Black and White

December 7, 2017

What I am about to type, I first wrote by hand in a notebook, very unusual as I have a tendency to type more than I write, a speedier process, but perhaps one that does not give me enough time to think about the actual words I type….

I have not written in this notebook for a long time, more than six months! I am currently waiting for my desktop computer to catch up to my commands. Why is it so slow? It may have something to do with saving to the cloud. That cloud must match the one outside. It is saturated.

Georgian Bay is long gone .The lighthouse is disappearing into a uniformly grey sky.. The tone of that grey is getting darker as night descends. Somewhere the sun is setting but it is not at all visible in any direction at Cobble Beach today.

This week I have been experimenting with black and white photography. Why, you might well ask. A friend, Marie, issued me a challenge on Facebook to post a black and white photo each day for seven days. I am to post each photo with no people, no comment, no explanation, photos of my life. Then each day I have also dutifully extended the challenge to someone else. This is day five of the challenge for me.

In the course of the past five days my world has become more and more monochrome as the days shorten and the snow falls, and falls. In the past twenty-four hours more than thirty centimetres of snow has blanketed our neighbourhood.

The snow began in earnest yesterday afternoon with fierce winds driving it horizontally past my windshield as I drove home from a delicious potluck lunch in Port Elgin. I left behind the waves crashing on Lake Huron’s shore, splashing onto the road and icing the branches of shore-side trees and shrubs. The drive reminded me how grateful I am to be retired. I do not have to drive anywhere if I do not feel like it. My preferred mode of travel is walking, cycling and skiing. I will be able to take up skiing tomorrow after four days of golfing this week! Amazing weather changes!

I shoveled out our driveway when I arrived home yesterday. Brian cleaned it out again this morning. I reshovelled after him, adding the steps on both sides of the house and the front walk and porch.

This afternoon in the space of two hours as I cleaned out two friends’ driveways, the snow continued to fall straight down in huge wet flakes with no wind. The kind of snow that sticks to eyelashes. I love it!

Although I have seen such constant snowing in the past I still marvel at the magic and power of such a snowfall.

My efforts at cleaning driveways is no longer obvious as an additional fifteen centimetres have filled them in. My snow angel will soon have disappeared.In fact it is now so dark that I can no longer see it in the yard below even though the white snow is bright in the darkness.

Black and white, yes that is our winter. However, in the natural black and white winter world, I see colour. In the milkweed pod, a golden glow of seeks peeks out of the cracked pod. In a dark sky sunrise varying shades of pink and gold slowly leak across the horizon and line the clouds. Some days, not today, a patch of blue briefly sneaks into existence, a bright spot in a dull day.

Right now, as I look out, the bay has reappeared. The grey shade of the bay is now distinguishable from the far black shore, the medium grey sky and the white snow.

Alan did a fine job of decorating six small trees outside his townhouse, five with white lights and one with red. These sparkle in the black night. Our own small pine in the back yard is weighted down with red and white smudges of light.

I like colour photos more than black and white because even on a monochrome day, I glimpse colour, subtle perhaps, but there, and I like it. That little bit of colour warms my heart and brightens my life.

This black and white challenge is teaching me a thing or two about photography. I think it is more demanding of talent or skill or both. I need to learn more about editing photos and taking the photo using the optimum light in the correct direction.

I chatted with Brilynn on the phone as I waded shin deep through the falling snow along the buried golf course path. I consulted my photography expert on what I had to do to give my black and white photos more definition. Brilynn suggested that I download the snapseed app. I have done so and have even looked at a couple of the tutorials. I have so much to learn about editing photos: colour or black and white.

I sent Brilynn some of my colour photos and asked her to edit them as black and whites. She sent my milkweed pod back in seconds, edited with snapseed. I clapped my hands in delight. The monochrome milkweed pod no longer has black blobs hiding the features that I saw in real time, features I tried to capture with my IPhone. The seeds were missing in my black and white version. Brilynn knew how to use the tools to highlight those seeds.

I finished creating a forty-page book of colour photos this week. I like to assemble my photopages as collages. Many of you would probably say I included too many photos and that the photos would have stood out more with white space and fewer larger photos. No doubt you would be right, but making collages brings me joy. And that is good!

Brilynn pointed out that many of the editing tools are available in the editing software of my iPhone and iPad. I just have to dig a little deeper in those menus. Now perhaps if I learned more about editing I might even select fewer photos but spend more time making them just right. Unlikely!

