It all started with a restaurant. Some friends, who come to the Algarve a couple of times a year, particularly like to find new places to eat. And so it became a Thursday habit for a small group of us to meet for lunch. One such outing took us to Pecháo, a small village in the neighbourhood of Olháo. Fully sated from a lovely meal, I thought I might take a look at the village church. I was in luck, for it was open, and I slipped inside to look.
A couple were praying devoutly so I did not linger, but outside the church I stopped to read a notice board. Apparently a chapel has existed on this site since 1482, and the current Igreja de Sáo Bartolomeu probably dates from the 18th century. Close by the church the small ossuary, or bone chapel, took me by surprise. Reading that there was a ‘route of churches’, we decided to return for a walk one day.
And so, a couple of weeks later, I found myself and partner in crime back in Largo da Igreja, examining our surrounds more closely. Always one for the details, he had researched the walks, produced a map and decided which of three routes we should follow. PR5OLH, at 7.5km, was a level, easy walk, which suited because I was succumbing to a virus and not at my best, but not willing to stay at home on such a beautiful day.
The walk wound through the back streets of the village, past a series of ageing gardens. I was highly amused to find, at a convenient crossroads, a similarly aged chair beside a bench, and a waiting orange. (On our return, three elderly gentlemen sat side by side, orange presumably shared).
Leaving the village we crossed the Ribeira de Bela Mandil, where water must once have flowed. A path led alongside the dry stream, to the Nora de Viriato, an impressively solid-looking well. Bright Crocosmia blazed beside a wearying olive tree.
We made a circuit of lanes and tracks, passing immense polytunnels (papaya?) and a few beautiful villas, meanwhile attracting a number of unfriendly canines, some of whom wag their tails. I never know if this is a good sign, or not. Pretty pink cistus winked at us, blossom trees leaning into the breeze one last time. Confident of not getting the shot, I trailed a butterfly across a patch of Bermuda Buttercups. Outwitted every time.
Soon we were in sight of the village. The water tower, and cemetery- uncomfortably close neighbours, and yet they seem a natural fit.
But I know from long experience that your interest lies elsewhere. I should tell you that the lovely place we ate was called Gunther’s– not a typical village restaurant, but I can highly recommend it. No more Thursday luncheons for the time being, as our friends return to the UK this week.
Thank you for your patience. I can tell you that I am now fully recovered and that I will be walking with you again next week. After that I propose a short break while I get my thoughts in order. So, if you have a walk that you’re longing to share, please do it this week. You know the formula here on Jo’s Monday walk. And I’ll try to make you welcome.
Spring doesn’t always bring happiness. Pop over and give Eunice a hug?
Rosemay continues her wander down Memory Lane, in London’s lesser known haunts :
There have been a few complaints about the weather lately, but not from Drake!
We all dream of different things. Happy to view Janet’s from afar :
But Irene says it’s been a mild winter :
Looking for an interesting Dutch city to explore? Debbie has the answer :
Or you can have fun entertaining a 4-year old, with Margaret :
While Cathy takes us into the world of the Berbers :
And me? Well, it’s Carnival week. Not Rio, but doing our best. Take care till next time!