Today Harald, André, and moi même headed off for the village of Querença, about half an hour northwest of Estoi, in the mountains. Our goal was to enjoy this lovely hike which claimed to be 9 km and would take roughly 5 hours. Hogwash!!!! It is true we may have lost our way from time to time and seen things that the hike overview did not actually offer BUT…at a more than leisurely pace we accomplished 14,34 km in 3 hours and four minutes. Not bad for three seniors!!!
I’ve been to this town many times but this is the first time I noticed this lovely tile above a doorway.
Here is a longer shot of the tile.
Over many doors are various “decorations” and I’m presently researching to see if I can find what many of them mean. Here is one example.
And here is another example.
This old place, directly on the main street, is in need of some TLC but still maintains a certain charm..
Another wall tile, high above the entranceway.
I thought these window covers were quite interesting.
This church dates from 1749…..wow.
Those previous photos were taken as we set off through the village to find the beginning of our trail. We finally found the path and headed off down a lovely old medieval road from Roman times.
I adore these old routes and am always totally taken aback at the things we encounter. Of course today we passed many properties with dogs who bark incessantly but whose tails wag furiously as we walk past their fences.
Such charm tucked in the middle of nowhere.
Our path at this point was an old farm road, long since abandoned but still passable. Many cork trees and the occasional overgrown vineyard.
Harald and André having just crossed one of our eventual five river crossings.
The embankment was covered in clusters of blue bells all along the route. What a delightful splash of blue peeking out from under bushes, around the bases of trees and all up and down the hillside.
Another view of the trail as we wound through a cork forest.
We passed through a property that was for sale and it had this huge “ornament” on a tall pole in the middle of the garden
This is called Blue Hound’s-tongue
I loved this old chimney with the owl insert
A cluster of Naked-man Orchid. The hills were peppered with them in various stages of “popping up”!
Harald enjoying the journey despite our occasional “wrong turns”
Properties that looked as if they might still be lovingly attended were evident from time to time despite the area seeming isolated.
Another of our river crossings, this one with less water.
I thin this is called Centaury
A view off into the distance, we had come from there!
Look how clear this water is!!
The landscape was very varied especially as we meandered along the banks of the Ribeira das Mercês. We saw so many places where the wild boar had “nested” during the day as they love being close to the water, and of course, the cane plantations where the old bamboo and canes were dancing wildly in the wind. It also made a great difference to the type of flor and fauna we observed.
A gorgeous cluster of wisteria.
An abandoned house with the most fragrant rose bush that I’ve smelled in years and years. I smelled it long before I saw it.
Something about the beauty of the roses and the sadness of the decaying abandoned house made me feel sad.
A more detailed Naked-man Orchid. Look at it closely and you’ll see why it is called what it is!
This bench, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
Again, I smelled this long before I spotted it…it’s from the daffodil family.
This smells fragrant and sweet and quite intense. A tiny bit like freesia.
Cerro dos Negros with it’s 404 meters in height. Maybe for next year?
This cluster of colour was literally growing along the dusty old farm road in the middle of nowhere.
This detail takes my breath away!!
The House of Butterflies.
My first wild gladioli of the season. Many of them were about to burst.
It’s not often I see two types of cistus growing together.
A turn in the road, an old empty and dilapidated building and a smattering of gorgeous roses scenting the air.
Such a juxtaposition.
Getting closer and closer to our destination.
A couple of houses in the middle of nowhere, one with this compact yet functional outdoor kitchen for those hot summer days. Lovingly decorated.
Such a varied journey it was and all of it interesting and enjoyable. For the most part, the three of us wandered along in silence enjoying the countryside, the sunshine, and the physical activity.
We passed several roadside clusters of freesia,which as you know, smells heavenly.
Lathyrus clymenum, which was growing all along our route, sometimes in massive clusters like this one.
This wall and the staircase behind it appeared out of nowhere and seemed to go nowhere but was obviously well taken care of.
This was dated from the second world war and I’m not entirely certain what it represented but it was well maintained.
I know I should know what this is but I can’t recall the name. It was stunning.
I loved the four chimneys on the same house, each one distinctly different from the other.
Blue gates seemed to be de rigueur in this town.
A celebrated poet!
Scilla peruviana…a cluster of them all along an embankment in various stages of opening. Gorgeous.
As we reached the end of our hiking we, of course, were ravenous and as it turned out, a wonderful small roadside restaurant did not disappoint.
Literally right on the side of the road.
WE all three ordered risotto do pato…duck risotto. Very generous chunks of succulent duck in a tender risotto with flavourful broth. Yummy.
Turns out they have hand made gelato so…….after lunch, which included dessert for Harald and Andrê……Harald went back and bought an ice cream!!!!! he couldn’t resist the fig and almond.
What a truly wonderful day it was and another fabulous hike to document in my journal. We will probably attempt one more, of Harald’s choosing, next week as our time together is winding down for another year. Happily, I know it won’t be our last, and for that I am truly grateful.