this is the archive for the ‘algarving’ category:


PR12 – curral da pedra

following j’s lead, i’m going to start posting a little bit about the hikes we do now and then, mostly so that i don’t forget them so quickly. we often find ourselves looking at hiking trails in the south, puzzled as to whether we’ve already done them or not… so this seems like a good idea! :)

first up, tavira’s own PR12, a small 6,9km circular path we did last weekend since we couldn’t get out of the area.

the day was sunny and warm, but the trail didn’t get off to a good start. we discovered early on that the signs for it were scarce and faded, and ended up taking a wrong turn right at the beginning. as we considered backtracking, a big dog watched over us in the path ahead. so, me being a huge chicken, decided to just detour and climb a steep wall of gravel to shortcut it instead… which wasn’t terribly smart, but we’ve made it. when my heart stopped beating so fast, we were finally able to get on the right path and enjoy the day.

the goal was to find the hidden village of curral da pedra, deep in the middle of barrocal.

on the way there, we saw all the colors of autumn in algarve, which are not the same as autumn in other places.

we also saw iberian magpies, one of our favorite birds with their magnificent blue wings, but my little phone is not good enough to caputer them.

this was an easy route, maybe a bit boring even as it takes place mostly on country roads with just a bit of elevation towards the end. we were done in 3 hours at a very slow pace, and back home safe and sound.

science walkabouts

feels like summer has passed in the blink of an eye in this atypical year. the wariness of leaving the house from early spring slowly faded and made us look for safe outdoor activities. when we noticed the local science center was organizing a few themed walks around town for people to learn more about the environment, we eagerly joined a few.

the one about intertidal biodiversity was one of our favorites, because it was brilliant to see things from a biologist’s perspective — we spotted and learned about sea cucumbers, small fishes, crabs, molluscs and other plants and animals that live in the tide pools.

there were other walks, about the salt making process, the microplastics in the sand, the geometry in tavira’s façades and one about the fishes from our coast. some were more interesting than others, but we’ve learned a bit more about tavira in each of them. i really appreciated the time the center put into these, and hope they’ll continue for many years!

analogue wednesday #238

fragile dunes.

little owl

since we seem to be on an animal streak (see the grasshopper and the chameleon), here’s another one that paulo spotted in our backyard last week:

little owl

you can barely see it in this crappy super-zoomed-in photo from my phone, but that silhouette is so different from any other bird out there that it really stands out. while we were squinting at it, friends with good lenses arrived and took these amazing photos instead:

little owl

what a beauty it is, even as it bestows its disapproving frown at our antics! :D the little owl (mocho galego, in portuguese) is a nocturnal owl that is usually found in farm or woodlands in the south of europe. it nests in holes, where the female takes care of the baby owls, while the male protects the territory and hunts for insects, worms and small vertebrate like mice.

little owl

we’ve seen it a couple of times since, hanging around our backyard, doing its surveillance and hunting gig, and it’s always exciting to spot it in the distance. such cool neighbors we have!

analogue wednesday #216


walking around tavira on a blue sky day, stumbled on the igreja de são francisco.