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How a morning stroll turned into a 3.5 hour hike


vincentnijman3.1 K28 days agoPeakD6 min read

Late this morning, I decided to go on a walk. I didn't plan to go far but was open to any kind of length, as it's Sunday and I could use some serious exercise after a lazy Saturday. Just in case, I took a backpack along with me and put a bag of almonds, a bag of dried goji berries and my 1.2 liter thermos, filled with water, in it. I also brought some paper and coloring pencils along with me.


Whilst on my walk, I soon noticed the amount of butterflies and they positively distracted me. I thought of counting the varieties that I would find on this walk and how fun a game this would be for kids. Not just counting them and making it into a little contest, but also then trying to draw them, or basically remembering their colors and drawing them afterwards.

I sure enjoyed my walk and decided to venture uphill into one of many eucalyptus plantations that this area is (unfortunately) known for. I started seeing less butterflies there as they seem to suck the earth dry and with it is nutrients so there's basically only drought resistant plants, bushes,trees and the occasional flower growing near them.

And then, after a while, I noticed that I had gotten lost.

Not super lost, but it was fair to say that whatever track I tried, going back and forth, uphill and downhill, I kept straying further away from the main road and everything pretty much looked the same, for an untrained eye. The surroundings being mono culture, eucalyptus trees and eucalyptus trees, didn't help much.

In all honesty, I had my phone with me and on it Ggl Mps but these tracks weren't on there, reception was poor and whatever path I tried, I kept moving farther away from where I wanted to be.

Also, I kind of liked being somewhat lost. It started to feel like an adventure - I had glimpes of The Blair Witch Project - and I even challenged myself a little more, by hiking for an hour or so, including a lot of steep climbs, without drinking any water nor snacking on the food that I had brought.


But after walking in circles ( that didn't look like circles at all ), basically ending up in pretty much the same spot, over and over again but still far from where I hoped to end up, I gave up and decided to check GM for the nearest bigger road.

I ended up almost going over someone's land and climbing a little hill to make it to that road, after 2.5 hours of hiking and being somewhat lost for about an hour and a half, I was back on track.

From there on, it was a matter of following the main road for half an hour or so.


I loved this view, on the left side of the road, but it was exactly where I didn't need to go, in the wrong direction. Plus I had about 5km/3 miles to go and had already walked for 2.5 hours.

I was happy to find out that there was a wide foot path like-space, on the side of the road, so I didn't literally have to walk on the road itself.


I followed the path for about 15 minutes, before reaching the borders of a village that I knew to be not too far (4km) from my house.

Just before I entered the village, I sat down in a rundown picknick place ('parque das merendas') to drink some water and snack on a bunch of nuts and berries. It felt good to have returned to civilization ;<)

I took no pictures of the town.

I was just too focused on looking around and don't want to grab my phone all the time. That's not why I go on walks.
In the village, I was greeted by one little barking dog, that didn't bite.

The owner, a ragged man and one of the handful of people that I saw on today's hike, literally said: "Ela não morde" (She does not bite) and I replied with: "Eu não tenho medo" (I am not afraid) and petted the li'l dog, that started to lick my hand and then I continued on my way, through the little village.

After a while, I recognized this little bridge that I had crossed almost 3 hours before, just before getting lost.


It made me smile. Not just because I recognized it but also because it felt like a different day/world and on the right of the path, there was a little stone building and a plot with a bunch of olive trees. Quite picturesque, with the mountain view and the running water nearby. I also realized that this is probably the same little stream that meanders around my current garden.

About a minute before I reached this point, a Portuguese man in a 4x4/ Pick up truck passed me and asked if I wanted a ride. I thanked him and kept on walking. I knew where to go now and my legs still felt strong.
I enjoyed the last 20 minutes or so of the walk and sent a voice message to a good friend that I hope to see again soon, here in Portugal. You should check out his blog, he's on Hive too @vindiesel1980

Although I ended up walking quite a lot longer than I had intended, it was totally worth it. I felt great, mentally, after returning home and physically positively tired. I love these kind of natural workouts.

I also managed to photograph a beautiful butterfly, as can be seen in the first picture. I looked it up, afterwards. It's the zerynthia rumina. It can be found in Southwest Europe and the North of Africa. I like its Portuguese name: A borboleta-carnaval ( carnival butterfly ).

All in all, this was a Sunday well spent. How was your weekend? Any adventures you'd like to share here?



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