Alentejo, Here We Are!
On The Way To Mora
First day of this trip in Alentejo, with a superb brightness, fantastic sun and white walls lined with yellow or blue paint! I joined the team in Lisbon and we left in the morning.
We stop at Mora in Evora district to have lunch at the excellent restaurant Solar dos Lilases (photo below). The day promises to be exciting: I will have my first experience rafting!
My First Experience Rafting
And The Boat?
When I do things for the first time, I have no a priori. If someone had told me that I will use my body (instead of a pneumatic or kayak) to drift on a freezing cold river: not sure that I would have been as naively enthusiastic (lol)!
We are in pristine nature (of course!). At the entrance of the huge property of Azenhas da Seda, a jeep leads us to the camp. Everything is very well organized and the modern facilities blend into the landscape.
The multi-layers equipment is an absolute nightmare for the good taste: swimsuit under shorty wetsuit, gloves and booties, life jacket, helmet and training shoes. After taking a really cold shower (to acclimate the body to the river temperature!), a small briefing in the shade of trees. Cozy …
Time to mentally record the advices and I am on the back drifting in a water more than icy … and using my hands and arms as rudder, to avoid the river banks (photo below). The feeling is WOW!
New Quick Briefing
about what’s next in the program. We progressively discover and are more and more motivated (with some giggles, lol!). Short hike through fields in a dream setting. And as we begin to dry our wet shorty wetsuit, surprise-surprise …
This Is Where It Gets Tricky
We sink into a narrow path. As long as the water remains at the ankles, it’s okay! By cons when my waist is immersed, less fun (lol)! Very quickly you can find yourself shoulders immersed.
As I’m not a big fan of the appearance of water, the chief monitor let me lead the way. Adventure, my dear! In fact, the water is clear, our movements make it murky and muddy.
Suffice to say that I don’t know where I walk in the water! The interest of this “training” isn’t to ask questions, but anticipate and avoid holes etc… (LOL)! In places, it really shrinks and we must climb slippery big rocks (photo below).
Seriously, I liked this challenging route. An intense cardio session surrounded by a superb pristine nature. That strengthens the team spirit (we were already a great team before!). And I forgot, the water is still frozen. The outdoors, baby!
Back To The Camp
Last step before returning to the camp : jump into the river! Fortunately, not next to falls (on the above photo), but in a quiet location with a slight current (below photos).
Comfortable tent furnished with a real bed, dressing table and mini zen garden (composed of rocks), on top of a small cliff with a view overlooking the river and nature. Nice warm sunshine …
Hardly time to get dressed and we leave the Azenhas da Seda to go to Avis. Happy busy day with my first experience rafting! I lightly doze watching the countryside …
Sleeping In The Vineyards
The Sun Is Still Strong
when we arrive at the Herdade da Cortesia. I snap few pictures of the room before the dinner. I like the cinemascope view in the bathroom! Awesome! Like an elegant ranch at the end of the world, pampa …
Nice decoration with a soft lighting: I do not have the strength to raise the mechanical blind facing the bed. If I sit down, I fall asleep: courage, Mademoiselle! The last two pictures of the post (below): the restaurant and the large table for dinner. See you tomorrow…
Many thanks to Visit Alentejo and Visit Portugal for this amazing invitation. Thanks to the cool team of Azenhas da Seda too. As always these are my opinions.