these are the posts tagged ‘hiking’:


hiking 100km: done!

another thing off the list! totaling 100km in hikes wasn’t terribly difficult, and now i think that maybe i could have been a bit more ambitious with the number… something to keep in mind for the next list.

early this morning, we grabbed my cousin daniela and did the last few kilometers going up the senhora da graça.

the path up the hill is mostly through the forest, bordered by granite slabs and pine trees with their sap slowly dripping into collection bags.

the hill is infamous for being one of the hardest climbs of the “volta a portugal” (our national cycling race), and whenever the trails cross the road you can see the painted cheers. in august, people camp on the sides of the road to see their favourite cyclists ride by.

the view from up there is magnificent, the border between minho and trás-os-montes regions stretching ahead of us. i feel a bit drunk on all this green, which seems so different from the muted shades from the south. here in the north, green is everywhere we look, luscious and deep and beautiful.

a friend once said that this must be heimat: to see beauty where others see just rocks and trees. these are the things that give us roots. i think she’s probably right.

baías da agualva

while we’re on it, here are some photos of another trail (pr2ter) we hiked, earlier that same day, this time by the sea.


as you can see, the photos are much sunnier than those of the other hike — such is the weather on the azores. one minute it’s so foggy you can’t see anything in front of you, and the next thing you know the sun is out and you’re actually getting quite hot! either way, these were beautiful to hike and i can’t wait to go back and do the rest of them — in all the islands! maybe one island per year would be a good plan? :D

hiking mistérios negros

we finally made it to azores! it’s no secret that i love volcanoes, lava, and all the things that come with molten rock being spewed from the earth, so i knew we were in for a treat.

we rented a car to drive around terceira island, but to properly enjoy the scenery and nature, walking is still the best. so we picked PRC1TER, a trail that featured some volcanic stuff and despite the everlasting fogs and lack of proper hiking equipment, we went for it on our last day — and it was glorious!

it started out wet but easy enough…

but pretty soon we were climbing up and down the spiky blocks of stony rough lava, hanging on to tree branches for balance and barely able to see the path. this is where the trail gets its name, the “dark mysteries” are these hills made of aʻā lava that have not yet been completely covered by vegetation.

sometimes a hidden lake would pop up in the middle of the cryptomeria forest, and if you stopped there for a minute, you could only hear your breath and the frogs.

the way back straddled the edge of fields and forests, over dreamy stone fences where wild strawberries grew.

we ended up soaked after 5km, but happy beyond words. take me back please! :)

little green things

for all i talk about hiking, i guess it’s pretty obvious that i like wandering.

part of what i like is the company, the conversation that flows easily when we’re up on the hills without digital barriers to distract us. but part of it is just nature itself, the little green things that grow in all the landscapes we walk in. they’re beautiful and i can’t help but noticing them wherever we go…



this year started with a walk with friends on january 1st, and the woods in this corner of france were filled with fresh life, despite the winter slumber. i wanted to bring it all home so much, but hélas, i don’t think ryanair would be too happy about that…

el caminito del rey

we’ve wanted to do the caminito del rey ever since we heard they had restored it after being closed for years… and so last summer we finally hiked it, as part of the andalusian roadtrip we were doing with our friends. though we arrived horribly late and almost missed our turn, the nice people there still let us through for the last trip of the day, and it was well worth it!

the views of the gorges are truly spectacular, and the photos our little phone cameras captured don’t do them justice. the walkways are all sound and sturdy, though in some places you can still see the old paths, rusting away.

the original path was built to connect 2 hydropower dams, so that workers could transport the materials between them. it was finished in 1905, and a few years later, king alfonso xiii walked it to inaugurate the dam and voilà — the name stuck.

it’s not recommended for people who are afraid of heights though…

… but if you can stomach it, it’s truly stunning! :)