Another beautiful day in the Algarve and a final opportunity to enjoy a hike with my constant hiking companion Harald. As they return to their home in Germany next week and I have another small trip planned for early next week, this was the last day we had that we could make it happen. André joined us at 9h30 and off we headed.
Harald chose a hike called Ladeiras do Pontal…….or Slopes of the Pontal. It was about an hour drive northeast of our area, in the municipality of Alcoutim and for part, embracing the banks of the Guadiana River, the natural boundary between Portugal and Spain.
By Harald’s GPS measurements, 13,66 km. By my Fitbit 15,20 km. but……I do have a tendency to explore a little beyond the normal path and I did a couple of extra explorations looking for our next sign indicator. That means I take credit for 15,20!
The mountain side was literally plastered with this local broom and gun cistus. As far as the eye could see in every direction.
This old oak tree is in full flower and it was beautiful with the blossoms dancing ever so slightly in the breeze.
Looking off into the distance….notice the cistus all along the mountainside.
Gum cistus up close so you can appreciate the detail.
If you look closely you sill see the various colours of the many wild flowers including lavender.
André and Harald, happily hiking along this old farm road.
This purple lavender was growing profusely
And today, my first time this year to find the green lavender, which is found only in Portugal.
My comrades way ahead of me as I was busy taking photos of lavender!
This old cactus was sitting all by itself on the side of the hill. Looked like a sentinel of sorts.
Right in the middle of nowhere….this small farm. Didn’t see a single person but the sound of clucking chickens and curious turkeys was hilarious.k
Thank goodness I have a great zoom. These turkeys were quite perturbed by our distant presence.
I love the colour of all the wildflowers intermingled.
The very tiny, and virtually abandoned village of Torneiro. We saw one person only.
Gorgeously scented old roses growing along an old fence
An old abandoned building that at one time must have been wonderful. The view from the back alone would have made living there amazing.
I liked the colour on this old place.
We moved away from the dirt mountain road and into a more lush countryside with the occasional sheep and goat peeping at us.
Purple and Green lavender side by side.
A close up of the green lavender.
This little beauty is about an inch tall and grows on a low vine. No idea what it is and I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen one.
A smattering of the aforementioned vine.
By now we were almost at the halfway point of our hike and the sun was beating down on us, much warmer than we had anticipated. I don’t usually sweat on these hikes but today is was pouring down my neck.
We entered the village of Balurcos de Baixo…..loved this gate post!!
Freesia growing all along a small fence. What a rich and wonderful scent it sent out to me.
The nespera, or loquats, are ready to be picked and eaten.
This old tilework was high on a wall way at the back of a garden. I did not take a slanted photo, it was on the wall this way. t
A plum tree in full bloom.
I loved this huge thistle which is about to pop and burst into bloom.
An outer all at the edge of the village and the next part of our hike as we headed off into more open mountain space.
This little gal was very curious about us.
Another fruit tree, although I’m not sure which one.
And as we left the village, a huge field with yellow lupins as far as you cared to, or could, look.
The last half of the hike was through a few valleys and directly in the open, no shade available to us at all. It was quite warm but happily, a small breeze showed up to keep us company during this last 7 km.
You can never take too many photos of gum cistus!
The land is parched and dry and the open soil is a result of the tilling they do to clear the land and prepare for the inevitable season of wild fire.
Enormous pine forests were scattered throughout the hike today.
We are heading down the hillside, into yet another valley and towards our final destination, the Guadiana River.
The Guadiana off in the distance.
An old dilapidated farm building.
More of the Guadiana.
You can see where the hillsides have been made barren of all the greenery.
We watched a man tilling the soil here and what a tough job it seemed to be.
And finally, shade and a little coolness as the last two km took us along the banks of the Guadiana River.
Right on the banks of the river. The grasses, wildflowers and reeds were swaying in the breeze.
Lupins lupins and more lupins.
A poppy!!! In a field of lupins.
A final shot of the Guadiana as we finally climbed the last of the hills and made it back to the starting point where a stifling hot car awaited us.
Another wonderful hike to add to my already overflowing list for this year. I am grateful and thankful for Harald’s friendship and his companionship on these hikes. I will miss him until we meet again here next winter. He amused me today with a story of little girls using the center of the poppy flower to make a princess……..
You take the two pods and you remove the stem from one then insert the stem of the other into the hole then you spread the bottom of the pod to make the Princess’s skirt. I loved it.