Jo’s Monday walk : Pego do Inferno

If you’ve ever seen a promotional video for the Algarve, chances are you’ll have seen the image above. Pego do Inferno, literally Caught in Hell, was high on our list of must see places when we first came here. So famous was it that a boardwalk was built to make access easier. Sadly, fire ravaged the site not too long after completion and the blackened, ruined boardwalk had to be removed for safety. Although I was sad at the time, back in 2012, in retrospect it wasn’t such a bad thing. The setting is rural and peaceful, and coachloads of tourists would do little to enhance the scene. So much better to seek it out for yourself. Which we did, quite recently.

Still smitten by the almond blossom, I was in no great hurry to reach the waterfall. The trees are laden with oranges and the land undulates gently, passing an occasional property with quirky feature like the onion-shaped glass dome. Pego is in the parish of Santo Estêvão, about 7km from Tavira, and formed from the Asseca stream. There has been so little rainfall in recent times that we doubted that the small emerald green lake would still be there. Or whether we would even be able to gain access.

It needed a measure of bravado, or at least a sense of balance, to negotiate the steep path down. But the sound of falling water was unmistakeable, and spurred me on. Hanging on to tree roots and overhanging branches it was possible to edge your way down to the waterfall. Slowly the pool was revealed, with a rope swing suspended over the water.

Yes, you’re quite right! I resisted the challenge of shimmying out along the branch for that photo opportunity. Disappointed? Well, I didn’t have a change of clothes and I’m not the best of swimmers. Oh, yes, and I have an aversion to cold water.

Never mind, I can always charm you with biscuit cake! Oh, and in case you were wondering about the name, legend has it that long ago a wagon accidentally upended into the pool. Neither passengers nor vehicle were ever found. Caught in hell!

The walk is a 7.50km circular, just off the N270, north of Tavira.

walking logo

Terri’s word of the year is ‘walk’. It could be mine too!

Sunday Stills : the Power of the Elements

And we get to walk, and sing along with Yvette!

Walk with Me (Virginia Beach Street Shots) & A-O-K song by Tai Verdes

I missed so much of Ancona! Good thing we have Sarah :

A walk around Ancona’s picturesque old town

I. J.’s off the couch and exploring the architecture of Mumbai. Suits me!

Walking, waking

It’s quite easy to do here too. Drake is in Menton, in the south of France :

Hunting lemons in February

I have to say, I’m a little sorry for Rupali, but she remains cheerful :

A walk in fresh snow

We have some friends who hail from Canvey Island so I was tempted by this one. Great murals, Alison!

Enjoying Essex – Canvey Island – Esplanade

And great water sculptures and architecture from Cady. She loves Oslo and it’s easy to see why :

The Last Walk in Oslo: Tjuvholmen Neighbourhood

That’s it from me! Still super busy and enjoying life. Hope you are, too. Happy Valentine’s Day!

99 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : Pego do Inferno

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  2. A beautiful waterfall and all the better for not being gawped at by hundreds of tourists at a time – although I fear that the current path, from your description, would put it out of my reach 😦 Never mind though, I’d rather such places stayed tranquil, there are plenty more that I can visit! But I do envy you your blossom. It’s so grey and windy and miserable in the UK right now, and feels cold to me after our trip to Costa Rica even though the weatherman tells me that we have above average temperatures for the time of year!

    I wasn’t here to give you a walk last Monday so I’ve done one this Monday instead, as we had a number of good walks while away that I’m keen to share! https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/corcovado-a-walk-in-a-rainforest/

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    • Costa Rica must have been fabulous, Sarah. A little more exotic than here and not so accessible from my point of view. We can never have it all but we really don’t do so badly, do we? Thanks, hon. I’m sure you’d have managed the access to Pego. It’s a long time since I was nimble, if ever! 🤣💟

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  6. Sounds precarious and no, I’m not sorry you didn’t hang out further to get a picture. I’ve been doing quite a lot of bog-yomping on the moors and slipping over on a tricky bit at the rate of once every few weeks – my foot sliding from under me though my hand is clinging to vegetation. Luckily, I seem able to favour the side that does not have the camera in its pocket, so other than having to walk home with one very muddy cheek, no hard is done.

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  8. What a beautiful spot, Jo. You picked a lovely day to go to “hell.” 😀😀. It’s uplifting to see signs of spring while we are still in the depths of winter. And your cake always gives me great vicarious pleasure. 😀😀

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  10. I’m glad there is at least a possible suggestion for how this gorgeous place was named. It seemed so out of place. 🙂 I’m loving those almond blossoms, too, Jo. What beauty!

