Phew! Back to colour again! For a person who hates grey skies, monochrome is very hard work. Fortunately for me, my recent visit to the Algarve had its fair share of blue sky.
We’re leaving the beach behind and heading inland a little way today, to Vila Nova da Cacela. It’s quite an ordinary sort of place but I was inordinately pleased to be doing this walk. It was a case of third time lucky, because twice before I’d attempted to find the start point for the walk, unsuccessfully!
Let me explain. Often my Algarve walks are in the company of a group of walkers. The meeting point is always a neighbourhood cafe, designated by email. After all, who starts walking without a good cup of coffee first? Vila Nova da Cacela is one of those small towns in the Eastern Algarve that you’d have to detour to visit. The busy (by Algarve standards) E125 runs past it and many times I’ve whistled by without a care. Except, of course, when trying to find the designated cafe.
The town is not big, but just big enough that you might have doubts. The first time I and my husband tried to join the walk, ‘opposite the mercado’ seemed like clear instructions. But there was no sign of the walkers that day. I believe we gave up and went to the beach! The second time was a different cafe, and once again, with time in hand, we combed the streets of Vila Nova but could not find the walkers. It felt like some kind of conspiracy! We set off to explore the neighbourhood, sure that we’d bump into them round some corner, but it was not to be.
When we arrived on the third occasion (nobody can call us ‘quitters’) we were dumbfounded to find a traffic diversion bang smack in the centre of town. The directions we were carefully following were no longer valid, and worse, behind us were 2 cars containing walkers we recognised , following us with the conviction that we knew where we were going! Well, all’s well that ends well and we had at least found some walkers and, eventually, the cafe. I bet you need another cup of coffee before we set off, don’t you? I know I do!
As we left the town, the fields were a-tumble with yellow flowers, and an old well sat placidly looking on. A left turn brought us onto a track and soon we were approaching a lofty windmill, it’s sails still intact- quite rare these days.
The view from the top of the steps
Wild flowers growing carelessly by
The windmill up close
The walk is nothing special. Just a meander around the country lanes surrounding Vila Nova da Cacela. Even Wikipedia has next to nothing to say about the town. Still, it’s a pleasant place to be on a sunny February day, with the blossom tickling the trees.
A gentle flourish of blossom
Seen in the hedgerow
While the farmer goes about his work
One of the more prosperous looking farmsteads
I was sad to learn, from one of the walkers, that almond production is no longer profitable in the Algarve. Few new almond trees are being planted and the nuts are now widely imported. This in a country where sweet almond treats appear in the tiniest and humblest of cafes and on market stalls everywhere. I find it hard to understand.
Another ‘find’ in the hedgerows
Horses and a donkey, at leisure
The road less traveled
Crops germinate in the polytunnels
Traditional blue and white
And a few plates on a wall
We pass a few houses and a cafe or two, then we’re heading back into town. Little separates town from country, a flock of nosy sheep reminding us of that.
It’s goodbye to the orange trees
And hello to an inquisitive sheep
We’re heading back to ‘Cacela Mar’, our meeting place this morning. Tables are set out on the grass and for just 11 euros we enjoy a 3 course meal with wine. Our attention is caught by the glimmer of fungi in the grass. The waiter is quick to assure us that they’re not edible.
A gold-topped fungi
But I expect you’d rather have cake!
The walk took a couple of hours at a steady pace (and with a coffee stop thrown in). It wasn’t at all taxing but I felt a huge sense of achievement afterwards. I’d finally walked the ‘Farms of Cacela’! Triumph! I hope you enjoyed it too.
Next, it’s time to thank everybody for their kind contributions and to share this week’s walks. If you’d like to join in, the details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page, or you can just click on the logo above. More coffee, before we start?
Jesh is first this week, with what sounds like my ideal wander. Come and join us!
Tea Garden San Francisco
While Debbie has me California dreaming…
Walking the Grand Canal, California style
When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go… to Esther!
Here’s Amy, talking to ducks again (smile)
Drake is hoping they’ll soon be singing ‘We are the Champions’ :
Never walk alone!
Somebody else who doesn’t like to walk alone! Thanks, Geoff :
You’ll never walk alone, part 3
Gilly doesn’t mind a bit of solitude, especially if the surrounds are beautiful :
A Warren Walk
But if you visit Minou, you could indulge in some clog dancing!
Marken- a world away in 40 minutes
Finally, Jill sets the scene for a serene and mystical experience :
Tak Bat in Luang Prabang
Superb, weren’t they? You can have a fine walk and never leave your armchair. Many thanks for joining me. I wish you a happy week, and some good walking.