The weeks are flying by, and walking season is well and truly here. If you followed Restlessjo you might remember a local ‘walking for health’ initiative, Todos a Caminhar– Let’s all walk! I enjoyed the sense of camaraderie with these Sunday morning walks, but understandably they have been a victim of Covid. Now, what could be healthier than striding off into the fresh morning air of the hills? The council at Faro obviously feel the same way, for they have begun to host a monthly walk, Faro a Andar. Just a toe in the water at first? Always curious about new walking territory, 4 of us brave warriors went along one Sunday a few weeks ago.
Not entirely new territory, as the starting point for this walk was in the village of Estoi, not very far away. The direction, we knew to be up into the hills. With a huge sense of anticipation, we gathered in the town square- a mixed group, many Portuguese, some French, a few Italians, and us. Maintaining respectful distances, of course. The presence of a number of children in the group reassured us that the walk would not be too difficult. Quite wrong, for they were like young mountain goats!
After a brief introduction and a warm up, off we went, threading out of the village in an orderly fashion. I admired one or two handsome homes, but then we were onto the trail proper and beginning a steady ascent. Those young goats easily overtook us. Still, there was no pressure to go at pace, and the walk leaders kept a watchful eye when someone appeared to be flagging. Stopping to drink water and admire the view is always a good ploy.
The trees were speckled with gold and amber coloured medronho berries, used to make the local firewater, and a little cautious sampling went on along the way. I preferred to capture the beautiful acorns. Up and up we went, puffing and panting a little, but eventually we reached the summit and gathered around to listen to a brief history of the area and the landscape. More water was imbibed, with a few photo opportunities at the shrine, before our cheerful descent began.
We were quite relieved that they way down mostly followed an easy curve of quiet road, as the effort of descending on rough paths is often harder than the climb up. Plenty of time to admire the pomegranates and bougainvillea in the bright morning sunshine.
Back in the village of Estoi, I paused to take a few shots before joining the ‘cool down’ and collecting my free orange. The walk leaders were friendly and encouraging and we gladly accepted a copy of the programme for the coming months.
Do you ever have that feeling of running to keep up? Yesterday we took part in our second walk, from the village of Santa Barbara de Nexe. Another beauty! And I decided I needed to post this walk before I fall far behind. The Faro a Andar walks take place on the third Sunday of the month and everyone is made very welcome.
Such a fabulous selection of Autumn colour from Terri!
And Sarah’s take on the challenge :
Pit is definitely up for a challenge. This isn’t at all how I picture Texas!
Jo and Jonno are pretty intrepid walkers. This is a nice selection :
Eunice doesn’t have to go very far to find an interesting walk. Love the stone stairways!
While Drake remains triumphant in Paris :
And Jude shows us more garden splendour :
An almighty thunderstorm at the weekend was followed by clear blue skies. With cooler temperatures, walking season is truly upon us. Hope I can keep up! Take care till the next time.