Its the weekend!!! Playing catch up on my blog – 20th August – Serra da Estrella mountain range, sunset and sunrise time-lapse, free camping @ 2000m

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I’ve spent the past 7 weeks (other than 2 days in Seville) on or around the coast / beach, be it Tarifa, the Algarve, south west Portugal, or west Portugal (such a hard life!) so I decided to mix things up and head inland towards Serra da Estrella mountain range.

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I free camped at a small village called Manteigasin in the mountain range itself, planning to head up into the mountains the next day.

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Typically it was Sunday so all was closed but as the weather was so bad it worked better to drive the area and not attempt any trekking or biking.

Also typically the road to the summit area was closed from where I was staying, and the detour was 90 mins Vs. 15 mins straight through.

However, it was a Sunday, and there were no workmen around…….so……..

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As the weather turned better over the following days I was able to trek a few routes from around 1400m to the summit Torre at just under 2000m. The first one I got lost and ended up way of course trying to scramble over some part of the range that was built for goats, not men!

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I also took in some early morning mountain passes on my bike.

The scenery is probably best described as raw natural beauty and from where I was staying went along the lines of 10km down super fast, then 10km up super slow. Pretty epic runs down though.

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As you could park at the summit I decided to free camp here for a few nights.

As I was filming a sunset on a time-lapse I managed to accidentally record a backdrop of local shepherds herding goats back up the mountains in a cloud of dust, together with a cloud inversion over the mountains behind. It was definitely one of those moments when you are like wow!!!!

Made even better by the occasional view of the top of a wind turbine peering through the clouds in the valley below!

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Unfortunately as I was filming the camera mount came slightly loose, so over the hour it took to do the shot, it slowly pans down out of sight.  It still captured the essence of what was happening,  but the video or photos don’t do it justice.

However, I had better skills with a 6am sunrise the next day, and got some good footage of the sunrise on a time-lapse also capturing 3 planes flying past in the background. It’s not amazing quality and only off my iPhone4s, but still looks cool I thought.

So another highlight of my travels here, mainly for the raw natural beauty of the area, the sunset and sunrises, and the chance to stay still for a few days!

Finally, as my recent posts have included some food shots at the end, here’s something I picked up from the local area – dry cured smoked ham, and a sheep / cow cheese mix.

I came up with a recipe to make tomato and sweet potato soup, flavoured with the dry cured ham, packed out with mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Not that much else to do at the top of a mountain after all…….

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…….except build stone towers…….

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