It is a good thing that I typed this immediately after writing in my notebook. Probably a month from now I would not be able to decipher my hieroglyphics. Decoding handwriting is another reason to opt for typing or thumbing my blog. The resulting black and white text is legible.


Eulogy for November

We often say that November is a good month to head to sunnier warmer locations than southern Ontario. We think of November as a gloomy month. Our daughter questions why I gave birth to her in November when October is always a much more colourful month in which to celebrate one’s birthday. Brilynn is beyond the age when I have to explain conception and duration of a pregnancy.

It is true that on this last day of November we had a cold drizzle all day long, but I have fond memories of this month. I even looked back through Brian’s careful daily weather recording and note that there were only ten days this November in which we had some precipitation. It only snowed on three of those days. On the other days there were probably only three days when it poured rain. Most days it drizzled a little, let up for a while then drizzled a little more. That is not bad!

November has some of the best sunrises! This November was no exception. From my pillow I often open one eye early enough to see if there is colour over Georgian Bay. When there is, I am compelled to rise from my cozy nest and go into the living room to see just how special the sunrise is. Sometimes there is only a pink orange band glowing on the horizon but I have observed magnificent displays of rose, magenta, purple, fuchsia, tangerine, then pale pink before the golden sun dazzles me with its brilliant light and spills its reflection across number sixteen pond and Georgian Bay.

The days grow shorter and darker in November as we approach the winter solstice. It is time to turn inward and recline with a pile of books from the library, but this year we have continued to walk at least five kilometres a day around the golf course. Our morning yoga straightens our spine and rids me of headaches that sometimes plague my nights.

My cache from the library usually includes a travel guide to a different country as we contemplate a future adventure. We have not yet decided on a destination, but we have time to dream and wonder about the possibilities.

And then we have a surprise day such as November 28th when the temperature rises to 14C and we play nine holes on a deserted golf course. Windy, true, but sunny, most of the time!

Brian has not been participating in hunting in recent years but still helps the hunters with butchering and packaging. This means that November is also time for a venison pie making party with friends. We now have five delicious pies stored in our freezer.

In the United States, Thanksgiving heralds the end of November. Although we did not travel to Shawn and Agnes’ for Thanksgiving, we are thankful for the time we spent with them in Connecticut at the beginning of the month. We can be part of our grandchildren’s busy lives and provide a little support for their parents. We always enjoy hikes at Hammonasset and in the state forests. The oak leaves there this year provided greater variety of orange and brown colour than our own maple trees did. We think the wet summer and warm fall made autumn scenes less spectacular.

We marvel at the beauty of each day and recognize that November is also a gift for which we are grateful.

Vila Nova da Coa

Kayaking 18 km 4 hours 45 minutes to Vila Nova da Coa
Staying at Quinta Chao d’Ordem

September 5, 2017

(Addendum: I am not back in Portugal, but I am creating a photobook and just noticed that this day never made it to the internet- slow connection)

Just visited the Coa Rock Art Museum. Tremendous history dating back 30 000 years to rock carvings. The concrete building as viewed from the river looked like an ugly rectangular box, but up close it is pretty interesting beginning with the crevice like entrance and large mirrored interior walls built at odd angles. In 1994 the Coa dam project was stopped when archaeologists saw all the rock art that was to be flooded.

From the terrace of the museum we are looking way down to the river we paddled today. A cruise ship is now passing. It looks pretty slow from this height but the wake is visible from here and definitely felt when we were in our kayaks. Only three cruise ships passed us, one going up river and two going down. No one capsized at their passing but we did move closer to shore and it was useful to face the waves to cross them.

Everyone was very happy to arrive at our pull out close to 2 PM. We were more than ready for our picnic lunch which Rui, Carlos and Daniel had prepared for us. We had stretched our legs on one of the few sandy beaches at the seven kilometre mark. It was not my arms but my legs that were begging for the pullout. A watermelon was chilling in the river while we dined on chick peas and cod, white beans and cod, tomato salad and hard boiled eggs. Our guides were surprised that nearly all the women as well as the men wanted cold beer rather than red wine.

Our first full day on the river was a joy. Even though it was very hot, there was usually a breeze. We hugged the shore for shade in places, also to pick blackberries and apples. The grapes were too far up the hillsides to have any of them. The hills look very dry. There has not been much rain here all summer.

