#26 - In the Sea Breeze and the Escarpment Heart

I haven't published a new article on the blog for some time, this pandemic that lasts and endures has put all our dreams and goals on hold. As far as possible we are gradually beginning to resume our adventurous life.
Today I am going to describe a little adventure of 22km made recently, on the sides of Maceira (Torres Vedras) and where we can be dazzled by the beauty of nature in different ways.

(Photos by Carlos Denis)

This trail starts on the recently opened Escarpas de Maceira walkways, with a length of about 1km, where we cross the Alcabrichel river and end at Porto Novo beach. 

Arriving at Porto Novo beach, we follow the escarpments that follow the ocean, on a trail of about 8km where we can appreciate the beauty of some beaches such as Santa Rita, Seixo, Mexilhoeira and Vigia beach, crossing the PR2 - TDV Rota do Atlântico.

Close to Santa Cruz, we continue now to the interior, passing through the village of Povoa de Penafirme and continuing until we start the route between sweet potato, pumpkins and tomatoes plantations. We passed several greenhouses, some unfortunately abandoned, until we reached the Penafirme Monastery, which is in ruins due to the 1755 earthquake. From the ruins we can already see what lies ahead - the magnificent hills of Santa Rita 

We now start the adventure of going up the hills, a crossroads of trails are appearing in front of us but the objective is to climb, always to climb. At the top we can see the escarpments by the sea, the beaches, the greenhouses and the ruins we passed through in the distance.   

After passing the hills, we arrived at the most difficult part of the route, but at the same time, in my opinion, the most spectacular - the Maceira escarpments. Here it is necessary to have some dexterity as the climbs and descents are a little more technical and with added difficulty. It is necessary to be especially careful as there are more slippery sections and others in which the ascent / descent will have to be done with the help of existing ropes at the site. The views upon reaching the top over the Alcabrichel River are simply stunning.

After several km between rocky escarpments and dense vegetation, we now descend to the final section of the route, already on dirt and flatter, going to the thermal springs of Vimeiro and entering the pedestrian path that accompanies the Alcabrichel river and where we can observe in the distance the cliffs where we climbed just moments before.
At about 500 meters we can still make a last climb on a dirt path half hidden by a tunnel of vegetation but it is well worth it. The climb is steep and slippery but the view at the top is great.

We finish with the return to the walkways and a nice lunch - snack to recover lost energy

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