South to Setúbal & dinosaur footprintsNovember 22, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 13 °C
After a longer than expected stay in Nazaré, because there was so much to see around there and the weather was very changeable, we headed south to an Ecoparque site at Outão, on the Setúbal Peninsula, an hour from Lisbon.
Our site, just outside the busy town and port of Setúbal (birthplace of José Mourinho) is set on the shores of the Sado estuary, home to bottlenose dolphins and flamingoes. We have a great view of the estuary and watch in amazement as ships, guided by local pilots, navigate through the sandbanks while locals fish with three rods from their pedalo canoes.
Behind us is the Parque Natural da Arrábida, covering the 35km-long Serra da Arrábida mountain range, which provided us with panoramic vistas across to Lisbon on one side and the beaches and estuary on the other as we made our way across it on the motorbike in search of dinosaur footprints!
We took the coast road as far as we could to Cabo Espichel and admired the lighthouse that stood tall above the sheer cliffs. It would have guided us, as it did many others, when we were making our journey south in the boat years earlier. It is in this area that it is possible to see dinosaur footprints embedded in the limestone cliffs but with neither time nor the weather for that on our side, we headed inland to a more accessible site at Zambujal.
Years earlier, local quarrymen came across some strange markings in the stone they were working on. Further investigation revealed that these were dinosaur footprints that were 150 million years old! We couldn't even imagine something of that age but the storyboard explained how, from the footprints, the experts were able to work out the size, age and speed of the dinosaurs.
The area is also full of gastronomic specialities so we could be here for some time........Read more