These Boots are Made for Hiking

A gorgeous sunny day, energy galore, friends to keep me company, and the Barranco do Velho calling out to me. It had been James’s birthday wish to hike this trail but because of rain we postponed which made it that much more enjoyable to drag him along today, a late birthday present!

I’ve hiked this trail many times, it’s another of my favourites…especially within a short drive from home, and today was no exception. I noted many changes from last time, not all of the favourable, but overall it’s still pretty special. Many wildflowers showed up to tease us with colour and the scents that wafted throughout most of the hike were amazing. Some of them we could find the source of but others, simply couldn’t find it.

We were delighted to find little evidence of the rains of last week. For the most part the path was dry however in a few places there was quite a bit of debris from fallen trees, one very large cork tree in particular blocked a large part of the path. It also seems that a great deal of bulldozing has been going on nearby. No evidence of the equipment but much “destruction” of the land for great swaths on large parts of the path. The other thing that was a bit surprising for me was the abundance, and growth, of the eucalyptus. I recall patches of it but today it dominated in several areas and was hanging over the pathway.

Just past the half way mark we wind up near a tiny hamlet with a small cluster of homes, one in particular that stands out as the owner tends to decorate the house, fence, and outer buildings with all sort of statues etc.. It’s been fun over the years to stop by and see what he has added since our last stop.

Heading back up to the road we veered off from the traditional route and took a small upward path that I had never been up before.

At one point on our walk we picked up a young dog who decided to accompany us for the balance of the hike. He was quite friendly and quite the little “tracker”. At points it was obvious he had picked up a scent and he would “get to work” following the trail but then, always came back to us looking for a little affection and stayed close.

At another area of abandoned houses we came across something that had been added, which amused me. There is an old fountain, long dried up, but somebody had come along and planted a Virgin Mary in the old water spout……

Towards the end of the trail, near the old church, the mimosa/acacia was blooming in abundance and again, the scent was simply overwhelming. Sweet and almondy mixed with honey. It really is lovely.

A marvelous hike just over 7.5 km but lots of that was up or down, very little on the flat. All in all, a good workout for the three of us. On the way home we stopped at another location to investigate an old ruin we had seen from the main road. It wasn’t long but was a lovely hike up a mountain road.

A grand and lovely jaunt on a grand and lovely day.

2 thoughts on “These Boots are Made for Hiking

  1. What a beautiful time of year to be hiking with so much in bloom. Looks like you got some great exercise with all the ups and downs. I often wonder at the numerous abandoned houses in Portugal and the stories behind them.


    1. Yes Debbie, I love spring time here in Portugal. Every hike is peppered with new colour!! I have asked about the abandoned houses and I’m told that many of them were tied up in long estate settling (every relative in the world can stake a claim on property here) and in the end nobody wants it and this is what happens…dilapidation and decay. Sad really.


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