We walked with a certain spring in our step last Monday. Although it was a walk we’d done before, it was our first walk outside of our own small patch of the Algarve, and we were almost giddy with freedom. Starting at Fonte Felipe, in the hills above Sáo Romáo, a well marked trail led to many delights. Most exciting of these, wild orchids!
It’s rocky terrain and, even after a damper than usual winter, many of the river beds are dry. It’s amazing what can thrive in these conditions. Bright blue iris unfurl in the sunlight and the fields are studded with buttons of yellow and fragrant lavender. In a patch of green, a poppy sizzles.
The woodland shade nurtures the lively blue of the wild agapanthus. The trail twists and turns, and we breath in the scents of the flowers as we brush past them. Solid slabs of rock have been hewn from the landscape to create boundaries.
Progress is slow as we examine and exclaim at each new sighting. Jewel brights light the deep green shade. The last time we were here it was early Autumn and the paths were strewn with acorns. Spring has brought abundance to these hills. And then we have our first glimpse! Orchids are shy, and nestle beneath companion trees for protection from prying eyes. But finding one almost invariably leads to another.
We linger till we have spotted every last one. I am reluctant to move on, for I know that the orchids will have evaded capture. I can never produce a crisp image of these tiny things, try as I might. But the images are imprinted upon my brain. A treat to be stored for the future. I hurry to catch up my companions, smiling happily at the wonder of my surrounds.
Small white cistus dot the landscape, amid a spiky yellow shrub, not unlike broom. We have to watch our footing as the trail starts to descend, loose rocks being something of a hazard. But this isn’t a walk to rush, for there are surprises around every corner.
We could not decide what this beauty might be, but it stood, alone and proud, as we began our descent. The cork oaks stood sentinel over their beautiful charges, as they have for many long years, and all was right with our world.
I hope there are enough Bright Squares here to satisfy Becky. It’s a bit of a deviation from my bright memories in the Italian Lakes, but I’ll be back there later this week. Meanwhile there are walks to share.
Feel free to join in at any time. I’m walking with you once a fortnight, but walks are always gratefully accepted. It doesn’t have to be a Monday. That’s washday, isn’t it?
What nicer way to start than with a garden tour from Jude?
Wales can be just as beguiling in the company of Drake :
Definite signs of Spring where Joanne is taking us :
How about a flying visit to India? Sheetal is such a fun guide :
It just won’t go away, will it, Rupali?
Sarah joins me with a walk I know and love :
And, by contrast, with a city walk I’d like to experience :
If I ever need an island retreat I will certainly consider this one, Karen! The name is misleading :
The Australian landscape never fails to awe! Follow Mel on another adventure :
I’d like to end the day with a peaceful stroll, with Margaret :
Or, even better, a tiptoe with Cady!
I haven’t forgotten cake. Next time, I promise! Till then, take care, and get out walking when you can.