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 Walk Across Europe

2004-04-12 - Trip 2 - Leg 16

Portugal, Algarve East

Cacela to Vila Real

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24.1 km today.
2.7 km/h average today.
9 hours 0 mins walking time.
104.7 km this trip.
246.7 km from start.
6 metres minimum height.
54 metres maximum height.
110 metres ascent.
132 metres descent.
 Track Log: Logged.
 Travel: Train.

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Farm and country lanes. Beach.

Carry on along the road behind the platform heading east and turn left beyond the station. Soon you join another road which heads towards Portela and Ribeiro do Alamo (5 minutes). Head inland along this road until you see a right turn to Portela (10 minutes). Take this. On your left you pass a wonderful old farmhouse and mill being done up. There is also a threshing floor on the right (15 minutes). When you get to a T-junction, turn left (20 minutes), go over a stream and stay on the main road ignoring a left turn. You now pass through a village (Arrife?) on a road which runs parallel with the new motorway. You pass some reservoirs with reed mace growing in them and also algal bloom. Further reservoirs were being built beyond (35 minutes).

Continue until you reach a cross-roads. Go straight over on to the unsurfaced track (left goes to Montinho and Cabeço (55 minutes). Then at the next T-junction with a surfaced road turn to the right and then immediately left beyond the house on to another unsurfaced track (1 hour). Go left again at the following T- junction (1 hour 5 minutes) and head under the motorway. You cross over a ditch and across a stream (dry this time) (1 hour 10 minutes). Beyond this is a Y-junction where you bear left on the main track which now swings round to the right and uphill towards a windmill (1 hour 20 minutes). Eventually you reach the summit (1 hour 30 minutes). At the next T-junction go to the right. When you reach a second T-junction, turn right again and go back under the motorway (2 hours). You cross over a ditch (2 hours 5 minutes) pass some flooded fields with small white flowers growing in the water (2 hours 10 minutes). You get to a T-junction with a surfaced road and turn right. (2 hours 20 minutes). Soon there is a further T-junction where you turn right again and go over the railway line (left is signed to Castro Marim, right is signed to São Bartolomeo). Ahead of you, you can see Castro Marim castle and less attractively on your left is the motorway.

The next landmark is Castro Marim station which you reach in a few minutes (2 hours 35 minutes). Once past the station, you enter the village of São Bartolomeo. At the next cross roads, go straight over and then, at the following set soon after, turn left towards Fonte (2 hours 40 minutes). You cross over a stream and head uphill into Fonte itself (2 hours 50 minutes). Eventually you reach Azeda. You continue until you get to a cross-roads where you go straight over (3 hours 30 minutes) along the road signed to Adão e Eva - fig leaf needed? (3 hours 10 minutes). When you get to a T-junction turn left. There were campers here when we passed through. Soon you get to the Cafe Adão e Eva surrounded by little castellated bollards (3 hours 25 minutes). Continue straight ahead until you get the sea and then turn left and walk along the beach.

Eventually you reach the Banco de O'Brill and the first breakwater (4 hours 20 minutes). You then see that the far breakwater which you may have hoped was on the Spanish side is in fact also in Portugal and so you have to carry on. Eventually you reach the second breakwater (4 hours 45 minutes). Here you can go out to the port river mouth marker, but we turned left along the river bank towards Vila Real. Carry on keeping as close to the river as possible, past the lifeboat station until you get to a cross roads (5 hours 10 minutes). Turn right here and then left to get back to the river. Go along the bank again through a garden, past the ferry to Spain, the bus station and the disused river-bank railway station. When you get to the level crossing, turn left along a track and follow this until you get to some waste land, continue to head in the same direction as the railway line until you get to the station forecourt (5 hours 50 minutes).

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