Most of our party spent the day in Porto, but I was with the smaller half, and we spent the day a bit closer to home base. The plan was to hike up to the next village, Praia d’Ancora, have lunch there, and hike back in time to shop and organize a picnic for everybody. We more or less achieved those goals, with many variations and surprises on the way.
The first stop was Afife’s very own archaelogical dig which consists of a plaque, and that was in Portuguese but it definitely said the stones were from the 2nd or 3rd millenia B.C., which is a very long time ago. They may have been starting to invent Egyptian civilization, and there might have been some zigguarauts over in Sumeria or Assyrian or wherever it is they had the ziggurauts, but in Portugal is was stone age ancestors of the Celts, or some tribe which has since gone extinct. The site itself was two lines of 6 stones each, very much like Obelixes menhirs from the Asterix and Obelix comics, leaning inward over a trench. I suspect that 4,000 years ago, there was a roof made of animal skin over it and it was a home, but other members of my party saw it as something loftier, and we called it ‘The Stonehenge of Afife.’ Interesting, the path to it was totally overgrown and the whole site was almost invisible, even from the obscure forest track it was off of.
Then, we saw a fort, overlooking the beach, which was of more recent construction, but whether it was 12th century or 17th century, we had no idea.
We got to Praia d’Ancora and weren’t hungry yet, so wound up spending quite a bit of time on the beach, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. Today, I actually got in. It was 4 before we went to lunch and past 5 by the time our food arrived. I had snails, which is something that if I had more time in Portugal, I would have a lot more of.
Then, we took the train back to Afife, just one station, so the conductors never got to us and we had a free ride.
The picnic on the hill, watching the sun sink into the ocean, looking like a fire in distant mountains, was truly beautiful.
So, today we went back 4,000 years and looked out to the horizon, even though we never traveled more than a few kilometers. Quite a day.