from Silves to Monchique, 31 km

Dogs react to full moon and there's a mosquito in my room.
The lady in our hotel doesn't understand hikers' need for an early breakfast. Especially before a section that first goes only up and down and then leads over second-highest mountain of Algarve. After we with some difficulty managed to negotiate breakfast for half past eight, she only arrives then clutching a bag with food and starts to make noise in the kitchen. We wait in the dining room which is in big celler full on tables. Plates and old tools on the walls. Time seems to stand still here. As if diners had just left and the next ones hadn't decided yet if they should come. Will someone take over managing this place from the old lady or will the roof fall in as has happened to many buildings along the way?
Windless and cloudless. Not very suitable weather for today's section. Earth has been tilted 45 degrees either up or down. There you have to fight with gravity, heat and backpack. My backpack is wrong. Shoulderstraps are not at the right angle and they make my shoulders ache. I know about it now. I've rearranged them every day and rest one shoulder at a time. My new taylor-made pack lies on the floor at home. I considered it too big for this trip.
Anyway, the ascents are murderous. First the trailmaster should be murdered.
Sweating, we make stops at an ex-shelter, on a meadow, in thicket and by the river. In the first we see a girl from Switzerland who has seen many hikers. Interesting. She walks some stretches and plans to come back the same way today. We never see her again.
By the river we sit under a tree in order to gather strenght for Picota, the second-highest peak of Algarve. There leads an ascent that lasts about 10 kilometers and goes from basically sea level to 700 meters. Sara discovers a plastic bag that is hanging on the tree. It contains oranges, some underwear and other non-identifiable items. Somehow it happens that we consume the oranges. Well, don't leave your oranges unattended. Unattended oranges will be removed by passing hikers.
After some paved road the trail is quite nice. It follows the river for some time, meanders along the mountainside and is shady. We meet a man with a tractor and four dogs. He speaks something about cold water and wonders that we are there. Cold water materializes soon. We have to cross the same river three times. First time we remove our boots and have to re-tape some toes. A tourist couple without backpacks arrives and for them it is real adventure. We leave them stumbling in the water. Second crossing we manage by stepping on stones and with the help of walking poles. Third time we just walk through the water. Socks stay dry, boots get washed.
All the mountains that we suffered in the morning are far below, wrapped in pastel haze. We arrive on top Picota just before the sun disappears behind its neighbour, Fóia, the highest around here. We share the last muesli bar. On the other side of the peak trail is not visible but this doesn't stop us from rushing down the stones. Below we meet the trail again and almost run towards Monchique. It's not fear that we can't see in front of our feet or the waymarks in the dark. It's fear of missing dinner.
Monchique turns on lights. We grab a rastaman from the street who escorts us to a hotel and shows the direction to a restaurant. I remove a tick from my hip. We eat butter with the packaging and put the bread in our pockets. My soles tingle. It eas a very hard day. From tomorrow on everything will go downhill.
from Messines to Silves, 29,2 km
from Monchique to Marmelete, 16,6 km

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