Day 3 Rota Vicentina to Zambujeira do Mar

Another stunning cliff top walk on which, at last, we get to see the fishermen that give this stretch of the route its name.  Other outstanding features included the colours of the some of the rocks, intensely rusty,  colours of some ancient desert and the cormorants who were as death defying as the fishermen.  In total the walk was 22km long, a little longer than yesterday, the first half was better than the second.
A fisherman on the Fishermen's Trail


The day started well with a walk down a secluded valley below Almograve although the route got a little too close and personal to the sewage works which was strategically positioned on the way down to a little beach. After climbing up a big red light house, the Cabo Sardao, on top of a cliff we decided to walk below the cliff along the beach to the next headland.  The beach was stunning, and sloped steeply into a sea made frantic by huge crashing waves.
Phoning home

Straight back!


For the next 3 km the route followed a dirt road on top of the cliff, with signs every 200m or so encouraging the locals to participate in stretching exercises. Only Christine took the signs seriously. Below the cliffs, perched on dangerous looking rocks, fishermen were trying to extract fish from the surf.
Cormorant drying its wings
Cormorant in the surf


The dirt road finished at a little fishing harbour and the route then followed a cliff path along what was probably the best stretch of the route so far.  The scenery, set off by perfect weather was excellent, with storks and cormorants providing additional interest.  It was here we saw some of the amazing coloured rocks.
Amazing coloured rocks (1)
(2)


After about 5km of cliff top walking the route dived into an old pine forest and on into the village of Cavaleiro. It was Sunday, about 12 o'clock but a number of the locals were already drunk in the bar.  We chatted to a Scottish couple who, like so many of the other walkers we have seen, are walking the Fishermen's trail south to north courtesy of Inntravel.
Delicate surface


The route after lunch we followed a dirt road that tended to miss many of the more spectacular cliff top views.  The sandy surface is incredibly delicate, it doesn’t take a lot of footsteps to break it up and start a cycle of erosion which the park authorities are trying to avoid so, apart from a few well trailed detours, we stuck to the designated route.
Sunset at Zambujeira do Mar

Zambujeira do Mar is a modern little town perched above a lovely beach which, once the main season kicks in, must be very busy.  On a Sunday night it was very empty and about 6 fish food restaurants completed for the custom of about 8 walkers.  Hopefully they had more success at lunchtime.

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