Our last day in Sintra had arrived –Day 1 , Day 2 & Day 3 had been marvelous and the weather was terrible! Pouring down rain, we hurried to pack, knowing we had to catch a 9:40 train, but obviously wanting to have un Americano and a sweet at Gregorio’s first. But blast, Gregorio’s was closed on Mondays!!! So, we slugged our soaking wet selves and luggage to the train – to catch an earlier 9:16 to Oriente, where we’d change trains to get on the metro to head to the Lisbon Airport to pick up our rental car. It sounds like a lot of hoop-la and possible confusion, but it was extremely simple and I’d recommend to anyone traveling only a few days in Portugal to rely on the public transit – it’s really convenient and straight forward.
The only down side of all of this was the weather….but once we got on the train, we were able to dry off. A quick pop in to a cafe at the metro station allowed for a coffee and pastry – yum – and we were off to the rental car counter.
Our Fiat was ready, so we hopped in and almost 3 hours of Portugal countryside later, we found ourselves in the sleepy town of Odeceixe. I choose this area because the Rota Vicentina, a beautiful set of hiking trails connecting at different areas throughout southern Portugal. The section we’d hike was mostly along the coast – one of the most beautiful sections I had read about.
We pulled into town, parked, had lunch at one of the first restaurants we saw (big mistake) and ordered some vino, beers, and lunch.
Well, the beers never came, but a bottle of champagne did (huh?) so we drank and ate the whole fish that came out and hoped the town had more selection.
From what we could tell, with the narrow streets, and lack of people, it was a sleepy shore town, in the off season. Again, more our speed, just want of better restaurants! Our bellies were full, so we headed up the hill to our Airbnb- not knowing where to park our car on these narrow streets warranted an on-foot surveillance. The owners met us, an older couple who spoke zero English, and checked us in, showing me how to use the insta hot water, and were the two bedrooms were. One smelled a bit like my grandmother, so we opted to put our things in the other. We would call Odeceixe home for only two nights, mainly using the small town as a jumping off point for the coastal hiking.
Having had many a night out and about, we decided to head to the local grocery shop to pick up dinner – angel hair, bread, garlic & zucchini and two bottles of wine. I mean, when in Portugal!
The night was perfect – and walking into town to the grocery store showed us there was in fact more restaurants to try.
Our balcony view overlooked the whole town, so we headed back to relax, unpack and cook our first Odeceixe dinner in. Tomorrow, we’d hit the trail!