You knew I’d end up back in the Algarve hills eventually, didn’t you? I love to travel the scenic route up the N2 to Barranco do Velho. When you look back down, the vivid blue of the sea has faded to a smokey distant haze. This is cork territory and the ancient holm oaks enfold you as you turn off towards Salir, on the N124, in the foothills of the serra.
It’s a small village, notable for its loftily perched water tower, but one that is often bypassed in favour of prettier Alte or the mighty Rocha da Pena.
I didn’t have to worry too much about my route as I was following a walk leader. What I did have to worry about was keeping up with the ‘Striders’. Not so easy to focus on the beauty all around whilst keeping half an eye on the walkers. Blink, and they’d gone! From the sports stadium at the back of the village we were quickly out onto a country lane, with views across to the Rocha, standing proud in the distance.
Oops! Don’t miss that sign! The trail leads steeply uphill (the Striders do seem to love hills!) to the left of the house. Calla lilies caught my eye, and another of those precious water tanks, so vital for the hot summers.
There’s not a lot to tell about Salir. It’s a sleepy place, with a benign 16th century church and a few castle ruins from the 12th century, keeping watch over the surrounding fields. The softly curving Serra de Caldeirao forms a lovely backdrop.
It’s a lovely time of year. The colours sing out, begging you to capture them. So what, if I get left behind!
It would be well worthwhile, because look what I found, growing in the long, damp grass. Wild orchids! They are so exciting!
A quick scurry to catch up, but there are a couple of signposts. This walk crosses the Via Algarviana, which spans the Algarve from Alcoutim in the east right across to Sagres in the west. All around, the cistus are cheering me on, their crushed paper faces turned to the sun.
On this walk we’d been asked to bring a picnic, a bit of a disappointment to those of us who relish the usual restaurant stop at the end. A couple of stone benches by a fonte made a good resting place, then we were striding off again.
I often remark to people that the Algarve is full of surprises. Passing the cemetery at Palmeiros and an oddly colourful wall, we crossed over a bridge and made a right turn down a narrow country lane. Expect the unexpected!
A battered drum kit in the garden told the unlikely tale. The rest of the walk seemed almost anticlimactic after that, as we meandered back towards Salir. The pace of the walk slowed after lunch, allowing more opportunity to chat. Another water wheel or two and we were back where we started.
That’s the first of my recent Algarve walks completed. I hope you enjoyed it. Let’s put the kettle on now and see where everyone else has been.
Thanks so much everybody, for your company and kind comments each week. I love walking with you. If you’d like to share a walk, the details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page. If not, just sit back and enjoy!
I do like to introduce someone new on my walks, especially when the scenery is this good. Meet Chandi :
The Pathway of the Gods- Italy’s Most Stunning Hike
Versailles seems a long time ago to me, but Drake has brought it all back!
More glimpses of Paris
Lady Lee has been cavorting in water parks with the family :
Our Subic experience
Opulence personified from Jackie this week!
Richard has a crack at climbing the highest cliff in Cornwall :
Cracking Crackington Haven
While my Sunshine friend is making the most of the blossom in our capital :
London- A Walk in thePark
And please, don’t anyone accuse Woolly of being full of hot air!
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! Or, in Paula’s case, take a wonderful shot…
Can you imagine being smothered in cherry blossom? Cathy can! She’s in Tokyo at sakura time :
Cherry blossoms in the rain at Shinjuku Gyoen
Denzil has begun a new undertaking which proves, yet again, that Belgium has quite a lot to offer :
GR121, Stage 1: Wavre to La Roche
Does this look familiar to you? Yes- me too!
Walking in Florence
I even accept wordless walks! Especially when shared with my lovely friend, Meg :
Wordless walks : Jemisons Beach and headland
Finally, some great hills for rolling your paste eggs down, with Kathryn :
My weekly ramble
Wonderful, aren’t they? It’s been a bit cool and damp in my part of the UK this weekend, but then, it was a Bank Holiday. I hope you’ve had a good Easter celebration, and maybe a bit of walking?