I always have to remind myself of two things when new friends first arrive: 1. They are jet lagged for a few days; and 2. They have not been hiking and walking as much as I have of late therefore I need to introduce them to shorter and more manageable trails for the first couple of outings. With both those things in mind, this morning James, Louise and I set off for the Fonte da Benémola while Michel opted to stay closer to home and enjoy social time with Marc, which ended up including a jaunt around town.
The wind was up when we left, which made it feel several degrees cooler than it was registering. That said, heading up into the mountains usually means warmer temperatures, less wind, and within a few minutes the layers are being peeled off.
As expected, we were warmed up pretty quickly and the usual hiking strip tease commenced.
I was over the moon happy when I suddenly spotted a lovely cluster of Sawfly Orchids……..the colour was impossible to miss in the clay path.
For me it’s virtually impossible to tire of the country side and available vistas, I’m always reminding myself to stop, look back, look up, look down. I truly don’t want to miss any of it.
As we neared the end of the trail we were entertained with a cacophony of frogs. There seemed to be several different sorts as it sounds very much like a choir with all the various voices thrown in.
Both James and Louise were more than appreciative and content with this as a first outing. We had meandered and stopped frequently so as to avoid any injuries and give people time to breath everything in. Once back in the village we were meeting Michel and Marc for lunch in the square. The wind hadn’t really left town and although very sunny, a tiny bite in the air. Nothing to stop us hearty Canadians from enjoying a patio lunch.
For those of you that are following me on FaceBook you probably have seen the photos I posted last week of me and a horse near our house. Here in Portugal it’s not uncommon for the gypsy’s to stake their horse(s) in large fields and let them graze for a few days. Sadly, in my experience, that rarely includes giving them access to water, which really irks me however, it’s cultural and there is nothing I can really do about it except……bring the horse water.
That’s what I have been doing three times a day for a week now. The horse recognized me and she gets quite excited and vocal when she sees me. I (on occasion) have brought her a carrot. Today I arrived with my bucket and a carrot in my pocket……what happened, I’m certain, was purely circumstantial but it made me laugh.
She called out to me and started doing her little dance when she saw me. I put the water down and she nuzzled me for a moment then put her head down and took a long drink then stopped, looked at me and started to poke at me, smelling the carrot for sure. She kept poking and I told her to keep drinking. And now the funny part…….she kept trying to get to my pocket and I said, “no, empty the bucket first”. She looked at me, put her head down, knocked over the bucket, then came back to my pocket as if she had understood and outwitted me!!! She got her carrot and I had to walk back to the house and refill her bucket. LOL The field is almost eaten down so I expect she will disappear any day but at least I did what I could to help and innocent creature.
From there I decided to take a walk into the mountain just behind us and ended up enjoying an hour and a half of complete tranquilly, just me and Mother Nature.
Returning to the Quinta and coming in through the gate I was struck with the heavenly scent of orange blossoms. As I walked over the trees I discovered that both the orange and lemon blossoms have opened in abundance…….in addition to the fabulous scent, they look lovely as well.
And so goes another Friday in our lives here in the Algarve, our home away from home. Life as we know it is grand. I hope you can say the same.
Primavera chega em breve!!