Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Did I mention that we had some days of wind and weather while we were in Sintra? The first day of wind almost blew Isaac away at the beach, but was then followed by a few days of calm and rain which was followed by another day of high winds. The winds we experienced during our visit were the highest on record for the region. Luis, at our favorite cafe in Sintra said that he felt like in the days between epic winds we were sitting in the eye of the storm, which felt like an oddly right assessment. On one of the days in between storms, we went for a hike that started at Regaliera and led us down a hillside past old quintas to the valley where Colores lies. The trail was muddy, but not in terrible shape. We noticed a few trees down but nothing too unusual. The day after the second big wind day, we went for another hike. This hike started at Setais Palace and ended at Pena Palace. As we hiked, it was astonishing how many trees were down everywhere. Huge trees blocked our path and obliterated the rock walls that lined it. It literally looked like a tornado had torn through the forest. We all practiced our monkey skills as we climbed over and through tree after tree until we finally hit the road leading to Pena. We had hoped to hike through the grounds of the palace, but the whole forest had been closed with no estimate for reopening. We learned later that over 2,000 large trees were blown down by these storms. Though not super ideal weather for a visit, it was interesting to experience it nevertheless.
Click here for photos of the first hike.
Click here for the tornado hike.