Most of last week it was too hot to even think about heading into the hills to walk, and whilst it meant we enjoyed more evening walks in the salterns than usual I was by Wednesday becoming frustrated by the lack of proper walks. Fortunately for my legs (and MrB’s sanity!) we awoke in the early hours of Thursday morning to winds of 48 to 56km per hour. The forecasts were spot on we had a wind-chill effect. Since we knew the winds would be less strong inland we decided this was the day to attempt a new circular route we had identified in the hills.If you have been accompanying us on our Portuguese travels for a while then you will know our favourite areas to walk are the hills above the Guadiana and Odeleite rivers. And this is where we began, at the mouth of the Odeleite River (Foz de Odeleite) and then headed up river on the northern bank. I’ve taken you along here before, in fact more than once, but it is going to be different today! First though the river walk, and as so often happens with us there were numerous stops to photograph the flora and listen to the Corn Buntings and Bee-eaters.
Eventually we found ourselves at Telhada. There were no pigs here today, but it was here we did something different. We turned right away from the river and headed north towards the Vale de Zorra. Almost immediately the path became less well used and it was evident that this is not a route to attempt after heavy rains as at one point you walk through a river bed. However it is a beautiful route, and we felt as though we middle of nowhere. We soon found ourselves on an upward climb surrounded by Umbrella Pines. The wind on our back kept us cool, and it wasn’t long before I was finding brand new flora to photograph. Exciting!
There are numerous paths you can take after the turn at Telhada but we consistently kept left as we wanted to keep the walk relatively short given the heat. And I am glad we did as not only did the wind drop and temperatures rise dramatically at times, but the views were stupendous. From here we could see the Foupana, the Odeleite and if you squinted the Guadiana. Ok maybe not the latter but you certainly could see the wind turbines in Spain and in the other direction the Forest Rangers’ Post in the Mata Nacional das Terras da Ordem.
We were now on the return route to Telhada, and it became very obvious that this was a path less travelled, or at least rarely driven on these days. And thankfully for me it was also sheltered from the winds so I was able to grab a few close-ups.
Not long after these shots we came across what we think is a threshing circle. However we are not positive about this as it is high above the farm, and there are better places nearer the farm it could go. Plus it is directly opposite and at the same height as a similar structure at Assador. Are they threshing circles or something else? Would welcome your thoughts.
Returning to the ‘road’ beside the Odeleite we soon found ourselves being buffeted by the winds. We didn’t mind initially as it was keeping us cool but then we heard the nightingales in the pomegranate trees. And I so wanted to capture a lovely recording for you. I didn’t quite manage it though because of the wind, and when the wind dropped for a moment the nightingales also stopped! However this is what I did get. We think there were at least four of them hidden in the pomegranate trees and also the reed beds.
It wasn’t just nightingales on the return to Foz de Odeleite we were also accompanied by Bee-eaters, a Stonechat and Spotted Flycatcher. The latter a first for us here, making it a perfect end to what was a wonderful walk.
I hope you have enjoyed it as much as we did. We enjoyed it so much we are planning to return here again next week, and hope to extend it slightly by taking one of the right hand turns. I’ll keep you posted as part of Jo’s Monday Walks!
And that reminds me, before I go, I must share something with my wonderful friend Jo! I admit I hesitated about sharing this with you Jo after your recent adventures in the hills above the Guadiana, but decided in the end a happy tale (or should I say trail) might be just what you need! Plus I thought the lovely M would like this link for the maps 😉 I recommend acquiring no583!!