Not sure we even got half way!

Sign catches my eye

For months at the beginning of this year I had been intrigued by the appearance of these signs for a walking trail on a road we regularly take out of Olhão. Eventually in March I stopped to take a photograph so I could investigate further. It was a walk, and its name ‘Aqui tão perto’ sounded intriguing.

Once back at the apartment I began an online investigation but could find very little. A day or two later I decided to head into Olhão’s Tourist Information and take my photo of the signs. They confirmed it was a new walking trail. Exciting!

Apparently it was one of the new trails the Council was introducing to encourage tourists to explore the wider district of Olhão. And it could either be around 8miles in length or near 26miles. They couldn’t confirm exactly from my photograph or description as they themselves had not yet seen full details of the new walks, and there were no leaflets available yet. Apparently the routes were still being finalised, so I should ask again in a month.

Sounded rather odd given all the signs were up, so decided to email the Council to see if perhaps they had a PDF of the routes. Within days we got a response and I was advised to go to the museum where they had all the information on it. The following week we nipped into the museum.

DSCN4527
Views at start of the walk

Unfortunately however the lovely woman on duty was unable to give us any more information. Partly because our Portuguese is so poor we couldn’t quite grasp everything she was telling us, but mostly she seemed to be telling us there was no information available! So I decided to email the Council again.

And yes we had understood correctly there was no information yet available, we needed to wait a month or two. So we waited . . . . . . . and we waited. By the end of our 2018/19 trip there were still no leaflets but it was orchid season and so we decided to explore.

We began at the signs we had seen, and headed east as MrB was intrigued to see if there were any Blue Rock Thrushes nesting in the rock face. Seemed a great idea until we realised that this section of the walk runs parallel with the motorway. It may be incredibly under used compared to any motorway in England, but the traffic noise was still horrid.

You walk beside this stretch of motorway :-(
The stretch you walk beside

Eventually the trail turned south away from the motorway and there was a promise of delights to come.

Following the dirt track upward it wasn’t long before we were enjoying fabulous views of the Algarvian coastline and Atlantic. Maybe this walk, despite the motorway noise, would be ok.

Ocean view
Ocean view

However the footpath on the downward side was not great. It would be a significant challenge for anyone not in proper walking shoes, and certainly not a route to be attempted after heavy rains. Maybe this section is the reason that they still have not published further details; they have realised it could be problematic and are reconsidering the route.

Fortunately there was plenty of flora and fauna to keep us going and of course the views.

Once down the hill we found ourselves on minor roads, skirting villas and farms, heading into Moncarapacho. Not a hugely interesting area to walk, but it would be fun on a bike. We did consider staying on the walk and going into Monacarpacho. However we felt so uncertain about what lay ahead after Moncarapacho we decided to take create our own shortcut back to the car and enjoy lunch at one of our favourite cafes in another village. Consequently I still cannot tell you if this walk is worth doing, however thanks to our shortcut I did find a rather lovely building to photograph!

By the way my apologies for the lack of posts recently, it has been an emotional and busy summer. I am hoping the autumn is going to be less frantic, and if it is then more posts will follow soon. In the meanwhile if you are after Portuguese delights and fabulous walks I highly recommend that you visit Restless Jo, Salt of Portugal and Broken Azulejos.

Author: BeckyB

It's a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, reading, blogging, and best of all spending time with family, friends & the cat!

20 thoughts

  1. I have driven around this way after coming off that dreaded motorway. Sounds very Portuguese and probably some EU funding for a footpath without proper walking research. Beautiful shots of the flowers, birds and buildings though. There was a new EU funded footpath I took with a Spanish friend. It was easy until we had to clamber down a ravine and ford a fast moving stream, all before it was getting dark!

    1. It is so Portuguese!!

      Yikes though about the Spanish one. I guess they see goats walking these paths, and think us humans can do the same!

  2. How frustrating that you’ve never managed to find proper details of this walk. Love the horse, the little bird looks cute, and the blue and white building (house?) looks very pretty 🙂

  3. It is a bit annoying that you can heard the motorways from the trail but I think it is a good idea from the council to try to develop more hiking trails. Hopefully they will finish that one.

  4. Beautiful photographs and fascinates me all these house decorations/walls and colours. Thank you dear Becky B., Love, nia

  5. The plot thickens! 🙂 🙂 A walk we’ve done up to Cerro de Sáo Miguel follows the motorway and I hate it, and the rough track down looks fairly typical of some of trails we sometimes end up on. Not ideal and we do always wear hiking boots with the Striders. Thanks for the mention, hon, and I’ll see if I can find out any more. 🙂 🙂

  6. Not keen on the motorway noise or that horrible path. I like my walks to be peaceful and safe. But I do like the orchids and the other flowers you found. Now I just need you to research what all this Algarvian flora is!

        1. Hmmmm!!! All I can find is pictures of the Council promoting it in Lisbon so not confident…..but January will be a year after I first asked so you know never know!

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