7th of February 2019:
For the first time, we laced our walking shoes. An Aluguer (shared taxi) transported us in an hour-long drive through an impressive, rutted alpine world to Jorge Luis. Immediately, the trail led us steep uphill passing a remote farmhouse where an old couple greeted us friendly. Even a landslide, which made the steep slanting trail difficult to walk on, did not scare us off. The mostly dried-out riverbed left bizarre valleys and steep soaring cliffs. Thanks to our GPS on the phone, we found the right way in the isolated area, even though we lost the official hiking route. The trail was much longer than expected and soon the sun was already low on the horizon. The underlying sun illuminated the ragged mountainside in a warm shade of gold.
An extremely fascinating view from the top of the pass onto the cliff Bordeira de Norte impressed us. The cobbled mule trail wound itself down the vertical wall on elaborate serpentines. Until today, this trail represents an important connection for the locals between the villages. 750 meters in altitude further down, we saw our destination Chã de Morte, which we reached in the last twilight. Luckily, we quickly found a taxi. When we arrived in Porto Novo, we sat down on the chairs of an Italian restaurant exhausted as we were. The delicious spaghetti refueled our bodies, before we lowered ourselves into bed.
Quote Lilo: “Think well, before you start a mountain hike with three well-breathed men. Hiking 21km including almost 1300 meters of altitude definitely was my limit of performance!”