these are the posts tagged ‘walking’:


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.

walking the southwest coast

earlier this winter, we put a few days aside to walk the rota vicentina, a route of (mostly) seaside trails in the southwest coast of portugal. the challenge and the cliffs lured us in, and as soon as we found a string of days promising good weather, we booked some hostels along the way and went for it — first from sagres to aljezur, and then from aljezur to porto covo.

i have trouble summing up the experience in simple words. weeks later, i still feel the pain and boredom of the kilometers stretching into hours, but also the awe of the breathtaking scenery and the freedom of having nothing to do but walk all day.

it’s funny how time dilates when we’re boot-deep in sand, feet sinking with every step. hours stretch into kilometers, another one and another one, and before we know it, a town of white-washed houses appears like a mirage in the horizon. we know ourselves differently after a long walk. we talk at length with the people walking with us, and sometimes with ourselves. we become the people who recognize birds, who stop to photograph another flower or bush — the people who notice stuff.

slowly, running or walking, we’re becoming familiar with this place we now call home.

walking in thailand

for a change of pace (ah!), here’s a short video of thailand’s grounds and floors. cliché as pictures of feet have become, i always notice how sidewalks look like in different countries, and thailand has a nice variety of them.

this trip was my first time using a borrowed gopro and i loved the convenience and versatility of that little camera — i only wish i had remembered to clean the lens more often! also, i’ve been watching meteor garden for a while now, and the soundtrack seems to be permanently stuck in my head… sigh!

gum rock rose

these days, the hills of algarve are covered with the beautiful white flowers of esteva, or gum rock rose. everywhere you look, the landscape is peppered with an explosion of white dots!

the sticky bushes where they grow are tough and not much to look at, but the flowers are such delicate things, tissue-thin and blowing in the wind.

this is such a beautiful season!

via algarviana

we learnt to hike and love the mountains in slovenia… the solitude, the view and good food at the top of the hills, the clean air stretching our lungs, the dirt in our shoes and the sore, tingling legs on the days after. it’s hard and yet it’s so easy — one foot in front of the other, until you reach your destination. no distractions and no giving up in the middle… nowhere to escape but into our own minds and the greenness that surrounds us.

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we picked the south mostly for the good weather year-round — the hills and mountains came as an added bonus, one that we might end up enjoying more than the beach itself. the via algarviana, the path that runs the length of algarve really is the cherry on top of the cake.

the scenery here is remarkably different from the one in slovenia. instead of glacial valleys, we straddle the serra and the barrocal, through the cork and holm oaks, strawberry and olive and almond trees, beehives and small vegetable patches.

300km of well-marked paths, with lots of circular one-day detours for when the mood strikes.

last year we walked section 4 with friends, and the circular path in marmelete on a separate occasion, and i look forward to logging many more miles in 2016!