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Praia da Gale to Praia de Manuel Lourenco - 2Km

This is a very nice short walk and takes in some very nice scenery, it isn't long but is scrambly in parts. It won't take you much more than 60 minutes there and back. It is mostly on a rough sandy path, and for the scrambly parts you will need to be fairly agile, if you use a walking stick or have joint problems (hip, knee etc) then this probably isn't the walk for you. The 2 Km, there and back, is very approximate, there are multiple paths you can take, either made by previous walkers or by the rain and you will want to make a diversion or two to take in the scenery.

Take care of the sandstone cliff edges, if you take a wrong path some end at the cliff edge. The cliffs are eroding so don't go to close to the edge. The sign below is everywhere and is serious. Also take care of any fencing, mostly it isn't to be trusted.

As much as possible I'll include piccies so you know you're on the right track. Start and end point car parks are:

Parking at the Western end of the walk is easy to find. Park on the turning circle, on the bend approaching the circle or on the road just before you get to the beach. If you park on the road before the beach, across the road you'll find places where you can cut across the sand dunes to pick up the path behind Gale Leste beach.

At the East end of the walk the car park is next to the beach at Praia de Manuel Lourenco. You get to this car park down a track which looks like a private road (see piccie below), it isn't. If the car park next to the beach is full there is a much bigger car park at the top of the road.

The path to the car park and the car park:

I'm going to start the walk from the turning circle just past Pedras Amarelas restaurant, where there are several paths which lead to Gale beach, or more accurately Praia da Gale Leste. This is the path I took.

The sandy path leads you over a small hill to the beach. The beach is lovely and worth lingering, you can cross it to pick up the path as it leaves the back of the beach, but it is a bit scrambly. Alternatively once you've explored the beach you can take the path which runs along the back of the beach.

You'll then find the hill leads you up a hill which is slightly scrambly and looks like this.

From the top of the bill you'll get a lovely view back of Praia da Gale Leste.

Follow the path down the other side of the hill, which is a bit scrambly, where you'll get a view of the second beach, also pretty special.

I think this beach is still officially part of Gale Leste, although it doesn't feel like it. The path continues around the back of the beach or you can get sand between your toes and cross the beach to pick up the path at the other side. Sand between my toes if always my preferred option. At the other side of teh beach there's steps up to the path that look like this.

Follow the path up a small incline, in front of a bar/restaurant (which is attached to a resort) until you get to a boat that looks like this.

Take the path to the left of the boat where after a short walk you'll find the third beach, which is Praia do Chiringuito.

Chiringuito I think means beach bar in Spanish, however there isn't one. This is a very nice beach and worth an explore. There is a path behind the beach that starts with a small section of board walk and steps down to the beach. If you continue on the path past the board walk you'll come to a dry ravine which also gives you access to the beach.

You can get back onto the path from the very far end of the beach, but it is a scramble. The path continues past the beach until you come to a fork. You can see the left fork takes you up a steep hill, with steps, the right fork will take you back to a lower path closer to the sea, which is my preference (better views). Both will take you to the cliff top where the radar tower is that you'll have seen in the distance from any walk between here and Armacao de Pera.

If you take the right hand fork it leads you through a wooded area that looks like a dead end, it isn't, keep going and you'll see a sharp right turn back out onto an open path. The path will lead you up to a wooden railing shown in the piccie below. Make sure you look back at the view, it's pretty special, however don't lean on the railing it's not to be trusted.

From here the path rises sharply towards the radar tower, however there are helpful steps.

At the top you'll get a good view of the next beach which is Praia dos Calvoeiros which means baldheads. I'm afraid, even with the aid of Google, I'm unable to shed and light on where the name comes from. It is a very nice beach though.

It's worth an explore around the cliff top where the radar tower is, the views and very nice, especially at sunset.

Continue on the path past the radar tower where you'll find you will have to descend into what looks like a valley or ravine. There are couple of options, I took the sandy path which is a little scrambly but not to bad, unless you're wearing flip flops, as I was.

You're heading for a car park you'll be able to see in the distance. There are multiple paths and it doesn't really matter which you take.

Follow the path up an incline to the car par which you'll cross to pick up the path the other side, which looks like this.

From here the path is pretty simple to follow and will lead you to Praia de Manuel Lourenco. Before you get to the beach the path will become much sandier and just little bit scrambly. It looks like this.

From the top of this path you will get a good view of the beach, which is lovely.

Cross the beach to the steps at the side of the restaurant which takes you to the car park described at the beginning of the blog. There isn't much beach at Lourenco at high tide so the walk it much easier at least a couple of hours after or before high tide.

I tried to find out more about where the Lourenco beach name came from without much success. There is a Saint Lourenco who was martyred in the 3rd century, but I don't think his name was Manuel. One Google thread suggested it's named after the restaurant owner. If I find out more I'll update the blog.

This walk is short and fairly easy going. If it's too short then it's easily added to an adjacent walk in one of my other blogs, but regardless it's well worthwhile.

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