Cerro do Malhão in Estoi

Yet another magnificent day and an equally magnificent hike. Today we trekked 15,4 km and adored every moment of it. At some point I decided we needed to refer to this as the “hike of ruins”, and that in no way includes James and myself, despite what others may think!!

As we had decided to head back into Estoi for lunch, Marc came along with me and stayed at James’s apartment and worked on his website while James, Jackson and myself headed onward and eventually, upward.

This particular hike was a combination of asphalt roads, old farm roads, small footpaths, and several meadows. The footing at times was quite uneven and demanded a bit of attention. Many of these old hills were once completely terraces, therefore you stumble on sections of wall, much of it still intact, and of course, old homes/farm buildings in various states of decay.

It was quite a scorcher out in the open which meant that when we encountered a shady spot, we took advantage and stopped for a moment or two. Jackson in particular needed the break and was always ready for a small drink.

As we came to a familiar turn in the road, one that would take us up, up, up. then down, down, down we stopped to catch our breath and there, on the corner, a “bed” of Scilla peruviana, the Portuguese squill….I counted twenty eight of them and that wasn’t the whole lot I discovered. Each of these is about 15–40 cm tall, bearing a dense pyramidal raceme of 40-100 flowers; each flower is blue, 1–2 cm in diameter, with six tepals. WOW!

By the time we arrived back at the quinta we were “done in” and certainly ready for lunch. We left Jackson at home in the shade and the three of us walked down to O Victor, a place that Marc and I have always enjoyed and James has eaten several times this visit. We were so hungry that food arrived and was devoured so sorry, no photos. That said, I did manage to scoop a shot of dessert.

Tarte de alfarroba (carob tart) for James and Marc, both practically licked the plate so I think it’s fair to say it was good. Me, salada de frutas, all fresh (pineapple, pears, kiwi, strawberries, orange, and cantaloupe. Refreshing and a perfect end to a great repas together.

And my final shot of the day. We were walking down a steep slope and came upon a small bed of wild white iris. Right smack dab in the middle was this………….you can only imagine how it stood out.

We’ve just finished dinner, the birds are calling out to each other seeking bedtime companions, the light has shifted all throughout the main floor as it starts to set in the west, and these two content, blessed, happy, Canadian Boys are grateful for another wonderful Algarvian day.

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