What a fabulous lodging we have this evening. Last night’s was very basic. Tonight we have the ritz: a vineyard with a gorgeous house with beautiful rooms all with en suites. Ours has a semicircular tub which I must use before bed. I already had a swim in the outdoor pool. One of the living areas has an olive press in it. The house is furnished with antiques and has great views of the vineyards.

Note to Margaret: remember the wonderful converted mill we stayed at in Spain after our 33 kilometre day? This place reminds me of there but it is bigger and fancier. You would love it!

Brian stayed here while I went to the museum with the six geologists of our group. Rain had to nurse his hip by drinking beer by the pool and taking a nap.

We just had the best meal. Each night outdoes the last! After tiny cherry tomatoes, cheese, salami, and tuna cream spread with fresh baguette, we had a mixed salad followed by a whole grilled dorado each (divine!), potatoes and carrots. Some opted for steak. Since there was so much steak left over, we had some too. The ice cream looked like mille feuille and was accompanied by almond brittle: delicious. To top all that off we had half a melon filled with port. Brian still had room for expresso. We went outside to admire the full moon over the vineyard.

Tub time then sweet dreams!

October Delights

Kayaking and Swimming
October 2, 2017
5:23 PM

That was delightful. We just came home from kayaking along the shore of Georgian Bay here at Cobble Beach. This morning when we were golfing the bay was a sheet of glass. Not so this afternoon. The waves were rolling in from the northeast; so, we paddled north with the waves swiping at our side and occasionally landing in our kayaks. It would have been a good day for kayak skirts. That is something for our purchasing list.

It is so quiet kayaking in the bay with only the occasional cry of a gull or the waves splashing the shore or spilling over boulders rot make white caps. It has been three weeks since we finished kayaking the Douro and our first time back in a kayak, this time our own, a little sleeker and cushier. I think our trip gave me a keener interest in kayaking. We had never done a multi-day trip before. I really enjoyed it.

We kayaked back to the beach in a stream of sunshine, the sun warm on our bodies. That made it perfect for a swim after kayaking. Brian did not think so, but when the air and water temperatures match at 20C, I think it is perfect. I love to be able to swim in October. That is so special. Still more swimming, Kate!

I spent a few hours this afternoon dead-heading flowers, trimming and edging the garden. I prefer cleaning the garden to cleaning the house. We grew our tomatoes with our dahlias this year, with greater success. If the long range forecast holds true we should keep getting tomatoes for a couple of weeks.

Blue Sky Day

Saturday, September 30, 2017
Blue Sky in Grey County

While we were in Portugal, most days were blue sky days. Since we arrived home we have seen far more grey skies. From Thursday evening to the wee hours of this morning we had plenty of rain with fierce winds. People north and south of us lost power as tree limbs or trees downed hydro lines. We were spared. Today turned into a blue sky day.

This morning I drove to the Riverside Community Centre southwest of Meaford to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Trout Hollow Trail and to walk a few kilometers on the trail with Robert Burcher as our guide. Robert is a John Muir enthusiast who has been compiling data about Muir for a number of years. Robert gave a very interesting presentation to the Owen Sound Field Naturalists in the spring. That inspired me to participate today. Robert is a member of the Canadian Friends of John Muir. Muir was an environmentalist, botanist, writer, co-founder of the Sierra Club and known as the father of the National Parks system in the United States. Muir spent two years (1864-1866) in Ontario a year of that time working for the Trout family at their mill near Meaford.

Today’s hike took us to locations that have been identified and sign posted of the mill and cabin where Muir worked and lived as well as other historical features including the remains of a concrete dam that was used to create a 30 foot deep lake on the Bighead River. While we can still see where the dam was and stand in the Hollow where a lake once existed. It is hard to reconcile today’s peaceful pastoral scene where there once was a project that provided electricity for Meaford and a bridge where people used to walk for a Sunday outing.

I will have to visit the Meaford Museum the next time I come to hike Trout Hollow with my hiking buddies. There are 14 kilometers of trail of varying difficulty. We did not hike the whole system today.

Instead of going to the museum after our hike for cake and coffee, I drove into Meaford to admire the many scarecrows that are hanging about on the Main Street. At this time of year no visit to this area is complete without stopping at one of the roadside stands to buy apples. I brought a bag of sweet juicy Honey Crisps home to Brian who was waiting for our new fridge to arrive.

