Finally, Rocha da Pena!! Worth the Wait

One of my favourite hikes here in the Algarve is this one, for a litany of reasons.  A quite picturesque and compelling hiking route deep in the Algarve countryside, about 45 minutes by car from Estoi. According to my FitBit it was a 6.6 kilometer hike, I would suggest it’s moderate difficulty for those that hike often and happily it’s a loop trail. We’ve already discussed doing it again but next time, in reverse. You always see something new or different when you simply turn around. Isn’t that true of most of life?

In any case, I’ll let the photos do the talking with an odd word here and there. Sadly Marc is dealing with a gastro bug and he opted (wisely) to remain at home today. There’s always the next time.

We are never in a rush on any of our hikes but this one in particular is demanding for the first 30 minutes or so as it’s a slow but steady climb to 479 meters. We love to pace ourselves but also to stop from time to time and look back over the breathtaking vistas.

We decided to stop around 12h30 and enjoy our picnic lunch. Finding a sunny spot was no issue and with the large calcareous outcrops, it was easy to find a place to sit! Our picnic photos.

Narcissus calcicola is a rare and endangered member of the Daffodil family. It is on the Red Data List of plants and is an endemic of the Iberian Peninsula, now confined to a few locations in the Badajoz, Almeria and Granada regions in Spain, and in the Algarve in southern Portugal. How lucky we were that Pat spotted them. I took a few photos but this was the only one that was worthy.

Winding our way down into, then through, the tiny village of Penina is, for me, always such a pleasant experience. It’s in some ways reminiscent of a ghost town yet clearly, with all the love and affection that goes into the homes and properties, it is very much alive. It’s rare to see folks although today we did encounter a couple of friendly souls.

The very last section of the hike is along a small dusty farm road, probably about 2 km before arriving back to the car. There are a few homes along the route and many small farmed fields.

So much colour and beauty to absorb that at times it feels a bit overwhelming.

A truly memorable and enjoyable jaunt in the Algarvian mountains. The combination of vistas, the wonderful exercise and the company of amazing friends and it’s not a day that I will soon forget. On our way home we stopped in São Brás de Alportel to enjoy a beverage before finally arriving home. We parked in the historic section and walked to the square…..as always, something catches my eye.

And, one of my favourite today………

And to all our Canadian friends and family who’ve just been walloped with snow…….. ficar quente!

6 thoughts on “Finally, Rocha da Pena!! Worth the Wait

  1. Well done Randy…lovely blog. I so enjoyed the day; very full.

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    1. Thanks darlin’, I think you know how much I am enjoying you and Gary being here.

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  2. Beautiful pics of a lovely time in Portugal.

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    1. Thanks Ken. Such wonderful opportunities.

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  3. Certainly a comfort for me to see these gorgeous shots on a cold and snowy winters day. Hope Marc feels better soon

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    1. Thanks Darlin’…..he’s feeling much better today……a couple more and he’ll be back to “normal”!!

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