Exactly one month ago Joanne and I had hiked from Fuzeta to Luz da Tavira and had promised ourselves that before too long we would drive to Luz da Tavira, park the car, then finish the walk from there to Tavira. Today turned out to be that day!!!
Marc had an afternoon engagement with a friend, Pat and Gary had plans of their own, which freed up Joanne and I to do whatever we liked. We headed off around 10h00 for Luz da Tavira and 20 minutes later we were heading off on the trail.
Twenty degrees, moments of shade, others of complete sunshine, and all of it an immense pleasure. I had never taken this particular path before and was surprised to find how it skirted huge plantations of avocado trees that seemed to go on forever on one side of the path then orange groves on the other. Tranquility was our constant companion.
We were in the town for only about five minutes when the path we had last stopped at appeared and suddenly we found ourselves skirting farms and winding down country roads that were fairly narrow at times. The sea was our constant companion off to the right, constantly alive with the reflection of the sun.
Shortly into our walk the sound of bells in the distance started getting louder. We lucked out again today, twice actually…..just wait.
The route was very quiet and although there were quite a few houses and farms set back from the road, we really didn’t see much sign of people other than the occasional cyclist. This route is part of the main cycling route from one end of the Algarve to the other. It’s called the Via Algarviana, “a pedestrian long distance path (300km long), perfect for hiking and biking, that runs from Alcoutim, in the Eastern Algarve, all the way across the region to the western tip at Cape St. Vincent, near Sagres and crossing the Costa Vicentina Natural Park.
As we arrived at the official end of the rough path and into Tavira proper there was a cluster of these trees, that always take my breath away. I am pretty certain they are related to the Laburnum.
We weren’t exactly certain what to do once we arrived. I suggested stopping at the new market building as Joanne had never been and I wanted her to see the wall “art”. Here is a tiny sample.
The walls above the fisherman’s stalls are decorated with clusters of sea rocks that have been painted and positioned as fish. Quite creative, whimsical, and pleasant to see. From there we had decided to head to the tourist bureau as I had wanted to purchase the latest version of the Algarve’s Walking Trails. As it turned out, Joanne surprised me and bought it for me as the first present of my birthday month!!!! How wonderful for me. Along the route a few things caught my eye.,
Once in the core of town we decided to find a place directly in the sun and have a light lunch before starting the trek back to Luz da Tavira. We opted to share a pizza, enjoy a beer and a coffee each and simply sat on the terrace and chin wagged for 1.5 hours. Pure heaven as we had an unobstructed view of the river Gilão and the new pedestrian bridge with intense blue sky, good food, and all that warmth.
The walk back was equally as enjoyable and offered up a few new things to enjoy. We came upon this one property where the owners were obviously taking advantage of the abundance of bamboo that is available. On the property they had an area where they were drying out the bamboo but had already constructed an amazing bridge and a green house using the dried bamboo and local grasses to hold it all in place. Very ingenious. As it was a private property I didn’t wander to far into their space but used my zoom to get these shots.
As we walked on I could hear off in the distance a hoopoe or poupa here in Portugal. Usually once you get fairly close they stop calling out, or fly off. This one stopped for only a moment and I tried to spot him. I finally did, high in the branches of a “monkey puzzle tree” or or Chilean pine. I wasn’t certain with the distance or the sun in my eyes if I could do any justice with a photo but luck was on my side.
By now we were starting to feel a bit tired and finally, when we arrived back at the car and checked our FitBit stats we were both delighted and a bit shocked. Our total of 23,566 steps converted to 17,4 km!!!! We will enjoy our G&T this evening!!!
A few of our vistas during the last couple of kms.
And finally, the car! I don’t think we look any worse for the wear????
A thoroughly enjoyable day, some great exercise and loads of vitamin D. Then to top it all off, as we arrived home and got out of the car, yet again the tinkling of bells. Right at our door.