The fridge did not arrive until after I came home, but Brian made good use of his day cleaning the pond, doing laundry, getting rid of wasps and making our bed with fresh sheets. What a great husband!

We golfed nine this afternoon. A month’s absence did not improve our scores. We do not usually golf on a Saturday as it is usually busier; thus, slower. Brian had time for a nap while waiting to hit his ball off number five tee.

Home at Cobble Beach

Cobble Beach
Home again, home again! Yeah!
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

We love travelling but we love coming home! There is nothing quite like our own bed, our own shower, our own home. Our fall garden is well underway. There is plenty of deadheading to do, but my roses still are colourful and those splashy red and white dahlias make me smile. We had overnight guests here on the weekend. They loved our sunrise and enjoyed watching the heron pick his way over each fish line to the pond. They did not see him eat any koi. Brian was hoping a neighbour would have had barbecued heron by now.

Our fridge is not working. We had heard of problems with it a couple of weeks ago but anticipated the problem only being in the freezer compartment which was emptied. Sadly the fridge itself is at 61F. The good news is the repairman will come this afternoon. The last time we asked for a repair, it took two weeks for someone to come. Arghhh…$1000 compressor needed…buy a new fridge!

We watched a beautiful sunset sink into a hazy horizon as we approached Owen Sound last night. We stopped for some groceries and thought we would have a Hamburg on the barbecue when we arrived at home but neither of us felt especially hungry; so, we thought it might be a popcorn evening. As we drove past Kate’s, Brian called out to whoever was standing at the barbecue, “Is supper ready?” We kept driving but minutes after being in our house, Kate called and invited us for ribs. So happy to hug our friends again.

A welcome home emergency food kit was waiting in a cooler on our front steps. Bryan and Susan made sure we would have some essentials: tonic, cheese, crackers, eggs. We have good friends here who took care of us and our property. Will made sure the grass was cut and windows open.  Helen watched out for intruders and Susan watered plants. Adrian has been feeding the fish. Lots of willing hands. We are so grateful!

This morning I cycled in a few drops of rain to the beach to meet Kate for a swim. En route I stopped for welcome home hugs. Susan rode down for a swim too. After Brian had secured a fridge repairman he rode down for a swim too. The water is an awesome 72F. Even though yesterday’s air temperature of 32C has cooled to 20C, it felt great.

I planted my few Portuguese seashells in my beach garden.

Three new houses and a set of townhouses have been started in our absence and several of the newest houses now have green lawns. By all accounts the Concours was a great success, the first of five that we missed.

Lisbon to Cobble Beach

Lisbon to Toronto to Cobble Beach
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Walk 500 metres, Cais do Sodré Metro to Airport 10 km, airport walking, Air Transat Flight to Toronto 5746 km, walk to car in parking garage, drive home 182 km

A very nice Portuguese-Canadian gentleman quickly came to our aid when we arrived at the Oriente train station yesterday. He has been living in Canada for the past forty years, most of that in BC. He returns to Portugal every year for a couple of months. He has an apartment for sale in Portimão if you are interested. He decided he is too old to keep doing this trip and his Canadian wife refuses to do it anymore.

We got out of the metro at Baixa Chiado station, based on our helper’s advice. I am glad we did. We would not likely have climbed up here from our apartment but it was worth seeing the elegant squares and impressive buildings. Our friend was disappointed we had so little time in Lisbon as there is so much to see but we are travel weary and ready for home.

We spent five hours walking nine kilometres around Lisbon mostly in the Alfama district. We walked up the narrow streets, visited the Immaculate Conception Church with its amazing carved arches, the Se Cathedral where groups were filing through and tuktuks lined up at the entrance, St Anthony’s Church and birthplace. Anthony is the patron saint of Portugal. We climbed to the Sao Iorge Castle. A line forty people deep was waiting to buy tickets. Lines are not for us. Brian talked to the budgies in cages along the streets instead. I took photos.

There were people shopping everywhere. We sat at a sidewalk cafe sipping beer, watching the lemmings race across streets against red lights, narrowly missing accidents.

Getting to the airport in Lisbon was easy and cheap. We left our apartment, walked across the square to the market where cleaners were sweeping up last night’s debris and pigeons were treating themselves to the sweepings. We dined in the brightly lit Time Out Market last night. We sat on stools on the quieter side of The Sea Me restaurant. I had very good baked cod with roasted potatoes and turnip greens. Brian’s cod cakes with tomato rice were much less satisfactory. He suffered from indigestion.

