At this time of year I’m seriously enamoured of almond blossom. Singly they are like small girls, spreading their skirts in a graceful curtsy. On a laden bough, they are the chorus line in Swan Lake, fluttering together in delicate motion. Like the dying swan, their days are numbered, for already they’ve been in bloom for a month.
The variety of colours confuses me. I was told recently that the paler blossoms are sweet almonds and the darker ones are bitter but I haven’t been able to verify this. I’m happy just to admire. In any case, I digress, and it’s time to get started on our walk. You will have gathered that I’m back in the Algarve hills, this time our start point a small village, Corte Pequena, with its own orange grove.
On a Saturday morning all was peaceful, far removed from the bustle of the city. A small terrier took it upon himself to defend his territory, but soon realised we were harmless enough and gave up. We didn’t have to walk far to find blossom.
Nor the wild clover that blooms everywhere in the Algarve at this time of year. It’s widely regarded as a pest, but so pretty! We followed the gentle gradient of the hills, climbing to a vantage point overlooking the dam at Odeleite. In the distance a herd of goats graze.
Despite recent rains the water levels are still quite low. Strangulated trees lean into the valley, some twisted by nature while others were burnt out some years ago. Bamboo follows a narrow stream through the valley bed, but we find a good point to cross, with just a stride or two and a held hand. Sometimes it can require a good plodge.
Soon we have come full circle and the village is spread out before us. As we descend a young dog decides that we will make good company. He gambols playfully alongside us, setting off a chorus of warnings from his wiser elders. Perhaps they are aware that sheep wander loose here.
For a moment we think that we are going to be playing Pied Piper to the flock, followed by an irate shepherd. But fortunately sheep have a short attention span and we are less interesting than the juicy grazing. I suspect you know the feeling.
That has to be one of the tastiest almond tarts I’ve ever eaten. The mural and wonderful metal sculptures were at the start of the Amendoeira (Almond Blossom) Trail, at nearby Alta Mora.
I’ve been walking with you weekly (or weakly!) for 6 years next month, and I’m thinking I should call time on our perambulations. Or cut back to a monthly, or fortnightly, event. I’m just as restless as ever, but I’m resident in Portugal now and many of my wanderings are local. I don’t want to bore you all, and I might like to try something different. I expect there’d still be occasional cake.
Meantime, thank you for your support and your wonderful company. Here are this week’s walks.
If only Janet could walk in a straight line!
Alice lives in a very beautiful place, and is happy to share :
A gentle look at life from Drake this week :
It’s ages since I went along to the other end of the Algarve. This is a lovely walk!
Reminding us that Valentine’s Day is almost here, Natalie takes…
While Cathy looks at local and Civil War history in Virginia, US :
And Rosemay checks out a little family history in north London :
Wishing you a great week! Hopefully the storms have passed.