Part Two of the Rota Vicentina
The Fisherman’s Trail
Odeceixe de Praia to Aljezur 20 km/12.5 miles
As soon as I got home from walking about half the Rota Vicentina with my sister in January, I wrote to three of my friends who were planning to join me for a wet winter walk in Cornwall and suggested we go to Portugal instead.
I’ve been hooked by the Fisherman’s Trail and I’m ready to go finish the rest of it!
They all wrote back that they were willing to meet me there instead, so that’s how I found myself back in Lisbon less than two months after my first visit (and my third visit to Portugal in less than 12 months, my first being the previous June for the Portuguese Camino. Clearly, I am having a moment with this hand-tiled, codfish-loving, ocean-hugging country.
After a day in Lisbon, we took the bus right back to Odeceixe where I had stopped in January. Then we hopped in a cab to our lodging on the beach. It was already dark but we woke up to the same beautiful sea views I had left.
I can’t even explain how gratifying it is for me to talk people into coming to a place that I think is drop-dead gorgeous and then to stand back and watch it take their breath away.
Portugal showed out with blue skies and sunshine on our first morning, but I think in any weather, these gals would have been scrambling to get their phones out for these cliff top views.
We moved slowly through the morning because there were so many photos to take of course.
By mid-morning we left the seaside to walk inland for a while to the small village of Rogil, so we picked up some speed.
By the time we reached our lunch spot, it was almost 1pm.
We ate at the most delightful spot with tables under straw umbrellas outside, and all fresh local produce and seafood.
It’s called the Museu da Batata Doce, which is The Sweet Potato Museum. We had gorgeous mixed salads, grilled shrimp, bread, olives, pickled carrots, a homemade fish spread and sangria of course. The shrimp we ate that afternoon was maybe the best I’ve had in my life.
It took us a while to get moving again after lunch, but we finally crawled away from the table and headed off to Aljezur. It had warmed up and we were in the hot sun for a lot of the afternoon. After many rainy months in the UK, I could not have been happier to be hot for a minute.
Aljezur is inland town and though it’s a historical stop on the Rota Vicentina, I knew after January that I wanted to try to sleep by the sea as often as possible.
So after a quick stop in Aljezur for ice cream and beer, we hailed a cab to the little seaside town where I had booked us to stay for the night.
In a not totally unsurprising turn of events, our cab driver ended up being related to the man we were meeting to rent the house from, so he knew exactly where to take us in Praia de Monte Clerigo.
We threw off our packs and headed straight for the praia…the beach.
Celebration of a fabulous first day!
We played in the sand, stared at sea creatures in little tide pools and completely succumbed to the sweet salty air as it cooled us off from our day of walking.
Our host told us that in the tiny village of Praia de Monte Clerigo, there is a special restaurant run by a guy who used to be a chef in a Michelin star restaurant somewhere, but he decided he wanted a quiet life by the sea, so he opened up a place right here called O Sargo.
After watching the sunset from our balcony, we headed off for dinner.
We were already pretty blissed out from the whole day, and our lunch had been so divine, I wasn’t sure the evening’s meal could live up to everything else we had experienced.
Of course I was wrong.
Every bite we ate was incredible. After ordering several things from the simple menu, we shared all the dishes between us.
On the short walk back up to where we were sleeping for the night, we all lamented that we could not stay longer in Praia de Monte Clerigo, and even though it was only our first day on the Rota Vicentina, we felt like it was going to be a really hard one to top.
I’m so grateful to Kristie, Kelsy and Tatsuko for coming with me for this coastal adventure!! Let’s do it again soon, y’all!