This morning we walked through the deserted Time Out side to where the fruit, fish, meat and vegetable vendors were now all set up and ready for business. We picked up our cafe com leite and pastry and sat in the sunshine opposite the Cais de Sodré train and metro station. Brian is always wiser choosing ham and cheese while I opt for chocolate. I really wanted a pastry half the size and a coffee twice as big. Spain’s cafe con leche are twice as big as Portugal’s.

We descended deep under the city to the green metro line and for one euro forty-five we had our ticket to the airport that involved one transfer at Alameda Station to the red line. This took less than half an hour including waiting for seven minutes for the first metro train.

Getting through Lisbon airport was quick and painless, no long lineups until it was time to board our flight. We had Option Plus that was to speed up boarding but there were a dozen wheel chair passengers and half of the hundreds other must have had Option Plus. Two passengers got lost somewhere in the airport. Extra time was being taken to remove their bags from our flight but then they were found. We were in a bank of three seats with extra legroom but less elbow room. Luck was on our side as the big guy beside me was moved elsewhere and Brian and I were sharing the three seats. Our flight was fifty minutes late leaving.

Eight and one quarter hours later we stopped taxiing down the runway at Pearson. Now we are driving north, past the rush hour traffic and less than two hours from home.

Lagos to Lisbon

Lagos to Lisbon
Monday, September 25, 2017
1.5 km walking, 270 km train, across Lisbon by metro to Baixa Chiado, 1.5 km walking to Cais do Sodré to Five Stars 8 Apartment Building

We rose in the dark, before 7 AM, ate a clementine and yogourt and headed for the train station in the predawn empty streets of Lagos. Lovely! A 1.5 kilometre walk took us across the pedestrian bridge to the train station, a cafe de leite and a nata (custard tart…very flaky crust). The train left a few minutes early. We were in Tunes less than an hour later where we changed trains on the same platform for our first class car to Lisbon. The seats are more comfortable but no extra legroom. In fact I have less. I have a small table between me and a man. The table legs take up my foot room. The windows are only marginally cleaner. For better train travel it sure would be good to have clean windows. The first class carriage is quieter than second class and it has curtains for those who want to block the sun and the changing landscape. Had a cafe in the bar car.

We passed four golf courses along the coast but many more citrus groves, mostly oranges, I think, a few vineyards. We saw storks on nests; before this we only saw empty nests. A second nesting? Went through hilly country going north, dry meadowland, some clocks of sheep, cork and olive trees, endless blue sky.

Arrived in very busy beautiful Lisbon. Look out for trams, cars, tuktuks, people! Good sandwiches at La Padraria Portuguesa. Room for 2 more on the sofa bed in our big apartment that even has a dishwasher. Too bad we will not be here long.

My friend, Joan, asked me where I would choose to stay for a month in Portugal based on our travels here. Tough question. Part of my decision making would be based on the time of year and what I would want to do. We came to Portugal in September specifically for kayaking the Douro River. This trip was only offered in June or September, both are months when I do not like to leave home but we wanted to do the kayaking trip and we are really glad we did. Our guide, Jack, is 76 (you would not guess this!) and he plans on retiring this fall, unless he doesn’t, but Rui, his partner, will be continuing.

What we saw of the Douro was from the river, but if I were to pick a spot to locate on the Douro, I would probably choose something on the upper Douro, east of Regua. We walked across a
Grande Randonnee hiking trail. These trails come down from France. Something to research further.

You may have guessed, we like an active trip; so we would look for an area suited to hiking, kayaking, swimming, cycling. I am not, however, the cyclist our son is; so a lot of uphill would not be on my list unless I could switch to electric. It makes sense to pick a place that is central to a number of opportunities; so, much as I love water, a coastal location is not ideal.

Based on what we have seen, and preferring to travel in April, I would probably pick Zambujeira, on the Fisherman’s Trail since there are stunning views and beautiful beaches ( too cold for swimming but good for hiking). It is very accessible if you rent a car to hike more trails( the whole Rota Vicentina which includes side loops and the historical way) and see more great panoramas. There are rivers running to the coast suitable for kayaking. It’s not far from inland villages of historical significance or from the Algarve should you wish to see more tourists. It’s two and a half hours to Lisbon or three and a half hours to Seville by car. Buses will take longer. There is no train from there.