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    • It does seem a little extreme, doesn’t it? Especially since the first time we ever saw it there was a group of youngsters swinging and leaping in with wild glee! I was just a bit more reserved…. Thanks for reading, hon.

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  11. Such a beautiful walk and thanks for the share, Jo! I miss seeing almond blossoms, but our spring show should begin in May here. That waterfall looks amazing and although a shame for the walkway to have burned down, perhaps it is for the best in the long run to see it on your own! Weather looks warm and wonderful!

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    • We hover around 19 or 20C most days, Terri, but gradually the temperatures will build and the blossom be gone. It’s a fascinating year round cycle of what comes next. Up on the roof my bougainvillea and camelia are blooming very happily. There’s always something to delight your eyes.

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  12. Your pictures of the waterfall are stunning, Jo. They are all excellent, as usual, but these really stand out. And how unfair of you to show the photo of that cake on the day on which I’d started my low-carb diet! I’ve been on it now for, oh, about 10 hours and feeling quite virtuous, and looking forward to my consomme and gravlax and spring onion mini-plate later on, but now you’ve started up the cravings for something sweet and good!

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    • So sorry, Mari! It’s not the best cake, by a long way. Consomme sounds delicious! Oh, who am I trying to kid? 🤣💕 And you so kind about the photos! Thanks so much, hon. It’s a lovely spot, as you can see. 🤗💝

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    • We had a very social and hectic week so we didn’t really have a plan. I had a few ideas but we ended up sitting in the sun a while then walking out to the beach. Cooking one of his favourites tonight, just to show willing 🤭💟

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  13. Another lovely walk, Jo. Sunny skies, pretty countryside with flowers, and a beautiful destination. What’s not to like. And I know what you mean about cold water. Years ago, I hiked up to a lake in the Swiss Alps on a roasting hot day, fantasizing about the rewarding dip at the end. Stuck a toe into the glacial runoff and decided I wasn’t that hot after all!

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  15. If you had shimmied out on that branch, you’d very likely have had the chance for an underwater picture, too! 🤣
    But seriously: that’s a wonderful spot. Thanks for taking us there. I agree with you that it might have been good for that place that the boardwalk is no longer there and thus the number of people visiting is limited.
    Have a great week,
    Pit

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  17. Aw, a shame you didn’t get Michael into the water so we could get a sense of the scale of this waterfall, it doesn’t look that big. Do people go the pol to swim during the summer? It reminds me of pools and waterfalls along Bainskloof Pass near Cape Town which were lovely and cool in the heat and extremely popular! Nice cake BTW 😋

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  18. Will starts with the last – the cake looks amazing. 😀 Pools can be very very deep, so maybe it is parked in one of the corners.? 🙂 Very inspiring surroundings above the water, very well captured. 🙂

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  20. That’s quite the walk Jo. Wow! As for shimmying along that tree trunk, hmmmm not so sure about that. Beautiful images along the way, including that pretty almond blossom. What a name for the place. I wondered about that, but your story put it to rest. Thanks for sharing your lovely walk. And that cake!

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  21. Wow, what a beautiful walk, Jo. I’ve been to Algarve a few times but never had a chance to visit Pego do Inferno. It seems that the Portuguese like to include ‘hell’ when naming natural wonders. There’s a chasm located on the seaside cliffs close to the Portuguese city of Cascais known as Boca do Inferno (Portuguese for Hell’s Mouth). Thanks for sharing and have good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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  22. ‘Caught in hell’ sounds dangerously scary but looks absolutely serene. I can’t imagine how you went down the steep slope holding onto branches.
    The biscuit cake at the end of the walk looks like a perfect reward for the endeavor. Thank you, Jo, for sharing the backstory of the place and the photographs of your walk.

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  23. Love places with unique names, Caught in Hell looks fabulous. Not surprised you didn’t risk the water but maybe in the summer …… Biscuit cake looked delicious. Hungry now!

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  24. I’m rather glad the tourists are gone. After all, you don’t have to be all that intrepid to do a 7 km. walk and then you have the pleasure of it all to yourself! Have a lovely week, and think of us here in the UK with a week of wall-to-wall rain in half term.

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  25. What a gorgoeus walk to see the Pego do Inferno Jo! Glad you made it safely down to the water. I did wonder at first whether you’d swung across the rope bridge?! I definitely wouldn’t have been game and would probably have required rescuing as a result as I’m a terrible swimmer. The almond blossom looks glorious and the cake yummy! Have a lovely week xx 🙂

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