Lef to right the Boys in black: Gary, David, Peter and Geoff.
Its the 14th June 2pm and we are off ! We begin at the Market, Sports Bar and Grill in Santa Maria with Gary, David, Peter, Geoff and Max (the dog). After a farewell from Luciano we head for the Sal Beach Club and then the pier on the beach and another send off by the Castello Do Sal kids and Alex ,Varnia & Eduardo.
We finally leave at 2.30p.m.on our anti-clockwise walk around Sal Island and head towards Serra Negra. Along the route we are greeted by Jacquie and Neil from SOS Tortaruga walking Ray, the partially blind dog desperately needing a European home (hint).
It was pretty obvious from the start that this was going to be a walk with many enjoyable moments and fast walking (the training had paid off ) We arrived at Serra Negra after walking along Ponta Jelonga and Kite beach in 2hrs 2mins (11.45km) and a nice start too the tasks ahead . At SN we were greeted by the support team ( Wives ) Lin ,Linda and the 2 Yvonne’s (Gary has promised to marry Little Yvonne ). Camp was set up, beer flowed and the camp fire kept us up for a nice evening on the beach. Turtle patrol proved uneventful and sent a quick text to Turtle House to record no sightings
Day 2: We were up at 5.45a.m. with the stunning sunrise and crashing waves, the noise of which had kept us awake most of the night. We had breakfast and packed up camp. We set off at 8am heading towards Pedra De Lume. This time we decided to walk around the peak and not over the top, a much safer route, we still arrive at the valley in the same spot to continue along the East coast past the wind turbines and some nice sandy bays, although too much rubbish from the African coast has been washed ashore We arrive at Pedra De Lume in 3hrs 20min (17km), It was time for a swim and then more cold beer for us, while Max was more than content to sleep after chasing butterflies and lizards all day .
The support team once again arrived and left having delivered all our equipment and fresh water. England beat Sweden 2-1 a fitting end to the day. Asleep by 9p.m.! Still no sign of a Turtle on the beach.I was woken up bright and early the next morning by Max trying to sneak into the tent. At one point when David went for a toilet break during the night, on his return to the tent (now named ‘Hamilton Hall’ as it was the biggest tent) he heard Gary saying “no you can’t come in”, as Gary thought it was Max trying to get in!
Saturday 16th June. The girls arrived to collect the camp, brought fresh breakfast and cold water. It was time to leave and say good bye to the support team until we reached Mount Leon the following afternoon (Sunday). Thanks to Jeff and Gwyneth the girls would be having the Saturday night off, as they were all off to Jeff & Gwyn’s Renewal of Vows and Jeff’s 60th birthday party (all in one party) where we knew the girls would be partying all night.
As for us (the boys), we all knew this was going to be our toughest day. We left at 9am and headed towards the Quarry over the two peaks at the most northern point of the island and then the long walk across the desolate plain covered with rocks and quarry stone, which made walking extremely difficult.
This walk in the previous trial was tough and yet again arriving at Buracona we certainly looked drained. The walk was 26km and took 5hrs15min and we burnt 2,700 calories in one day, Unfortunately due to the increase in the temperature we all ran out of water with more than an hour and 5km to go.
It was time to recharge and drink much water, thanks to Luciano who provided food and drink and a shelter over our heads, as we spent the night at Burracona, sleeping like babies on the restaurant floor with Max took it in turn to sleep next to every one of us.
In the morning we set off at 7.30 am and headed for Palmeria and a strong coffee,then down to Mount Leon and a swim and relax until the support team arrived somewhat delicate after the party!
This section took 2hrs 47min and 15km and still no turtle tracks. Knowing this was now the home stretch the girls camped with us at Mount Leon and we had a big feast, as visitors from Castella do Sal and the SOS Rangers arrived bringing plenty of supplies .
This was now the final day, the last leg of the walk. The girls joined us for the walk. Off we set to Murdeira, down towards Algedera , Paradise Beach and Sol Melia and then the home straight into town.Finally Max knew where he was !
The walk along the beach back to the pier and into town was extremely rewarding.
We arrived at Sal Beach Club where Bamba and the Drummers, the children from Castella do Sal and many friends and expats were waiting to greet us .The last leg of the walk took us 3hours 45min and a distance of 18 km .
This really has been an amazing experience and some wonderful scenery which few people will have ever seen , Sal really does have a lot to offer with walking, hiking, camping and fishing. We all said it would be a good walk and it proved to be just this with many fond memories and fun moments which just would not sound the same in writing, Watching Max bounce all around always at the front and when we did try to confuse him he quickly sniffed us out and returned to the side of the front walker.In my conclusion it goes without saying that this would not have been possible without the support team, and Lin/Geoff truck, The money raised via donations and sponsors deserve a big thanks as yet again we have raised a staggering €3000 towards helping the Children in Santa Maria.
Distance 87.45 Km. Calories burned 8,500 Beers consumed A few !
Gary lost 8 kilo’s but we all said he was to fat !
Max slept for 12 hours and then continued to bounce into town.
Where ever the 4 men go, you can be sure Max is with one of us.
Market ” Lucianos”
Kyle K&L printing
Sal Vista Lda
Sean my Destination .
Info provided by P.Aspden