The Citizen wants to develop an Eco-friendly hiking tour of the fabulous scenery in and around Salir. He calls this project Happy Trails. To get the total Salir vacation experience, I go walking with him.
The Citizen is an expert on all things; he has carefully researched each of the trails, and gives a thorough and rich history. It is still in a development stage, so he decides…daily…to take me on a different tour. I must say, the scenery around here is beautiful. However, getting to each place is a bit grueling, to say the least. I have crawled over rocks, where the slightest slip means a plunge to my death. Also, each hike is harder than the last. So with relief, it rained today. We all lounged around and watched a DeNiro movie on TV. Ahh, my idea of a vacation!
And then the rain stopped. “Come on, Gidget,” The Citizen says, tying his hiking shoes. “Today we shall go see the mills”. Constance gives one of her evil giggles…a first clue? Off we go. Up, up, and up a road not well travelled…another clue. I look up the hill; it only goes straight up. I look behind me; it is straight down. Starting to really breathe hard at this point. “Just a little bit further”, The Citizen says with a smile.
I have learned this phrase will be repeated many more times during the walk. With a groan, I continue. All of a sudden, he notices some blackberry bushes, complete with juicy, ripe “amoras pretas” “Gidget, do you mind if we stop to pick berries?” “Oh No” I graciously reply, concentrating on the operative word “stop“. We pick enough amoras pretas for dessert. We go on and on and on. The Citizen notices my taking pictures of the road. When he questions why I am doing this, I reply “its evidence for my lawyer for the lawsuit upon my demise”. “Oh, it’s just a little further….”, so I groan and continue. I swear, that man is trying to f@&king kill me!
Eventually, we get to the top, where the old mills are located. Well, I must admit, it was worth the struggle. We explore the old mills, imagining what life was like hundreds of years ago for the poor Portuguese millers, especially during winter months.
Then we travel on until we get to the top, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and can see all the villages along the coast… The contrasts and hues of water, vegetation, rocks, and topography are amazingly spectacular. The sun is beginning to set, and the colors are stunning.
It’s time to head home. I smile because this, to me, is the “Happy” part of “Happy Trails”. Downhill all the way. We have walked a little over two miles, but I will admit it was worth it. Still, I firmly believe The Citizen is jealous of Gidget’s friendship with Constance and is trying to get rid of me .Note: I am sending a copy of this to my lawyer in case of my early demise due to hiker’s syndrome.