Rota Vicentina

Historical path - Part III

"... I could wander forever along the paths of the cork oakland. Maybe one day I would get tired ... but for now I just wanted to continue!"

A new day! My room Historic Route of the Vincentian Route! And how time eludes me when I'm wrapped in the magic of adventure. He could wander forever along the paths of the cork oaks. Maybe one day I would get tired… but for now I just wanted to continue!

And what do we have for today? The rustic kitchen refrigerator seemed to have the answer! Someone, we suspect that French, wrote with fat letters right on the door - “Aujourd'hui soleil“! In Portuguese it would be ”today Sol“. The perfect menu for my trip through Alentejo lands. a Salt large and warm that accompanies and illuminates the path, that gives life to things and animals and that entertains me with a landscape of a thousand and one colors.

In a corner of the counter, a basket of oranges. One could read about it on a small sign “special orange juice“. Who could want more ?! An orange juice prepared early in the morning, which together with a slice of cake, left me smiling from ear to ear. It is incredible the affection that this hostel “WOW Alentejo”Presents us in every single detail. For this very reason, before I snuck out into the street, I left a few words loose in a small post-it yellow. And there he stayed, camouflaged among dozens of so many others, printed on the surfboard that served as decoration in the lounge.

The first stage of this day, until St. Teotonius, it was approaching easy and very quiet. Perhaps one of the most accessible Historical Path given the nature of the path, it is always wide and has a slight slope. Perfect for enjoying the carefree pace of its inhabitants.

I started the day on the riverside of Mira River, where I had the joy of having a good conversation with the Mr. Fernandes, inhabitant of the village of Odemira. We walked along the pleasant wooden walkway to the red bridge over the river. After another sneaky farewell, I passed the iron bridge, where like me, the river also curves to the right. After a few hundred meters, I left the asphalt, and with it the odemirense civilization.

I followed the dirt road in the company of the river, just to my left side, enjoying for the last brief moments, the view of the village that was getting further and further back.

The surrounding landscape made me forget for a moment what stayed there. I returned to enter the fantasy world of chaparros, cork and cork oaks! It was then that I left the company of Mira River and passed by the farm Bird, where I was unable to stop. I jumped at a glance! Just to be able to give some parties to a beautiful horse grazing on the other side of the fence.

"... The surrounding landscape made me forget for a moment what stayed there. I returned to enter the fantasy world of chaparros, cork and cork trees."

"... Reminds me of the simplicity of the world and of being, a simplicity that can only be understood when we move away from so many other things ..."

What a lovely horse! Its back ... a light brown. Same as the path you now followed. And the mane, the tail and the paws… a more intense brown, with locks of other shades! Just like the trunks uncovered by a cork oak that has just been stripped. Its muzzle ... docile and serene, reclines on the green ground. It reminds me of the simplicity of the world and of being, a simplicity that can only be understood when we move away from so many other things. When we learn to slow down the pace imposed by an increasingly agitated and automated society.

What a perfect nature ... that goes without haste. That fulfills an endless cycle, where everything is carefully interconnected and in balance.

I continued to cycle, for a few kilometers, through agricultural fields and patches of forest. I remember going up the road and having a butterfly flying beside me. I have been in this place for so long that I feel like I belong to him… and everything seems possible… even a butterfly can become a traveling companion! I still exchanged a few words while she flapped her little yellow wings, but, a little later, there she went off towards the meadows, gracefully.

Further on, I found the Ribeira de São Teotónio. A stream with smooth curves, showing the small slope of the terrain. From here, the path runs parallel to it. However, most of the time we don't even see it. What we do see is the riparian gallery, a continuous line of trees that follows the banks of the river, mostly alders, ash and willows. As it had recently rained, and during a good season, the entire meadow, inserted in the alluvial surface, was vibrating in a green tone. 

Here and there, I found some hikers. Let a “Hello" or one "Good Day”With a joy of the size of the world and continued his journey. I already knew what it was like if I stopped to talk to every person that crossed my path… I never reached my destination again!

However… a few moments later, going up a hill at a slower pace, I came across a pair of warped boots. They showed such kindness that they slowed me down for a while and stayed for a chat. Karin e Reinder, both of Dutch nationality, and like me, did the Rota Vicentina, just in a different way. Hikers and cyclists, we both shared in words the passion for nature and adventure. We also talk about our lives, our different countries and so many other things… and we laugh, we laugh a lot!

