these are the posts tagged ‘hiking’:


abetardas trail

last year, we did a little trip on a campervan for the first time — it sounded like the safest way to go out and explore a little, while technically not leaving home. we enjoyed the experience, and used the opportunity to visit some of our favorite places in alentejo. at the time, we were just starting our birdwatching hobby, so it seemed fitting that we would try to see the biggest bird in europe, the bustard

alas, it wasn’t meant to be. despite being big birds, bustards are shy and not easy to spot in the vast steppe-like prairies of alentejo. no matter — we still enjoyed the trail in the vicinity of castro verde, with its never-ending open skies, soft rolling hills and almost dry river beds.

we’ve since acquired a pair of binoculars, and plan to go back to re-do this walk and hopefully spot some bustards at last! :)

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 capture 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.

the plant thief

i’ve mentioned a few times how much i want to bring home all the plants, and how i admire “collection gardens“… so perhaps it was sort of inevitable that i would become one of those people too, grabbing a cutting here and there to bring home. :)

a few years ago on a hike with friends, i noticed the sides of the path we were walking were covered in tiny succulent plants, growing and thriving on slates of schist. they looked like little pinecones, thriving despite the harsh conditions. i was in love…

… so i did something not-so-good and brought a small rock home with me. i ended up hiking the rest of the path with a 2kg or so rock in my hands or in my head, portuguese grandma style, to the amusement of the boy and our friend a., who took these pictures.

but look! three years later, this rock is still thriving in a shady corner of the garden, its little “pinecones” now having other species of succulents as neighbors!

i’m really happy about this! every time i see them i can’t help but smile and remember the story that brought them here. may your gardens and plants be filled with interesting stories too!

sleeping on a mountain hut

ever since our hikes in slovenia, i’ve wanted to sleep on a mountain hut at least once — i’ve even put it on the list. knowing this, our friends in italy worked their magic and chose the perfect spot to make it happen on our recent trip to the alps. and it was better than i had imagined it to be!


the four of us + frido and casca hiked for a couple of hours to reach the top of the hill where the hut was, sheets still hanging to dry on the wire.

our rooms were simple, without electricity but high on coziness and beautiful views of the rosengarten.

from every window (and there were many), you could see the dolomites all around us. reality feels so far away here, when you’re sitting on a wooden bench looking at the valleys below, disconnected from the world and just taking it all in from the top of this little mountain.

and we came just in time for sunset too, catching the golden hour at its loveliest.

inside, we had a fire going and comfort food waiting for us: soups, knödel, goulash, potatoes with bacon and eggs, and kaiserschmarrn!

i read an absolutely remarkable thing on my kindle by the candlelight, and fell asleep in peace with the world.

when morning came, the sun rose behind the mountains while homemade delights made their way into our corner table, strengthening us for the day of hiking ahead of us.

i wrote a few postcards from the mountain top, trying to convey put the whole thing into words… but failed miserably. i don’t think words are enough. you have to try it for yourself, at least once. go! :)

catching up with autumn

the alps are beautiful this time of the year, crisp days of golden, red and green, that are perfect for long hikes and taking in the fresh air before the snow starts. every time we come to this part of europe, a little piece of us returns home.