Mountain Air: Good for the Soul

Vaqueiros is a lovely small village situated nearby Alcoutim, in the heart of the beautiful Caldeirão Mountains. Each year they host a wonderful festival called Feira Do Pão Quente E Do Queijo Fresco (Festival of hot bread and fresh cheese) and I love to go. I love it for the drive, which is never quite the same as I take different routes when I can find them, the company, there is usually one or two willing to tag along with me (this year Pat and Dawn), and the atmosphere in the village is one of the liveliest and of course, it’s an opportunity to mingle with locals and breath in the culture. It never disappoints.

Our day started very early with a trip to the train station to tuck Joanne safely in her train seat for the 3+ hour ride to Lisboa. She will fly back to Canada today (Sunday). We certainly miss her presence around the house.

Once home I enjoyed a lengthy stroll around the property and was rewarded with a huge patch of grape hyacinth very near our terrace. There has to be 50 or more popping up all within a few feet of each other.

And then the drive to the mountain village, which for me is never in a straight line and comes with as many stops as Mother Nature dictates, and I’m not speaking of pee breaks!!!

Once we arrived in the village parking was ample, all along the roads, or literally……as you can see from this photo…..any place you could squeeze your car safely.

I could instantly see that there were more vendors than other years, more people attending, and it was already in full swing with wonderful Portuguese voices cascading into the valley as song after song was being sung. The laughter and general sounds of happy people, out and about enjoying the festivities, was contagious. You could not not smile!

And of course how could we not bump into people we know!! That seems mandtory.

We explored, we lost each other, we found each other, we discussed what to eat and finally we bought wonderful hot bifana com quujo e bacon …what flavour.

Intense sunshine, full bellies, and enjoyable last walk through the melee of vendors and visitors then into the car and the circuitous route home, I opted for a small mountain road that I knew would lead to somewhere and was in the right direction. Several stops for photo ops.

Our first stop, a small hillside covered in the wild yellow lupins that I love so much. A member of the Pea Family,  the Yellow Lupin is common in the Mediterranean Region where it can grow in vast quantities.

The moment of the day…….we get into the car and are delighting in the fact we’ve seen the wild gladiolus and now the lupins. Dawn asked, “so, what would you like to see next”? I thought about it and I said, “How about a field full of black pigs”? I swear on my life, less than five minutes later we round a bend in the road and here is a farmer, right beside the road, putting down feed for this large parcel of black hogs!

It couldn’t have been funnier to see all these porco pretos oinking and pushing each other to get down the hill and into the food. Obviously a very hierarchical clan! What was even funnier was Patricia watching Dawn and I swooning over the pigs…….

What a great day it was, as always, and now I have more photos, blog, and memories to keep me company on the porch of the “old folks home. One final shot of the day……taken for a particular person……her ears had to be burning.

9 thoughts on “Mountain Air: Good for the Soul

  1. What a great day you had…bet you are glad the rain has stopped….loved the bunch of black pigs…you turning into a prophet Randy? Your writing is so good, so lyrical….take good care and say hi to all for me…


    1. Thanks darlin’, coming from you I take that as a high compliment. Big hugs back to you, your name come up often.


  2. “Old folks home”….ha….another lovely day on the books.


    1. Happy you’re paying attention.


  3. Darn! I missed this one. They don’t tend to be well advertised, but it’s probably for the best. My husband can’t eat cheese. But I could eat it for him! I’m all heart.


    1. LOL. A very generous woman I see!! It was such fun this year with lots of live music. Very well attended

      Liked by 1 person

    2. LOL a very generous woman I see! It was such fun this year with much more music and very well attended


  4. I remember this festival well! Great fun and such good food, sitting on the steps munching and enjoying a glass of wine in the open fresh air, observing all the happy people! Loved it! Great to see the black pigs…I have only tasted them! Thanks for the wonderful photos of the two Lovelies and the poppies…it’s a keeper! 🤗


    1. How did you know that photo was for you? LOL. Yes, it truly was a wonderful day and I think your name came up a time, or tow, or three!


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