I said goodbye with a feeling of affection, as if I were someone I had known for a long time. The bonds that we create along the way are incredible ... Just a few moments are needed to make strong connections. This is one of the things that I love most about travel, especially those that take place in a natural environment, where everything happens more easily!

Even before crossing the river for the last time, something catches my eye! It's a donkey! Armed as a watchdog, he starts braying and running towards me. What an apparatus, sir! He only calmed down when he was leaning against the fence right in front of me. Such a beautiful and quaint animal, with dark brown fur and beige outlines here and there. Maybe even a little sad look. I wander about your lonely life. I don't know if it's my imagination! As long as I can remember, I’m like this. It seems that I feel the joy or sadness that runs through the souls of animals and people. And I let myself be carried away by that state as it was also mine.

I stayed briefly with the burrito, only to leave it alone again. Only, in your little world within fences.

"... I said goodbye with a feeling of affection, as if I were someone I had known for a long time ..."

"... this time I wasn't alone. I had someone to laugh with, to have fun with and share moments and landscapes with."

After going through Linhares Valley, I started to see some farms that announced the arrival in St. Teotonius. My visit to the small village was brief ... I stopped at a humble cafe to buy something to serve me lunch, I went around the church square and headed south!

A few meters ahead and I was back to what I like to call bush. Here, a trail goes up through a silent forest, covered with cork oaks, oaks, pines and arbutus. The ideal place for a lunch break.

I left the trail, took a few steps forward and sat down beside a wild pine tree. Among the foliage, he could peer into the valley where the modest village sits. That time seemed magical to me! Everything enchanted me there, even the silence! Silence that was only broken when I start to hear voices… and ?! Bikes maybe! The noise was getting closer until three men appeared! I was overjoyed! It was the first time I met someone on a bicycle around there! We talked about our bikes and our destinations. And although they are not doing the Rota Vicentina, went on to odeceis, just like me.

Still with half sandwiches between teeth I joined them!

The rest of the afternoon was fantastic, different from the previous ones… this time I was not alone. I had someone to laugh with, to have fun with and share moments and landscapes with. It is neither better nor worse, just different. Alone or accompanied, I try to remove the best in each moment ... there are emotions that only I can feel alone and moments that only accompanied can I have.

To have joined, by chance, the pedaling of these three, was a spectacular surprise! And the team was assembled with the Joaquim Loureirothe Peter Lucas and the Paulo Santos.

Time has flown by! After walking half lost on the plateau, distracted by the conversation, there we turned to the left to descend the well preserved bank of Closing Valley. After passing an eucalyptus area, with the Cerrado stream on our left side, we reached the steepest and, perhaps the most difficult climb of the entire route Historical Path. Distracted by the conversation and joking of my pedal buddies, we reached the top. From up there, a rewarding view of the mountains and the Valley of garlic, that extends to the village of odeceis. Once again… the ocean Atlantic waited on the horizon.

If the climb had been steep, the descent had nothing to lose! I had so much fun going down the dirt path! And when things seemed to complicate, I just thought “let go of the brakes!”.

I reached the valley in a flash, still full of adrenaline! When the guys came down here, they boasted about their dexterity and courage. I was overjoyed and proud! I felt good, stronger than ever! It was as if my life had become this. The art of pedaling and continuing to pedal your way out. After a break to regain energy, talk, and laugh a little more, we continue until odeceis, where the wife and daughter of the Pedro were waiting for us.

On the terrace of a Chinese restaurant, the smelly and dirty travelers were well received! At the table, we toasted our day, our feats and shapes ... and, of course, toasted our unpredictable friendship! As unpredictable as finding a girl named Inês, just like me, with two "thumb thumbs" like mine!

Afternoon, very late… and with beer rising to my head, there I said goodbye to everyone with hugs  tight. I crossed the village and went up to the coastal plateau. Here the markings were fleeting, and with the light already dim, I ended up walking around without finding the right path. Without another chance, I ended up going back to the national road and doing the last kilometers until Rogil.

It was already dark when I arrived at Small Farmhouse Mojud! A figure appeared in the distance. It was the Supriya! I hugged her so happy I was about to see her. He had finally made it home!

"... I felt good, stronger than ever! It was as if my life had become this. The art of cycling and continuing to cycle the way out."

vicentina route

Alentejo, Portugal

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