I love how it’s described in one of my hiking book: “Like a commanding sentinel guarding the frontier between the Barrocal foothills and the rugged Serra upland, the ‘geologic monument’ of Rocha da Pena offers a quite picturesque and compelling hiking route deep in the Algarve countryside”. I couldn’t have said it better myself, it certainly does resemble a sentinet, one that you see from miles away as you head towards the area.
It’s one of my favourite hikes here in the Algarve, about 50 minutes from where we live. A beautiful drive through the countryside passing through many small villages, the larger town of Loulé (which was alive today with the Saturday farmers market), Salir and a smattering of other villages and hamlets.
Marc had to be at Quinta da Tôr today as the opening of the art exhibition is tomorrow and today was “hanging day”. On route to our hike, I dropped him in Loulé to connect with his friend, Bob Tidy (https://tomorrowalgarve.com/community-news/feb-2022-meet-the-artist-bob-tidy-photographer-and-digital-artist/) then we headed on and eventually connected with Pat, Gary, and James.
Joanne and I arrived earlier and took advantage of wandering around a couple of small roads/paths near the hike. Always something lovely to see.
As we’ve (most of us) done this hike a few times we decided today to do it in reverse. We walked along the old farm road to Penina, a tiny picturesque village, then upwards. Penina is quiet, obviously well loved by the inhabitants given the flora and fauna tucked in and around all the houses.
And here, our motely crew
When enjoying these hikes we take our time, it isn’t a competition or race, and the quickest way to get hurt or exhaust oneself is to push simply to keep up. I like very much that we all know this and respect it. From time to time we’ll stop, wait for the folks lagging back to catch up, have a little chin wag and move on. We usually pack a lunch and on this particular trail we have a specific place we like to stop and eat. The panoramic views from that point are amazing.
There weren’t many wildflowers out and about today, a bit early for many of them, which is why we go back in a month or so for a second walk.
Although I said not many flowers were evident, the one that was, in abundance, is the common asphodel……I love it.
I don’t think I will ever tire of this trail as it always seems to vary and doing it in the opposite direction today allowed us to see it in a totally new perspective. As we came down the final part of the trail, back towards the parking area, we heard voices and when we looked back….and up
Not for me but fascinating to watch. And so ends another gratifying day in the Algarve for this group.