I don’t think I ever saw the Algarve looking greener than it does right now. I know it won’t last, as it starts to hot up this week, but it’s a joyful sight. Normally we’d only have four more weeks of walking before the group splits up and goes its own way. This year there is no group. We long ago dispersed, and have been maintaining contact with amusing anecdotes and photos. They would have chuckled to see us struggling through the undergrowth on this walk.
We left the village of Furnazhinas on a straightforward, if uphill, trail- PR10, Castro Marim. Efforts are made to maintain these trails and renew signs, but not always successfully. There has been so much growth with the damper than usual winter that a machete would have come in handy at one point. The cistus that I love for their beautiful flowers at this time of year are incredibly tenacious, clinging to our clothes as we tried to force a passage. A stream that we needed to cross didn’t help matters but, eventually, we found ourselves on firm ground. And undeniably beautiful.
We were following the bed of the stream for part of our route, and had thought to bring a towel and change of shoes in case of mishap. Not needed in this instance. It’s incredible how greedily this arid terrain can soak up water. A sea of lavender, from deepest purple to pale green, wafts us with fragrance, romping with wild abandon amongst the broom.
As always, oleander follows water, the buds bursting to open. The stream plays hide and seek over a slab of shale, wild sweet peas sprinkled in the long grasses. Tiny white starlets cling on to rocks, drifting helplessly on the water’s surface.
For a while the landscape opens out, and we catch our breath. The land has been left to fend for itself, thriving on the absence of human endeavour. Minute yellow and crimson flowers- more rock roses!- dot the trail, and I take great care not to trample them.
Rock roses, tiny and grand. Undoubtedly stars of nature. As are the crimson poppies at the water’s edge. And a wisp of softest, beguiling blue.
Just enough water, but not too much. Softening the surroundings. Nourishing the plants. Delighting the eyes. But not soaking our feet.
Lemon flowers of every description still carpet the bare patches, in this land where cistus rules. Almost at the end of the trail, I pause to admire the lichen. And then we’re back in the sleepy village. Not even a coffee stop in this one. We have to look elsewhere for cake and distractions.
And so we’re home. Another glorious day in our hills, which I’m privileged to share with you. I’m off up there this morning. Spring time is precious.
Just time to share a walk or two before I go. Thank you for your company and the kind contributions you make.
Jude knows which paths to lead me down. I love rhododendrons!
While Margaret always has the power to soothe me when I’m feeling ruffled :
Sarah takes us to a lesser known, but fascinating, area of Newcastle-on-Tyne :
And Drake is full of surprises, good and bad!
Life always seems to be fun with Jesh :
Likewise with Marsha, who lives in a beautiful place and is keen to show you her walking prowess :
Do you know Aggie? Let her take you into the heart of the city :
How hardy is Spring in Rupali’s part of the world?
Let’s finish with Mel’s wonderful city that never sleeps :
That’s it for now. Apologies to anyone I’ve offended along the way. I hope there’ll be a next time on Jo’s Monday walk. Take care till then. And don’t forget to eat cake!