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Wednesday, May 8: Day 16 – Trek

Prior to our trip, we decided that we should get trekking poles. Now this was no small decision. After an Internet research, and several trips to the outdoor equipment store, we decided on some lightweight folding Black Diamonds. (They looked like ski poles.) Little did we realize that this decision now mandated that we check luggage as we are now toting weapons. Previously, we had intended to be total carry-on.

Prior to our departure, we had planned to go to a local park and practice but we never got around to it. Now we are in Portugal. So we signed up for an eco tour to learn about native plants and animals and would then be deposited on a deserted island. Perfect! We can practice and no one can witness our teetering baby steps.

I should have known…if boat loads of people are transported to a deserted island, I am guessing that it is no longer deserted!! The water is so blue and the sky is, too. This is a man-made channel. It looks like giant jacks. Also, we learned that Faro means Lighthouse.

This island is the most southern point of Portugal. Rob looks a little like a castaway.

We saw spoonbills, egrets, sea gulls and little terns. The latter is my favorite. He wears the black mask of a superhero. He hovers high above the water looking for fish and then dives in. Also, they lay their sand colored eggs in the open and place a specially chosen shell to mark its location. They are endangered and difficult to study because if you find their egg, they will abandon it.

Our bilingual tour guide spoke in French and English. He was an expert on salt marshes and their ecosystems. Dunes can only be formed if there are grasses to anchor the sand.

There was an eco-friendly bathroom. I loved this faucet and dryer combo so much that I took a video. Enjoy!

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