Day 8 – Alvaiãzere to Alvorge – 28km/17.4 miles
Today was another good day of varied landscapes and physical challenges. Since we stayed a little outside the main town last night we had to make up that distance in the morning. That meant a great opportunity for morning coffee and breakfast! After that we set in for the long haul since the stop wasn’t for 15km. It included a long and steady climb well into the surrounding mountains where the sun disappeared as we entered the clouds. It was refreshingly cool and windy up there which made the elevation gain not so tough. We took a few breaks along the way for rest and arrived at Ansião around 11:30 after a very steep decline. I was getting tired of eating pastries for lunch so we found a pizza place where we all got something more filling.
The remaining hike was about 10km and was also very scenic going through forests and flower lined paths. We passed a French guy who tried to tell us it was only 5km through hand gestures first putting up a 5 and then a 3. We didn’t know if this meant 5.3 or 8. It turned out to definitely be 8. We arrived to Alvorge just before the heat started to break through. The only place to stay here was a the donation based albergue and required some backtracking to get the key from the minimart. This then allowed us to get inside the dorms where we rested for hours. This is the proverbial “one horse town” so the minimart and only bar were the hotspots. It’s a very peaceful place with mountains as backdrop so it makes for a good night’s rest.