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.
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.
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.
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.