Communing with Nature

We both love our lazy morning routine. Leisurely breakfast, peruse our news sites, then get dressed when we feel ready. The life of the retirees in their home away from home. Not to shabby at all!!

Marc surprised, and delighted me, by suggesting we head into the mountains and hike at the Fonte da Benémola, a long time favourite and a “must do” several times while we are here as it transforms itself with the evolution of the seasons.

Of course no drive is ever in a straight line, nor is it ever about the destination as it always includes several stops along the route. Today was no exception…

Just outside the gates of a private property, this elaborate well cover!
A fixer upper that caught my eye. What a dream that would be.
This wonderfully coloured building right at the turn in the mountain road.

The route to the fonte is winding up and down through the serra and, as we’ve already encountered since our arrival here, many of the routes have now imposed reduced speed limits, which is not a bad thing. In actual fact it makes the drive that much more pleasurable, in addition to helping avoid accidents. It does mean however that I need to pay attention as I’ve been used to whizzing along these roads for several years now and I don’t want to get a speeding ticket.

When we arrived at the parking for the trail there were only two other cars present, which basically meant we had the entire 7 km hike to ourselves.

We walked, more or less ( mais ou menos), at our own pace stopping to simply breath it in, snap a few photos, or wait for the other to catch up. The goal for us is to enjoy it as it unfolds.

The Fonte da Benémola Trail is a short circular walk (roughly 7 km) that starts on a dirt track on the way to a small hamlet called Fica Bem. The rural scenery at Fonte da Benémola is peaceful, pretty and very bucolic. This trail crosses a Protected Landscape composed of woodland, meadows, and traditional farmland on the banks of the little river Menalva, deep in the Algarve’s Barrocal. It’s been developed much since we were here 19 months ago with new signage, stone picnic tables and benches. I can see heading there from time to time with a picnic.

A sluice down one side of the pathway
In Portugal the acorn is so important that they have a different name for each type of acorn. The acorn of the cork oak (sobreiro) is called a lande (or landre) and the acorn of a holm oak (azinheira) is called a bolota (or boleta).   This one is the holm oak.
This foot path crosses the river but the path continues for another km or so along the trail on both sides.
Recently Marc and I watched a documentary called “Fabulous Fungi”…..I now see them so differently and I view them with respect in terms of that they do to aid our climate and environment. These two beauties are growing from a chunk of cork tree that has been fallen for some time.

We enjoyed a marvelous chat with a woman from Switzerland who lives nearby. She has three “sister” dogs, retrievers, two black and one golden. A thoroughly enjoyable tête-à-tête about life in the Algarve and the pleasures of wandering the paths aimlessly.

By now it was nearing 12h30 and we were ready for lunch. Rather than head home we headed a bit further along the road and came to…..

As you can see, the patio was empty but I popped in and it was confirmed they were open and had a full menu with several Prato do Dia.

We both ordered Frango à Brás and it was incredible. Piping hot, fragrant and bursting with flavour. This is one order!

Close to 14h00 we were satiated with the walk, the outdoor, the meal, and ready to head home. On the way we drove through a recently harvested cork forest, which meant another stop, or two, or three.

12 thoughts on “Communing with Nature

  1. You hooked me with the “fixer upper” as you know that’s my thing.I love the little bridge and the restaurant looked so fresh and inviting. Your meal looked delicious and a generous serving. I’m surprised you didn’t found a space with a tree and nap after eating.
    Your lives read like a magical fairytale. I enjoy it.


    1. Yes, in a way, especially after the last nineteen months, this feels a bit like living in a fairytale. We love it.


  2. Find not found. Dam phone


  3. Nice one….that walk is so close and a easy ramble. I agree, it’s one to enjoy often as there are so many different delights throughout the seasons.


    1. It’s changed a bit in that they have added a few side paths, more signage etc.. We thoroughly enjoyed it as it was full of the old but with a twist of newness.


  4. More loveliness!😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. such an interesting walk…I love the flora…wow…that lunch looked delicious too….thanks for taking me with you..even if it was just virtually…x


    1. We’d take you with us any day! So happy you are following along. Hugs


  6. I LOVE reading your blogs. I feel as if I am there with both of you. Loving the cutie pie cat…and you 2 cuties as well. The olives ans the cork trees..and the views, the meal..well just all of it. Enjoy your “wonderful life”. 😘🥰


    1. Hey Susie, love knowing you are following along with us. We are, as you can see, delighted to be back here and enjoying this amazing weather and lifestyle. Stay safe and have a great winter.


  7. Great photos today and a most inviting commentary! What a fabulous lunch and so big!
    I don’t remember the cork acorns? Maybe a few hit me on the head! LOL! I remember tha hike and thinking ‘I did it!’ Yep, a very good read today, Buddy!


    1. The acorns had fallen by the time you arrived. The boars love them.


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