Our “winter weather” has finally arrived, we are blaming Pat and Gary for having brought it from Canada!! Today was a high of 14, which in itself is quite lovely, but it was accompanied by a brisk and somewhat biting wind. Nothing that would stop a group of hearty Canadians from heading out to enjoy a mountainside hike.
A return to the Fonte da Benémola, a favourite for all of us and not overly challenging for those who are still dealing with a bit of jet lag.
As typically occurs, we pretty well had the entire route to ourselves. We did see two other couples at one point but they were meandering and stuck to one side of the trail only, which meant we saw them for all of a minute. Just us, Mother Nature, the burbling Ribeira da Menalva, and countless birds flitting about.
It’s always a gift to wander on these wonderful old trails and this year in particular I’m delighted to find that so much more signage has been installed along the trails as in the past that wasn’t always the situation and often times we would start out then within a km or so, not have any idea which way to go. One might say we were “lost” or “confused” often! And speaking of gifts.
A wonderful first hike for the larger group, slower than usual because of the wagging tongues, and no, that’s not the name of a Portuguese plant! It did serve it’s purpose as a wonderful hike and an appetite builder. Our first two attempts at patios failed as both restaurants turned out to be closed but fortunately I knew of another place not to far away and within a very short period we were contentedly ensconced on the terrace at Casa dos Presuntos na Cortelha.
A veritable feast, so much so we all left food on the generous platters. Pat and I both order borrego assado (oven roasted lamb). Here’s what it looked like…
The other three ordered bochechas (pig cheeks) and I must confess, I was so into my lamb I forgot to take a photo so, you’ll have to trust me when I tell you the platter was enormous and between the three of them they could not finish it!!!
The warm sun, the vinho tinto, mouth wateringly fabulous food, conversation and laughter….the makings of a great siesta!!!! Didn’t happen though as we had to drive home and we were deep in the mountains, which meant corkscrew turns all the way home.
A brief stop to have a tour of Pat and Gary’s lovely home away from home for the next little while then onward to Estoi…and here we sit. What a great day it’s been and so many more in front of us.