Sesimbra Velha

Sesimbra is a touristy town, complete with obligatory Moorish Castle, sandy beach, great fish restaurants and a bustling port.

There’s also a huge (and completely empty, in February!) municipal campsite occupying a fortified hilltop overlooking the sea, and last but not least a great little crag!

In an unusual example of good planning (or fortune) you can walk from the campsite to the crag in around 15mins (half of which is getting out of the campsite!) or drive and park beneath the lighthouse just beyond the port before the no-entry signs, walk up the dirt road for 200m until you see a blue paint blob on your left, then follow a path marked by blue “M”s to the crag in 5 mins.

Around 40 routes up to 25m spread across 2 sectors, with something for everyone in the 5s, 6s, 7s and even a few 8s.

Look carefully at the photo below and you can just about make out Helen climbing just to the right of the central cave, and another team to the left.

There’s a topo here which is more or less the same as the one in the guidebook, with both having the same seeming grading anomalies.

Forca Bruta, V, and Puzzle 6a+ both lived up to their names, at least a grade harder than stated.

NM, IV+ and Glue Man, V+, were much more reasonable.

Whilst Pacote, V, was about right but the adjacent Os Coxos, V+, (which shares a lower-off) was more like 6b+!

We finished off with Lobularia Maririma, 6a, which takes the left arete of the first sector and were rewarded by the first soft-touch of the day and some cool silhouette shots.