Enough of nostalgia! I think we’ll do one last Algarve walk before I get stuck into a British winter. This one’s a country walk, led for me by Georgie, a lovely lady who lives in the inland village of São Brás de Alportel. If you’re ever in the Algarve at Easter, this village hosts a beautiful parade through lavender strewn, cobbled streets. It’s a treat for all the senses.
It was a glorious morning when we set out, but I was informed there was a 40% chance of rain! We had driven up above the village to the site of the former pousada, with wonderful, wide-ranging views all around.
We had already discussed the fact that on breezy days, the wind whistles around the hilltops. Someone who had once stayed in the pousada recollected that the shutters had banged and rattled ferociously throughout the night. No sign or sound of that today, but weather up in the hills can change frequently.
Starting at so high a point, it was fairly obvious that we would be going down and then, at some future point, back up again. Georgie assured us that, taking your time, it wasn’t especially taxing. The cobbled path gave way to a rough track, and we paused frequently to take notice of our surrounds. Soon we came to a fonte or spring, used for laundry purposes in former times.
The trail follows a stream and reed beds before climbing up into the hills. In Spring these would be carpeted with cistus and wild flowers.
A couple of years ago forest fires ravaged the gullies around here, and evidence of the burnt out trees was starkly visible. Nature is quick to regenerate and we were more concerned with the clouds that seemed to have zipped in from nowhere. A few spits and spots of rain were laughed off as we hastened towards our coffee stop.
What a treat this little place was! Tesouros da Serra means ‘treasures of the sierra’. Nobody was arguing! The produce on display looked delicious, but we knew that in a short while we would have a lunch stop. We settled for sharing some alfarroba biscuits, but made a mental note to come back another day.
One of the really delightful things about this cafe, in an out of the way spot at the back of São Brás, was its garden. Not widely accessible to the public, when Georgie asked if we might see the olive tree, claimed to be 2000 years old, we were assured that we could go in.
The sun was shining brightly again and we turned right along a path that led us through a forest of cork oaks. Huge gnarled creatures, standing their ground as they had for generations. Cradled beneath them lay extraordinary fungi.
Coming out of the woods, we were back on the trail up to the pousada, which didn’t seem anything like as steep as expected. Maybe it was the prospect of lunch! I’ll give you a little peek in our restaurant, shall I? ‘O Marques’ is in Gralheira, on the back road from São Brás to Loule.
I haven’t fully captured the beauty of this area. Georgie assured me that in Spring it is quite magical, and I have no cause to disagree. There are signboards along the way, giving details of the flora and fauna, and if you look at my links you will find more. To find the pousada, take the N2 signed Alportel from the village and head to the top of the hill. The cobbled path is off on your right, just after a bend in the road. The distance covered was around 6 miles and took us 3 hours, including our half hour coffee stop.
I owe huge thanks to Georgie for guiding this walk and for being such good company.
Time to draw breath, put that kettle on, and see where our walkers have got to this week. As always, I’m really thrilled with all the contributions. For details of how to join me, click on the logo above. Many thanks to you all!
First up, Violet Sky treats us to some fascinating family history in a village in Fife :
Drake has a bit of a theme going on with his Monday walks. Have you noticed?
Join Amy in a watery green world in Texas. You may be surprised at the scenery. I was!
Rarely, if ever, have I seen anywhere more beautiful than the beaches Noe shares in South Sulawesi :
But just to prove that English beaches can hold their own, Suzanne’s been to St. Ives :
Such a treat I have for you next! A magic carpet ride 🙂 If you don’t know Lisa, you must!
Stay on the carpet and we’ll fly to the Antipodes to join Meg! :
And Pauline is ‘stamping about’, just down the road! :
Tobias is here with some lovely Hamburg curves and woods. Say hello, won’t you? :
And in a last mad scramble, Shan has made it!
Fantastic times, all round! I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy the sharing. Happy walking!