All that Carnaval razzamataz put away for another year, it’s back to the quiet life this week, in my sunny Algarve hills. North of São Brás de Alportel lies a beautiful, green area which has provided me with many walks. Twice lately I’ve started out from Fonte Filipe, a natural spring in the shape of a lemon, where legend has it a young girl appears at sunset, washing and singing in the fountain.
Leaving the fonte, I follow signs for Amendoeira. Through the frothy wisps of tree branches, gentle humps hint at the surrounding hills.
A steady climb brings you to a villa, and a dog who looks down with casual indifference, lord and master of his landscape, for today, at least. A drift of wild iris illuminates the path ahead.
Water is always the highlight of a walk for me. I peer into ponds, ensnared by the meekest weeds, while reeds as straight as guardsmen protect me from the chorus of frogs. Beyond them, cistus dance gaily in the slightest breeze.
Natural springs supplied the local populations of Amendoeira, Resinas, Carvalhal and part of São Romão, and were used to irrigate the crops. Stone pines grow freely here, their cones effervescent with colour at this time of year. Mounds of cork lie drying in the sun.
It’s the turn of the pink cistus to dazzle now, the bees humming in ecstasy, while the wild narcissus gently nods. Not to be outdone, there’s a flourish of cream and yellow among the rocks.
Back on the valley floor, a trickle of stream slides past the stepping stones. I could paddle deliciously, but prefer to test my balance, pausing to enjoy the cool and the entwining of the shadows.
The trail from here is flagged, making easy walking. It’s part of the Via Algarviana, which crosses the Algarve from the sea at Sagres to its border with Spain. You need to keep your eyes wide open, for some jewels hide their beauty in the shade. The bee eater orchid can be a shy creature. Back into the sunshine, I pass a mill race, on the home straight now. One more flurry of beauty and I’m back where I started.
From Fonte Filipe it’s an easy drive down into São Romão. I stop to purchase homemade honey from a café, and a favourite restaurant, with views over the valley, supplies a wonderful panna cotta.
Bombarded with walks this week, so you’re going to need to spend a little time here. There are some beauties so please do visit if you can.
A hard invitation to refuse, from Debbie :
I just can’t believe I’m still sharing snowy walks! Who’d be Canadian, Natalie?
Drake knows where to find sunshine when he wants it (though he likes snow too )
I don’t mind a spot of rain sometimes, if we’re going somewhere interesting. Thanks, Susanne!
Janet’s post reminds me of the Leonard Cohen song, ‘Ring the bell!’ Funny the associations people make :
Why not take it slow, and just enjoy the beauty, with Rupali?
Or you might prefer a bit of rough and tumble, with Alice :
And then you can always visit Jackie for sustenance :
Any baseball fans out there? You might recognise this place :
Mary shares some very beautiful murals :
Short but sweet, and very familiar, from Becky! Did you spot my Spiky Squares to welcome her back?
There’s nothing like looking at beauty through the eyes of one who appreciates it. Double helping from Jude!
Memories and much more, with Susan :
And talking of memories, Amanda is testing my Polish this week :
Cathy plods on along the Camino, taking some interesting rest stops :
While Carol gives us a brand new definition for ‘close to the edge’ :
Hope you enjoyed my company this week. I certainly enjoyed yours. Take care, and catch you next time on Jo’s Monday walk!