All Roads do not Lead to Rome

In years past I know I’ve mentioned that here, Sundays feel like Sundays. I am happy to be able to confirm that again today!! There is tranquility in the air, despite the distant sounds of gunshots as the hunters stir up rabbits, wild birds, and perhaps a wild boar (javali) or two, and the restaurants tend to be full of local large extended families out enjoying their day off and each others company, the little children dressed in their Sunday finery. I love it.

Today seemed to be laundry day as I did it, Pat did it, and James too! How’s that for being in sync? Marc, Joanne, and I had predetermined we would enjoy a leisurely day around “home” with perhaps an afternoon hike thrown in for good measure. As it turns out, that’s precisely what transpired, with the addition of James joining Joanne and I for the hike.


Marc competing with the bougainvillea! In his happy place on the patio, in the sunshine, working on his art or the administration related to it.

There are countless small farm roads, or perhaps I should call them mountain roads, all around us, begging to be explored and that’s where we headed.

That large hill in the background behind Joanne, James, and Jackson was our destination. We never actually made it up to the top as we couldn’t quite find the route but instead, ended up going around the bottom of it and well beyond. We eventually came out on a main road that I know leads us into Sao Bras so, a lovely “shortcut” we can take when we are ready to take on that trek.

Holmes oak , olive, and carob trees lined the side of the small road, partially paved but briefly, then solid clay with large muddy section still submerged in great puddles. Huge clusters of star of Bethlehem and paperwhites peppered many of the fields, at times the scent intoxicating. Quite a few signs advertising “Zonas de Caça Ativas“: (active hunting zone) and of course Sunday is a hunting day which meant we stayed on the main road and didn’t stray much into the smaller mountain paths that called out to us. We’ll save that for a week day.

Our “landlord” had told us that a young couple had developed an organic farm nearby, making essential oils. We found it, which I had hoped to do.

The owners are Laura e Nuno Dias (hence the name) and I love how they describe their business…….direct quote:

“Aromatic Experience We will guide you through the organic farm and you will learn about the origins and the medical benefits of all the plants and herbs that surround us. Enjoy the local flora growing in its own natural habitat far away from pollution and watvh how we pick the herb how they are packed ready to leave the farm. To end this memorable visit, a delicious table with several infusions, tradicional cakes flavored with our herbs and honey with cayenne pepper tasting”. I want to check them out next time they are open as I’m sure it will be a treat.

James and I have been friends for many many years and it’s such a treat to get to spend time together here in the Portugal.

Stumbled on this sign post in the middle of the mountain and appreciated the time that somebody had put into it. Yes, that second sign up is Toronto……..where it’s cold and snowy right now!! It was a thoroughly enjoyable first hike (of sorts). We walked just over 7 km and most of that was up or down, very little flat. A great way to get our hiking legs back as not everybody walks as much as I do.

The sun is setting, the birds flitting in and out of the bougainvillea near our patio doors, and I just heard the sound of a gin and tonics being prepared in the kitchen and the clinking of glasses. I’m having a dry January but it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate others enjoying themselves! The winding down of another wonderful day and a lovely stretch of evening before us.

Por favor, mantenham-se seguros e saudáveis.

11 thoughts on “All Roads do not Lead to Rome

  1. Looks like a great day was. had by all and what a lucky little fella Jackson is. I am excited to hear about Dias de Aromas after your visit.


    1. It was a great day, you would have loved it. I am looking forward to going for their tour if it’s available this time of the year.


  2. Another lovely post. Thank you for sharing your travels with us.
    Awesome to see the addition of Jackson in your photos. I’ll have to look into the travel requirements are pets as we are thinking about getting a little dog ♥️


    1. Hey Bonnie….I would suggest you sent a note to James and he can give you a rundown of his experience with getting Jackson here. I do know there were several visits to the vet and an interview, in person, with Agriculture Canada to get final documents etc., then a visit with their counterparts here when he arrived but what was actually required, I’m not 100% certain.


      1. Thanks Randy. I’m sure there would be a comprehensive process to follow.


  3. Great photos of you all and the flowers you’re encountering on your walks. It looks so sunny warm and enticing.


  4. Nice pictures of your hike today on a relaxing Sunday. Love Marc’s sweatshirt!


    1. We should get a commission for advertising!!!


  5. What a lovely blog! I felt the sun shining through your words! Just what I needed on this very cold, dull day! Some lovely photos, as always, especially the poppy, which put an immediate smile on my face…thank you!
    Randy, your clear and colourful descriptions of your activities made it easy to join you, Joanne, James and Jackson on your hike; I almost started huffin’ and puffin’! LOL! Off to the Club to avoid that! 🤗🤗


    1. Your name did come up when the poppy poked it’s head up and demanded to be photographed!!! And who are you kidding, huffing and puffing at the pool is mandatory or you’re not working hard enough.


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