I would probably check information about Monchique which is inland from Zambujeira. I have not been there but it would be more central for the southwest, away from cool Atlantic winds, good hiking area. Evora is a larger town. We did not go there but we met other couples who were using it as a central place from which to explore southern Portugal.

Based on what a couple of Portuguese men have told us southeast Portugal on a lake is the best place to be. I am not sure what lake they had in mind but it appears that there is a reservoir and the Vale do Guadiana National Park which looks very interesting for hiking and water activities and is central for south Portugal and close to Spain (2.25 hours to Seville and another 1.75 hours to Gibraltar).

Lazy in Lagos

Lazy in Lagos
Sunday September 24, 2017

This morning we did not get out of bed until 10 AM. You would think we were on holidays.
We met other lodgers. That’s a first. Two girls from Germany have been here for a week. They were leaving for Faro this morning. Jacob just arrived last night from Germany. He is staying here for nine days.

Last night Brian grilled ribs and sausages on the barbecue with potatoes and cooked broccoli. Salad completed our meal. We did not need dessert. The sausages were for warming up this morning to have with our croissants and yogurt. We have never been on a holiday where we stay for more than a few days in one spot but we think we might be ready to rent a place for a month somewhere in the world and use that for a base from which to explore. Not next week but at some future time. We are open to suggestions.

Yesterday we walked thirteen kilometres around Lagos. I suspect we will not do half of that today. Instead we spent two hours at the beach. It was a very different beach experience from yesterday. Today we were able to walk from beach to beach through tunnels at low tide. This meant we could access five beaches in a row with varying rock formations.

Surprisingly there were not many people on the beach. We thought there might be more on a Sunday. We still saw plenty out on the water: in kayaks, parasailing, sailing, on standup paddleboards, in motor boats of various sizes. Two hours in the sun at the beach is about our limit even though we were in and out of the water and spending time wading in the water seeking shells. I am a shell collector but I refrained from collecting a bag full and took photos instead. I have a few for my beach garden at home. Carrying a backpack makes me think twice about acquiring anything.

Brian only took a small handful of change with him in his bathing suit pocket. On the way back to our room this change bought us two tomatoes,1.5 litres of water, a bottle of red wine, a panache, a delicious grilled multigrain panini loaded with chorizo, tomato, cheese and eggplant. Brian still has change left over.

En route to the beach we toured the fort (Fortaleza da Ponta da Bandeira) at the mouth of the river. There was an exposition of metal art. Very attractive!


Saturday, September 23, 2017

We have a lovely terrace with shade provided by a mixed vine and artificial plant hedge and triangular sail overhead. There is concrete charcoal barbecue and sink, the Portuguese precursor to outdoor kitchens. Last night we dined on this terrace with barbecued chicken from the supermercado and spinach salad and green peppers and potatoes fried by Brian. A pleasant change from restaurant dining.

Lest you think we never stop, last night we were in bed by nine and did not rise for nearly twelve hours. True, our sleep was interrrupted by rowdy drinkers in the streets a few blocks
away. At 4 AM we closed our window. We might do so earlier tonight and turn on the AC if the street noise persists. The street we are on in the historical district and is quite quiet but noise travels.

We had breakfast on the terrace then went for a walk to get money from a bank machine and locate the train station for Monday. A crew of cleaners were sweeping the cobbled streets and picking up beer bottles. I forgot to bring my passport with me. I need to show ID to get my half price senior ticket. We will return.

The vendors along the quai were setting up their stalls to sell clothing, jewelry and
trinkets. I did not notice any wooden penises for sale. They have been on offer elsewhere.
There are plenty of vendors wanting our euros for water adventures around the cave lined coast: sailing, kayaking, motorboating, seadoing and snorkelling. We have been told the water might be 15 to 20 C.

We had a baguette chicken sandwich on the terrace with beer and green mint tea. Then we went for a walk to the lighthouse point via the Estrada da Ponta da Piedade (Point of Piety). It also has the stations of the cross every few hundred metres. The sun beat down on us every step of the way. This is the point where the boat tours go but there are better views of the rock formations from the water. Our views from the Fisherman’s Trail were much better.

What was good about our afternoon was a swim or jump in the waves at Praia do Pinhao.
There were tunnels through the rock to neighbouring beaches. The tide was still coming in ; so, between that and the tour boats going by the waves were substantial. Great fun and refreshing after walking more than five hot kilometres. I estimate the water temperature was 20C. Brian thinks 16C.