Recently, were lucky enough to get to stop in Vilamoura, Portgual on our way to Holland due to rough sea conditions in the Atlantic.
Vilamoura is a resort town that is very well maintained and manicured. There is an abundance of international restaurants within the marina and a hotel with a spa, swimming pools and other amenities. Golf courses can be found everywhere and everything is catered to tourism.
We ate out at a fantastic and chic Thai restaurant overlooking the ocean. I had a spicy carrot salad and then a vegetable green curry with coconut rice for dinner.
While the marina offerings were fantastic for our first night in port, I was excited to find a more authentic Portuguese experience and also get out into nature.
The next morning, I was keen for some exercise. I drank a liter of water, ate some watermelon and set off for the gym at the Tivoli hotel in the marina. The cost to use the gym was 22 euros but after I saw the tiny gym with four, rusty weight machines I kindly asked for my money back and I went for a run instead.
It was a beautiful morning and a run suited me better anyway.
Afterward, I did some body weight exercises and hand weights on board before having a shower and finishing my watermelon.
Then it was time to get ready for our drive to Rocha de Pena about 30 minutes away for a hike.
I packed my cooler bag with my smoothie ( Strawberry, 6-7 Bananas, Coconut water, chia, hemp and flax seed), a few more bananas, tangerines, cherries, strawberries and a small honey dew melon.
We drove through windy, mediterranean looking hills and sleepy towns until we found our trailhead at Rocha de Pena. For some reason we notoriously start our hikes at midday during the hottest part of the day and always regret it. Today, wasn’t any different. It was extremely hot, dry and dusty albeit beautiful. We hiked to the top of the hill and found a beautiful view of the valley.
Then we drove to another hike where there was a spring called Fonte Benmola We actually missed the sign (in Portuguese) that pointed to a car park at the trail head. Instead, we walked a very long way to the start of the trail head and at that point we were so hot and tired we turned around, got back in the car and then drove to the spring! It felt a bit like we failed but we were still happy to put our feet in the ice cold river to cool down.
We felt a bit sunburnt, hot and tired so we left and drove back home to the boat to relax for the night. I had some banana nice cream (bananas, carob, cacao, vanilla) followed by my leftover Green Curry and a salad (with an avocado, mustard dressing).
The next morning, Matt and I went for a walk on the beach and kicked around a soccer ball for a bit. We returned our rental car, bought some watermelon and other fresh produce to last us the four day ocean crossing to Holland.
Ciao for now.