There are few things in life more lovely than a walk in nature. Add water to the equation and I’m completey ‘in my element’. Parque Florestal was right on my doorstep in Amarante. Who wouldn’t be tempted? The Saturday morning market lined the riverbank- just a quick peep, for it would likely be gone when we got back. The river is quite wide at this point and is spanned by some stepping stones for the fearless, as the water gushes past them. I was mesmerised by the rush of water but not so brave, or foolish, as I might once have been. We would save a closer look for later, and followed the path into the woodland beside a gently gurgling stream.
Stone benches were heavy with moss, the light through the trees scarcely bright enough to capture them.
Beyond the sound of gushing water, all was peaceful and calm. We had the place almost to ourselves, unless you count a grazing goat in a field blazing with sunlight. But I’m rushing ahead! Let’s enjoy the dappled shade and myriad of wild flowers.
The river flowed quietly beside us. Ahead we could see an overhead bridge, surrounded by forestry, with rocks studding the surface of the water. Beautiful, isn’t it?
And part way along this path, the most wonderful surprise. My only surviving uncle, in Poland, phoned to wish me ‘Happy Easter’! In Polish, of course. He speaks no English and I struggled to remember a few phrases in response. But it really didn’t matter. I was smiling as though he could see me, and he chattered on, as he does. A link to a wonderful time in my life.
Remember that goat? On our way back his owner appeared. I’m not sure if he was pleased to see us or not, but we saw so few people that morning that I smiled and waved anyway. The trail ended at a peaceful wooden deck, with a bench where you could sit and listen to the frogs and, just maybe, spot a river otter.
We retraced our steps along the riverbank to the cascades and the stepping stones, but opted to cross over the bridge and see them from the other side. My balance isn’t up to making the crossing the daring way.
In the evening we ate at Tasquina da Ponte, a very local little restaurant with wooden benches and great desserts, right by the bridge. The steps up to São Domingos were atmospherically candlelit, in readiness for the Easter procession.
It all looks so peaceful and calm, but what you can’t see are the rally cars, lined up on our side of the bridge. The closing ceremony for a weekend of racing was taking place, and the cars were revving their powerful engines late into the night. It all made for an Easter to remember, with one more episode still to go.
Another of those places I love to mooch around. Many thanks again, Sarah!
Natalie has a few architectural treasures to share :
Lavender, or something sweeter? Drake takes us to Grasse in France :
I don’t think I ever saw a more magnificent display- thanks so much, Alegria :
Teresa had such a good time in this city!
Join Alice for a nice gentle stroll, or sit a while :
Say goodbye to Berto and Corna and the beach :
Listen to the sound of the waves with Mel :
Or be an escape artist with Indra :
You might gather that I was smitten with Amarante. And there’s still another walk to take there, on a disused railway track. Join me next time and we’ll do it together. Meanwhile, have a great week!