from Alcoutim to Balurcos, 24,5 km

Too chilly in the morning for the pool so instead I take a hot shower.
Sara has just finished breakfast and starts earlier. Good, walking in someone else's speed would be tiring. Breakfast with Natalie who demonstrates that she really is a teacher and asks a lot of questions about Estonia. I would like to direct her to our prime minister for an explanation how we actually survive. Producing nothing and spending a lot. I'd also like to know. Talking about energy she probably doesn't believe me that there's another stone that burns besides coal. I know the name only in German and Icelandic.
Off I go. I originally planned to stay only about half the nights in accommodations. But camping is not allowed. Accommodations want only cash. Seems like a vendetta of hotelkeepers and robbers.
A clip about this trail that I used as reading comprehension
Old trails were usually used for something like going to the market or so. This one was used to go and pick up the bones of St Vincent which fell into the sea for some unlucky reason. But for those who want to see something philosophical, religious or esoteric in walking a thought from Peter Wessel Zapffe: ’The tragic of being becomes obvious if a person waits from the surrounding world moral and a purpose for his/her life, but nature does not give any sign of either of these.’
First the trail follows the river and goes north. Lot of flowers all around. Trail marks are surprisingly good.
After 7 km is Cortes Pereira village. There's a café so I take an espresso. No food in sight except for snickers. For local beer drinking guys plastic chairs are cozy enough. A friendly dog. Roosters crow. On the other side of the village a young lamb has gotten out of the fence and doesn't find the gap again. I can't find it either and so it stays how it is.
Less trees and hotter. Only very few places where to sit in shade and listen to the birds.
In next village two women sit under a tree in a small opening. I ask for the café because there should be one. Time to eat something. The café will open in more than an hour. I intend to go on but then they wave towards the bench. Sit, rest! A lot of Portuguese words follow, finding out where I'm from, how many days I intend to spend on trail and that Portugal is beautiful. Since I'm in no hurry so I do what the locals do. Sit in shade and look, eh, at a rusted tractor cart. Then one of the women goes somewhere and when I understand it correctly, she will arrange the café for me.
An old man with tractor arrives. Small and jolly. Asks a lot of questions and says "nix verstehen" for everything. After getting a confirmation that I want coffee, he starts the tractor again and shows that I should follow him. He stops in front of a house a bit further and fusses with the door. He could live there but it contains a small room with many tables and a bar. The café. Plates waiting in a row. He turns on the TV which says that something has exploded in Russia. The man makes coffee and wants to know how to say 'obrigado' in my language. So he gets 'aitäh' written on a small piece of paper which again is very funny for him. He's 74 years old. I'll pay for the coffee outra vez, next time.
In about a kilometer I find a tree and sit there in shade leaning on my pack for quite a long time. Air shimmers from heat, birds chirp above. A bit of refreshing wind. Except for the villages and two locals near Alcoutim I haven't seen anyone on the trail today.
Further a small river has created a pool where to wet my toes and hands and head. Frogs hang around the water. What good do people find in this hot climate anyway?
After some more small villages and a lot of sweating the shadows get longer and I arrive in Balurcos. From Google and bus ride yesterday I know that turning right is a rural turismo. Speaking German. Nice room with balcony, breakfast included.
One more kilometer away should be a restaurant. A man watches TV in a room smelling of smoke. I get some kind of small bird and leave only a handful of bones. The way back is already in darkness, half moon right above.
to the mountains
from Balurcos to Furnazinhas, 15,43 km

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