Berlenga


On the 5th December, 2021, I made a day trip to Berlenga Island that I made with David (Czech Republic), Sam (France) and Luca (the Netherlands), whom I met at the Peniche Backpackers Hostel. To be more accurate, we visited Berlenga Grande, which is the main island of the Berlengas Archipelago.

Truth be told, I almost didn’t even go as the original trip, which has been planned for the day before had been cancelled at the last minute. I’ve be coming to this area of Portugal (Peniche and the Silver Coast) for about 10 years now, and yet had still never visited Berlenga. So, I’m so glad it ended up working out, and that I got to share it with my three fellow travellers, a really great bunch of guys.

One of the many highlights of our trip was to be able to explore the Fortress of São João Baptista (Forte de São João Baptista), which was constructed in 1651-1656 from the remains of a pre-existing monastery (the Monastery of the Misericórdia da Berlenga), which had previously been abandoned.

I hope you enjoy the short video I made of this day trip, and that it inspires you to make the effort to see more of this wonderful world; and why not start with the places close to home. They are, ionically, the ones we more easily take for granted.

Cheers, Jyri.

From far we have come,
to this rocky barren isle.
As brothers we see.

‘Berlenga’ | Jyri Manninen

A special tribute Haiku poem to this shared trip with my three other ‘Berlenga Bois’.

Mountain Goat

I love to run over trails, especially when they take me into the mountains. Come and join me for this 19.6km trail run, including 495m of vertical climb, over the mountain behind Carreço, Portugal, which is located just some 20km from the border with Spain.

At the summit, I came across the source of the Rio Afife, a mountain top reservoir lake. Unlike the wet, cloud covered run the first time I run in the trails here (and of which I have a separate video here), the weather this time around was clear and sunny, and so much better views in all directions, even as far as the Minho River at the border with Spain! The descent was also pretty cool as I got to run through covered forest pathways, as well as some small mountain side villages before reaching sea level again.

The entire loop started and finished at Casa do Sardão, an amazing hostel that caters for Camino Portuguese pilgrims taking the coastal route. I hope you enjoy this run, and that it also inspires you to get out there and do some exploring of this amazing world around us.

Cheers, Jyri

Joyrise

A blazing Joyrise to the horizon soars,

breaking free of Earth’s darkened shores.

Towards the mountains high I climb,

to leave behind all tearful times.

Momentum builds as I speed away,

on in search of brighter days.

Old grows young before my eyes,

as I hum the Song of God’s sweet reprise.

Ride the wind and dare to fly,

spin your wheels and touch the sky.

Tears will fall, but now from joy,

My love for life, I must employ.

To be a man, to do the right thing,

to fight for wisdom, to honour the King.

A poem inspired by a ride under the Portuguese sun with a good friend.