Another hike planned to within an inch of its life.
Made a bit of a mistake with the flight. Decided to use Liverpool to Faro on Easyjet. They fly out in the mornings on weekdays, but in the afternoon on Saturday. Afternoon flight is good, as I can drive to the airport (3 hours) on the same day and do not need to stay overnight in Liverpool.
But what I neglected to consider was that it arrives in Faro in the evening. How would I get to an outdoor shop to buy gas for my stove? And the next day would be a Sunday, so shops not open?
More by luck than judgement I found out that Faro has a Decathlon…and it is open until 10.00pm on Saturday. Should be able to make it in time….and even if I don’t, it also opens all day on Sunday. Phew!
Next problem…transport to the start of the hike. I was hoping to travel to Santiago do Cacem and hike south to Sagres. Train and bus needed, but it doesn’t work well on a Sunday. Have been forced to go to Sagres (train and bus) and hike North, then at the end bus and train back to Faro. But… the train back is an Intercity, which must be booked in advance, but trainline.eu don’t sell tickets for Portugal, and portuguese railways seem to use some “one time passcode” of their own which may not work if using UK credit card. Nothing is simple.
Tried to buy a ticket for the 90 mile train trip back to Faro direct from portuguese railways… and it worked. Didn’t ask for a passcode. I thought I’d done something wrong though. Got my ticket by email, with a seat reservation and even got a text message to my UK mobile. Total ticket cost 3 euros!!!!
A couple of equipment changes for this trip. After last year’s disaster with the failing MSR tent, I have lost faith in it and returned to my old Marmot Pulsar. I like my Marmot a lot, and I know it isn’t going to fail me! But it is not great for “stealth camping” as it came in a colour choice of orange or orange. Just have to take my chances.
The second change is new boots. I’ve been using Salomons for the last few years, as the only ones that seem to fit me. They don’ t last very well though – every pair I’ve had have split across the toe box after 500-600 miles. This year I’m giving Columbia a go. Seem to fit OK, but a bit of a gamble as I’ve only done a few miles test driving them.
Whole house is now packed into the rucksack, ready to go to Liverpool tomorrow. Pack weight 18kg…which is about 4kg more than I would like. I really need to be more ruthless in leaving stuff out of the packing.