Senhor Virgílio, who called her husband so that he could post the stamp of the Fishermen's Association of Portinho da Arrifana and Costa Vicentina at the headquarters.
Read also about the other episodes of crossing the Rota Vicentina d'O Caminhante:
T1 E1 – Cabo de S. Vicente>Vila do Bispo