Today Marc was committed to spending the day at the Quinta da Tôr and coincidentally there was a hike near there that I have been wanting to do for a couple of years so off we headed after breakfast. Joanne and I deposited Marc at the quinta then I drove into the village of Tôr, parked near the “centro da aldeia” (village center) and lo and behold, there was the sign for the hike I was seeking!
The village stands on the southside slope of a hill. The white houses (well not all of them are white, but most) line the sinuous streets that never follow a straight line. The local economy has been historically linked to the production of nuts (almonds and walnuts) although I didn’t see any indication of any of that today. What I did note immediately, was that many of the houses had tiles inserted in the walls, some indicating the occupation of the inhabitants, others, religious, and a couple, simply decorative. Here are a few that stood out for me.
The other thing that was a lovely find were the various blossoming flowers.
The rural landscape consisted of small vegetable gardens, orchards (Yes, I picked oranges), as well as vineyards. The hillside was covered in fig, olive, and carob trees with several cork oaks thrown in for good measure.
We eventually found ourselves on the edge of the Ribeira de Tôr, which we had to cross…….
It looks as if that might be an easy feat however photos can be deceiving. I looked for an easy place to try and traverse but, no such luck so, I headed off across what looked like the most obvious, and accessible place. I got across but almost fell at the last moment as the rock I landed on was slimy. I made it however, unscathed. Now, let’s chat about Joanne!!! She forged her own path andelets just say, washed her socks in the process!! Squeak squeak squeak for the balance of the hike!!!! Lot of laughing.
We were constantly in earshot of blackbirds, magpies, warblers, a loud woodpecker and the occasional hoopoe, From a distance, the peel of the church bells from the village. All in all, a most satisfying and inspiring hike. I can see myself doing this again with other friends.
In the village I came across a very old looking cactus hugging the side of a patio. It looked as if it had seen better days but as I got closer I saw just how gorgeous it was with tiny red veins running up and down the body of the plant and in a few places, tiny flowers starting to come to life.
A grand and productive day. By the time we finished we’d clocked up just over 7 km despite the book telling us the hike was 5,2 km. We headed back to the Quinta da Tôr to enjoy a tapas lunch with Marc on the terrace….I forgot to take photos of the food.
Joanne and I headed home from there with a stop at the grocery then later in the day, I headed back to pick Marc up. On the route to get him I noticed a small van stopped on the side of the road selling fresh strawberries and we decided to stop and pick up a crate. Yummy.
Six euros for a large flat!! Marc also decided to get a few fresh local tomatoes and the young man gave them to him, wouldn’t take any money for them. We experience this sort of generosity frequently and are always moved by it. A smile, a wave, and off we go. Life as these Canadians know it is more than grand!