It’s blossom time! I can’t remember a year when the almond blossom was more prolific. It dances across the fields and along the gentle ridges of hills. From whitest white to a rosy pink, bitter almonds and sweet. Nowhere is it more lovely than in Santa Barbara de Nexe.
Remember that we walked with Faro a Andar last year? The first walk, up into the hills to Bemposta, the second, high above the village of Santa Barbara to the windmill of the stars. We weren’t sure if the pre-Christmas walk would proceed, but extremely hopeful that these walks for the community would resume this year. And so they have! Remember to check the meeting point before you set out. We foolishly assumed that this walk would start from the same place as last time, by the church in Santa Barbara. Fortunately we were a little early, but bemused to find nobody else there! Consulting the programme we realised that the meet point was actually Junta de Freguesia, at the opposite end of the village. With indecent haste we got there, just in time for a short warm up and brief explanation of where we were going, before we set off. A good sized group, multi racial, men, women and children. We were about to discover the world of water wheels, pumps and irrigation.
We walked out of the village, following a lane that looped back on itself. I started a conversation in my best Portuguese but, as so often happens, the young woman twinkled back at me and broke into fluent English. Of course, I should have asked her to continue in Portuguese, but I was interested to find out a little about her, and happy just to be conversing with a local. Her job was problem solving for foreigners buying property in the Algarve, which explained her ease with language. It was a pleasure to share the morning with her bright, cheerful smile.
The lane curved past a large water wheel and alongside a field rippling with olive trees. A tired old cottage didn’t look like it would take too much effort to bring back to life, but modern villas are a more popular choice in this neighbourhood. It was obvious that half of the purpose of the walk was to show off the luxuriant blossom surrounding the village.
Phones were out in force, taking photo upon photo of these delicate beauties. I hung back for a while to fully appreciate them. The next stop was by a water wheel, where our walk leader enthusiastically turned the handle to release a trickle of water. It was hot in full sun and a few cupped their hands to drink, while a lady explained the function and history of the local wells. We retraced our steps beneath the row of blossom trees, and started to climb towards the windmills.
We passed by an elegant couple of villas, tucked away behind sturdy walls. The views out to the distant coast were lovely.
All of Santa Barbara de Nexe lay spread out below us, the avenue of soft colour we had walked beneath clearly visible. Slowly we descended, in no real hurry to part company with the trees and their luxurious blossom.
Footsteps began to quicken as we re-entered the village, the prospect of a nice lunch not too far away. This circular walk is 8.48km.
Isn’t this the most beautiful season of the year? Yes, we need rain, but it will come when it’s ready. Meanwhile, let’s just enjoy!
Because she lives ‘Down Under’, Teresa is often the first to contribute a walk, or even two!
Sarah is so good at capturing people on camera! I know you’ll enjoy this :
Drake takes a thoughtful look at the city of Basel :
You don’t always have to walk far to find beauty. Especially with Margaret’s eye :
Marsha always enjoys life, no matter what the challenge :
This has to be one of the most enchanting walks I’ve ever been taken on. Many thanks, Alegria!
While Rupali takes us walking on a rather chilly earth :
On a bright English day, Emma embraces the cold :
The love affair with Chihuly continues. Thanks, Janet!
And I kid you not! Cady will wear you out!
Riding on a wave of emotion this weekend. I have to congratulate Rafa Nadal for a simply unbelievable achievement. Vamos!