Follow the N270 inland from Tavira and you come to an area of gentle undulations. After Santa Catarina, look for a sign saying Mesquita, off to your left. Park close by the restaurant Lagar da Mesquita, and you find yourself in a fairly easy walking environment, with a number of enticements. I’m not talking cake just yet, so don’t go getting your hopes up.
Relatively easy to miss in the long grass, the Monte Negro well is a solid structure, of unknown origin but believed to be several centuries old. On a blue sky day with crisp shadows, bright blooms nod and a dog barks at us, but still wags his tail.
A gentle incline takes you up the Ribeira do Bengado valley to a trig point blessed with two windmills. Neither seem to be functional right now.
In the distance, the faintest shimmer of ocean glints in the sunlight. Down in the valley, we walk beneath trailing branches, on a carpet of leaves and fallen acorns from the many oaks. A cross stands, all alone, on a rough hewn wall.
The path emerges beside a cottage rich in bougainvillea. Another dog inspects us, through closed gates, and decides we’re harmless.
Soon we come to the natural Fonte and a bit of fun. Vigorous scrubbing demonstrates how it might have been done, ‘back in the day’, while a few turns of the handle easily produces water from the well. Wash day in the sun!
Grapefruit dangle temptingly over a fence, and it’s time for the luxury of a coffee stop.
We’re on our way to the last of the features of this walk- the Geoponto, and the beautiful ornamental rock known as limestone breach. Going far back in time, much of the Algarve was beneath the ocean. Remnants of coral and fossilised animals from that era can still be found in the limestone, quartz and feldspar which make up the local geology.
A fascinating prospect, isn’t it? The rock is now used in the building industry, and for decoration. Across the fields the trail leads back to the road. An empty rill passes another water wheel and soon the crossroads signed Lagar da Mesquita appear.
I hope you enjoyed our walk today. Even if you only came for the cake.
Time to share a few more walks. Many thanks to my contributors and all of you who’re happy to walk along with us. Join me next time here on Jo’s Monday walk. And maybe bring a walk of your own?
I do like quirky, don’t you? An odd little piece of Cornwall, on Jude’s doorstep :
Just let it happen, with Drake. It could lead anywhere :
I know somebody who loves apple pie, Alice. Especially with custard!
Speaking of which, let’s see what Jackie’s got this week :
Natalie’s staying indoors, but surrounded by beautiful flowers :
Janet’s indoors too but her interests are rather different :
While Mama Cormier shows us around her neighbourhood :
And for those of you who like snow with your spectacular scenery :
Or you can carry on the Camino, with Cathy :
It’s December and I’m sure a lot of you are leading busy lives. Please don’t stress too much! It won’t make Christmas any better.