Monday, 23 May 2011

Portugal walk 2 - Praia da Luz to Lagos

This walk followed the cliff top path between Praia da Luz and Lagos. The total distance for this walk was 6.17 miles, although I should confess early on that this was done at a somewhat leisurely pace with a number of stops at cafes, and at one point the beach, along the way.

As we drove towards the start point of Praia da Luz we found we were being followed by some rather ominous looking rain clouds, perhaps suggesting that it wasn't the best day for a coastal walk. The rain cloud certainly seemed to follow us for most of the day, although the most rain we saw were a few light drops occasionally, and in fact we got some good periods of sunshine for much of the walk.

We started off with and drink on the seafront at Praia da Luz before tacking the walk to the concrete obelisk at top of the cliffs which begins the walk out of Luz. The 'slope' to the obelisk is particularly steep and much of it involves scrambling rather than walking. At the time this was exhausting but made it worth it for the spectacular views, and cakes, when we reached the top!

even steeper than it looks

The route then continued more or less tracing the Algarve coastline through to our end point of Lagos. Along the way we stopped at a couple of cafes for refreshments, for a walk down to look at a grotto at
Ponta de Piedade and for an extended beach stop at  Praia de Dona Ana.
From here it was only a short walk into our end point in Lagos so it was a relief to replace the walking boots at this point with more beach friendly flip flops. Incidentially, while speaking of my walking boots, I did find that my boots got a lot muddier than anyone elses. The only reason I can think of for this must be that they give me a greater sense of security, so I'm happy to take the more direct, muddy routes. I am rather pleased though to now have muddy boots, I suddenly feel like a 'proper' walker rather than the rookie with the shiney new kit!
The guidebook for this walk did warn to be cautious of aggressive dogs (we didn't encounter any) and bulldozers which, prior to the walk, I thought was an odd thing to warn of. However, the curse of the vague instructions (see last walk) in the guidebook did mean that we found ourselves taking a wrong turn and walking straight across a building site, which indeed was populated with many bulldozers....
beware bulldozers....

Although the relaxed pace probably didn't make this the most effective training walk I've ever done it was nonetheless a lovely route and seeing the GPS route map afterwards, and being able to see the clear, albeit small, line of coast we covered gave a real sense of achievement.

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