Today, with many thanks to our friend Harald, I had the immense pleasure of enjoying a 13 km hike on the Amendoeira Trail. We were accompanied by Pat and Gary and I think it safe to say, the four of us enjoyed it tremendously. The sky was brilliant blue, the temperature a perfect 19 degrees.
We drove for an hour to the village of Alta Mora, the drive itself was fabulous. Winding mountain roads, breath-taking vistas, small forests of pines, eucalyptus, and cork trees cascading up and down into the valleys.
The trail is a combination of dirt tracks, mountain paths and the occasional stint on asphalt as we crossed through tiny villages. We passed ruins of windmills, small abandoned villages and some that were simply two or three houses. We crossed the Ribeira do Beliche twice, fortunately not a lot of water in the river which made the crossing a little easier for us! There isn’t much more to say but here are a few photos to give you an idea. Hopefully you can appreciate it as much as we did.
On our way to Alta Mora we stopped to accomodate a large flock of goats as they crossed the road. I think they are fairly used to traffic and don’t spook much.
We arrived and parked the car then headed off into the Cerro.
Patricia enjoying stretching her legs, the sunshine and the incredible views.
A shot off in the distance to show you some of the countryside.
Harald and Gary trekking along.
A cluster of almond trees with the sun blazing down on them. They look like cotton candy off in the distance.
The lavender is starting to bloom in places.
Winding their way through the vegetation along the Ribeira do Beliche
Our first crossing of the river. Nobody fell in!
I think we were just a few days late for the complete majesty of the almond trees but, they were still pretty special.
Ribeira do Beliche. Calm and peaceful.
Along one of the dirt tracks…..almond trees lining the route.
At a small junction in the track we came to this compound of sheep. They didn’t seem too preturbed by our presence.
Love the chickens along the path in this very tiny, blink and you miss it, village.
An abandoned old farm building.
Lichen on the rocks, the colour competing with the flowers.
Another angle of the abandoned building, note Harald to the side…
Another abandoned house.
Love the colours in this. I can imagine it just a few short weeks ago when that rose bush would have been bending in blooms.
The almond flowers range from vivid pink, bright white and a grayish white.
WE had all packed a lunch and stopped at this little cafe to enjoy a bica and tea. We sat, ate our sandwiches and relaxed in the sunshine.
This cluster of flowers as we started back on the path following our lunch.
This is where we took our coffee.
People put their old bathtubs in fields and let them fill with water for the animals. Brilliant.
New signs installed along the path
Look at the gorgeous cactus.
This tiny village off in the distance, we had actually walked by it.
I am one happy man.
Tiny daisies all along the dirt tracks.
I am indebted to Harald as he introduces me to these wonderful trails. Not only will they become a part of my repertoire but he also instills in my a sense of confidence in terms of exploring these places by myself.
The drive home was easy and quite as the four of us were pooped from the energy of the day. As we arrived……..we both wondered what Bela and Marc had been up to in our absence……..we’ve yet to hear the details but…..this is where we found them on our entrance to the quinta.
What a grand and wonderful day it’s been…for all of us. And to top it all off, we have “take away” from Ana and Simão for dinner….bachalau com natas…..salted cod with cream. Can’t wait!