from Monchique to Marmelete, 16,6 km

Skin is starting to peel off. Another method to reduce weight. All toenails are still in place in case anyone was wondering. Until further notice.
Manage to get some bread and cookies from breakfast table. Inspect the local store. Mandarins don't look good and muelsi bars are not on sale. It is a real challenge to find some snack for hiking here.
Before starting descent we still have three more kilometers of climb left. We enjoy it fully, dragging ourselves up the mountain in snail's pace. Cork oaks and then Fóia. The trail doesn't go over the top this time so we leave our bags in the bushes. It suddenly feels very light. On the top are many antennas, ufo-house, café and many clean tourists. Juice, coffee, twix. Back to the bags. Now begins a descent that lasts with some minor interruptions until the end. Views are better than from the top. Abandoned terraced fields, ruins, wind turbines and burned trees. In 2012 were big forest fires around here. Stones covered with moss have been installed between two trees for admiring the view. We sit there and look towards the sea until the map tells me that the sea is actually in the other direction. Doesn't matter.
Already around three o'clock we are in Marmelete. The cafes try to direct us to the parish council when we ask about accommodation. One place sends a local guy to accompany us there. He's very proud of this assignment and keeps a keen eye on the foreigners not escaping. In the parish council are already two Germans with backpacks who have been caught earlier. They sit diligently on chairs and wait for something. A check-inn procedure is going on. It takes time. Things are made more complicated by the fact that unlike the other Germans we don't have a reservation. And it is not clear which word on my id-card marks my country of origin. Finally done with the formalities a lady arrives and escorts all the four tourists along a long steep road up. There's a house that is still being built. Construction workers buzz around, machines make noise. On the second floor they have two bathrooms and one room ready. The room contains about 20 beds. Five beds per person. The only accommodation in the village. The competing Germans have just started walking today and look uncomfortably clean. So we get to shower first.
We comb through minimarket and drink beer with local men. Then wander around and take pictures of broken houses. Two French persons have arrived and they camp on the central square.
from Silves to Monchique, 31 km
from Marmelete to Bensafrim and Barão de São João, 36,6 km

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