The Walk That Wasn’t And An ‘Authentic’ Portuguese Lunch

On Monday we decided to do another road trip I had cobbled together from information online.  Rudy punched all our destinations into his Google Maps and off we went.  First destination we’d head to was Barragem da Bravura, according to my sources a lake created by a dam and surrounded by a nice hiking trail. There was a restaurant at the site which was well recommended.  I planned for us to have lunch there after our walk. 

Despite Rudy’s excellent navigating we didn’t find the lake right away but did find a dead-end.  We turned around and it wasn’t long before we arrived at the lake.  The restaurant was closed for the season and that put a little damper on the hike idea, since there would be no delicious Portuguese repast awaiting us at its end.  Despite this we hiked gamely down to the dam, stopped to appreciate the vistas of the lake it provided, walked across the dam and set off on the hiking trail.  It was a nice morning and we walked along for a while until we met some German tourists.  Our friend Rudy engaged them in conversation and they told him the hike around the lake took ‘three days’.  We were not prepared for a three-day hike so the guys decided we should turn around immediately.  They were hungry and we’d need to do a bit of driving to find a lunch spot. 

We drove all the way to Silves where we planned to tour the castle in the afternoon.  After driving up and down most of the streets in town we settled on a little restaurant that looked ‘authentic’.   We wanted to have some real Portuguese food.  And I think we did.  Dave ordered Cozido à Portuguesa a Portuguese stew that had lots of cabbage, potatoes and carrots, different kinds of sausages, meats and animal fat. It had all been cooked in one pot.

I opted for Frango no churrasco piri piri, basically barbecued chicken glazed with a spicy sauce and Rudy had Bacalhau com Grao which was chick peas and cod surrounded by boiled potatoes and eggs.  The portions were more than generous and we were decidedly full!! We just didn’t have room for dessert.  Later however Dave bought some juicy oranges at a roadside stand. They were so cheap he bought two big bags, so we’ll be having oranges for dessert for a while. 

I did look up the lake trail we aborted and contrary to the German man’s information it does not take three days but rather eight hours to walk around Barragem da Bravura. The restaurant at the head of the trail is opening in the middle of February.  We may have to do this part of our road trip again in the coming weeks. 

Other posts………….

The Mink Bay Happy Jack Trail

The Wave- Art in the Interlake

I Got Lost Twice Yesterday

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