Portugal Day 1 - Activation of Cabeço de Câmara (CT/AL-009)

It has been quite a while since we were able to have a “fly-away“ adventure with SOTA in mind that was not too far to travel. Studying the SOTA database Portugal and in particular, the Algarve, was perfect as I had previously chased 6 of the 9 summits in the area. At the time of booking the break one of the summits was fairly new and was unactivated.

Only one event to report on the travel out. Clearing customs at Gatwick was a performance as security questioned the Li-Fe batteries as they didn’t have the Watt-hours stated on the labels. We explained it was simply the voltage (13.2 V) multiplied by the capacity (4.2 Ah), which for our batteries was just under 56 Wh, around half that allowed (100 Wh). So after an explosive swab we were allowed to proceed.

Our chosen “base of operations” was the resort of Albufeira, 40 km from Faro and the airport, where we had a lovely apartment on a hill in Pàtio, a 15 minute walk from the old-town. We planned to do all the summits in the Algarve (and a few beyond) mainly following Phil’s (G4OBK) blogs, but that was flexible in case we were over ambitious.

The first location we visited was the new summit of Cabeço de Câmara (CT/AL-009) (one not activated by Phil) not too far from Albufeira, which had since been activated by CT1MH and CT7ASV. Even though the top of Cabeço de Câmara is criss-crossed by many paths it is not always obvious that there is public access. However our other hobby of Geocaching is always an invaluable source of local information if someone has hidden a cache there. This confirmed access, provided parking and routes, and also mentioned that it was used as a paragliding jump-off.

The most practical place to park is adjacent to a set of buildings at N37 06.766 W008 03.398 just to the east of the summit. From here a steep, rough track directly to the top is easy to pick out amongst the bushes. We did the walk in the midmorning heat (above 30°C) which was quite draining as we had not yet acclimatised. The summit has a topographical tower, which we used for shade with plenty of space for aerials nearby.

The parking (right waypoint) and the route to the summit (left waypoint)

Propagation was hit and miss on both 20 and 17 metres with severe QSB. In the end I managed 21 contacts in total including 3 summit to summits into Switzerland, German and Scotland. Helen operated briefly to grab the four required (including the stronger summit to summit).

The view north from the summit

Carolyn activating the summit

In the afternoon we planned to activate CT/AL-003 and alerted in anticipation. An easy drive on summit to the northeast of Faro but unfortunately Helen took a tumble before we even started ending up with some cuts, bumps and bruises; this curtailed the activation.

So only one hill finished on our first full day, still a planned 11 to go in the 7 days we had left,


Equipment used: FT-817 running 2.5 W into a HF Packer Amplifier providing about 20 W into a linked quarter wave vertical for 20 m and 17 m

8 full days from 28th July to 4th July 2023 with 12 summits activated, including an unactivated summit in EA7/CA, with 310 contacts (22 s2s) for G6WRW and 112 contacts (15 s2s) for M0YHB (422 contacts in total) over 9.5 hours of operating

Also 1800 km driven, 35 geocaches found and a day in Gibraltar

Portugal Day 1 - Activation of Cabeço de Câmara (CT/AL-009) - Activation Reports - SOTA Reflector

Portugal Day 2 - Activation of Pelados (CT/AL-002) and Serra de Mú (CT/BT-001) - Activation Reports - SOTA Reflector

Portugal Day 3 - Acitivation of Sela (CT/AL-008), Picota (CT/AL-004) and Serra de Foia (CT/AL-001) - Activation Reports - SOTA Reflector

Portugal Day 4 - Into Spain and activation of Virgen de la Peña (EA7/HU-023) - Activation Reports - SOTA Reflector

Day 5 - Gibraltar

Portugal Day 6 - Back from Spain and activation of Verdugo (EA7/CA-035) and Cerro de São Miguel (CT/AL-003) - Activation Reports - SOTA Reflector

Portugal Day 7 - Activation of Negros (CT/AL-006) and Rocha dos Soídos (CT/AL-005) - Activation Reports - SOTA Reflector

Portugal Day 8 - Activation of Serra da Rocha da Pena (CT/AL-007) - Activation Reports - SOTA Reflector



Thanks for the interesting write up, and info on CT/AL-009.

I will put this one on my SOTA to-do list when we next visit the Algarve.

Enjoy your holiday and the SOTA’s.



Well done coping with the heat. The forecast looks warm for the rest of the week - but not as hot as it can get down there.

This one “un-completed” my CT/AL tally, so I guess I may have to go back… but the other half isn’t keen as the sea is too cold. :joy:

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