On Tuesday, December 19 I left Lisboa after having made some shopping to go to Setúbal where I arrived at the end of the morning in search of a carpark, which I did not find, to visit the downtown area. Consequently I visited Castelo de São Filipe builds in 1590 like Vauban to prevent English from settling on the island of Tróia. After the entry, a vault is covered with azulejos by Policarpo de Oliviera Bernardes. From the top of ramparts a beautiful sight embraces the port of the city. I found a bivouac at Figueirinha between sea and mountain.
On Wednesday, December 20 I left on a tour of Serra da Arrábida. But before I visited bulky Mercado in a pink building!, after having found a parking early in the morning. Of course I was accommodated by a polychrome azulejo and others in the market. It resembles all the markets in the world with fruit and vegetables, fish and meats. My first halt was in Palmela to see the Castelo occupied by the Moors, then conquered by the Christians at the 12th century it became the seat of Saint Jacques. Inside the church of Santiago is worth visiting only as from 10:00 like the church of Sáo Pedro in the city. The access of the castle and the center of the city is a rally in narrow lanes like often in the historical centres. Then I pushed up to Cabo Espichel, the southern point of Serra where is the sanctuary Nossa Senhora do Cabo set up at the 17th century on a place of pilgrimage since the 13th century surrounded by buildings of reception of the pilgrims. I returned to my bivouac after a turning to Sesimbra and Portinho da Arrábida.
On Thursday, December 22 was a day prehistoric day with the visit of two megalithic sites. Cromeleque dos Almendres close to Guadalupe is a set of drawn up stones as they exist about it in the old Europe dating back to 4000 between 2000 BC. They are 95 blocks of granites laid out in oval with engravings which I did not see. Further away Anta do Zambujeiro is a dolmen, a sepulchral room to receive bodies accompanied by funerary objects, preceded by a tumulus forming a gallery of access. Capela-anta São Brissos has a narthex formed by a dolmen. The temperature being very mild I returned to Cromeleque to bivouac.
After a peaceful night at the bottom of megaliths, I visited the castle of Estremoz on a rock piton visible by far in the middle of vineyards. Torre de Menagem is included in one of the most sumptuous pousadas in Portugal. The low city characterized by an immense place, Praça de Rossio, broadside of old convents and baroque churches. In all the neighborhoods villages are of an impeccable whiteness with windows surrounded by a facing of green color. I bivouacked at the bottom of ramparts of the castle.
December 23 & 24th end of the week I had envisaged to traverse the Serra São Mamede from Estremoz. The first stop was in Portalegre which hardly held my attention due to quasi closed monuments or there was nothing to see as the castle and, the cathedral whose announced opening is 9:00 and not opened yet at 9:15; God did not have my visit this day. Moreover Antigo Convento de Santa Clara is occupied by the GNR (Guarda Nacional Republicana); I asked to visit, NO, to circulate it does not have nothing there to see. Outside the ramparts Antigo Convento de São Bernardo is a barracks of the GNR; of course I did not go there. I continued my way up to Marvão an impressive castle built in the 13th century at the border with Spain whose imposing ramparts are integrated harmoniously in the landscape to make an impregnable fortress. The interior village, tourist place in season, was deserted at the time of my visit but an immaculate whiteness. I bivouacked close to a convent quite as deserted.
On Sunday the 24th and Christmas Day I rested at the edge of the artificial lake of the Barragem da Póvoa close to Castelo de Vide.