A Walk to the Spring…..one of my favourite hikes here in the Algarve. In total we walked 2hours and 25 minutes but we also sat and relaxed for our picnic lunch during another 35 minutes. Three hours from starting out and arriving back at the vehicles.
This trail follows along a network of ancient paths thought both the the serra (mountain area) and barrocal (area of limestone soils stretching across the central part of the Algarve with it’s own characteristic vegetation largely unique to this area).
The paths are frequently hugged on both sides with very old stone walls and lined with olive, carob, and holm oaks. One of the things I enjoy about this particular route is the constant up and down of the undulating countryside and the ever changing landscape from the lush valleys to the ancient Roman roads, and the periodic small village or monte.
Joanne and I arrived a few minutes before we were to connect with Pat and Gary and took a small walk around Mesquite .
Pat and Gary arrived just before 10h30 and off we headed.
There were a few other folks hiking today but with people stopping to explore, taking photos, etc. it isn’t long before you feel as if you have the entire trail to yourselves.
From this small path we finally wound our way into a huge cork forest and the hunt was on to see if we could spot any wild peonies. We did locate the bushes, many of them, but sadly, they are probably two weeks ago from blooming. A great reason to go back.
Despite the fact that we have hiked this path many times over the years, I never tire of looking out over the various valleys, turning a corner and seeing the next hillside stretching out before me, or looking off in the distance and recognizing that soon I will be walking on that same road/path that currently looks far far away.
We discovered a large patch of blooming knapweed. I thought they looked regal and quite beautiful against the landscape.
Frequently on this hike we stop at a very old house that has been abandoned for a long time. The small terrace is usually covered in freesia and cyclamen but sadly, today, it’s even more decomposed and the wild greenery has taken over the terrace. A lovely patch of calla lilies that has always been in bloom when we are there didn’t disappoint today.
By now we were roughly at the half way mark and we found “our field” where we usually stop to picnic. Just close your eyes and imagine the sun shining down on your face, the soft scent of olive trees, the birds singing and flitting about, and off in the distance, church bells chiming to remind us it’s 12h30.
As always, after a picnic it’s more challenging to walk but walk we did and from this point, much of it was on a steady incline.
I am always grateful for my love of the outdoors and my desire, willingness and motivation to take long walks and convene with nature. Perhaps it comes from my early days of growing up in a national park in Newfoundland. Of course having wonderful friends to share it all with is the icing on the cake.
And speaking of icing on the cake……when I arrived home……
Dinner is just about ready, the smell is heavenly, baked empanadas with a salad. My wine glass is sitting before me and our fire is crackling. As I look out our window here is the view…
Abraços a todos até a próxima vez