When you live somewhere you never seem to make the most of the benefits of being there. In London I never really went to the museums or galleries, they were always there so always something to do another day. Now we live in the mountains, with time on our hands we don’t seem to make the most of the opportunities for making the best of the benefits the area has to offer. Almost two years ago when we arrived we were out and about every day, exploring, walking and swimming in the local praia fluvial’s every day.
Peter promised himself that every morning he would walk to the top of the hill our garden backs onto and run down to the stream and take a swim. It has never happened. We promised that every Sunday we’d walk up to Coentral, about a 2 hour round trip uphill, stop for a coffee at the cafe at the top then walk back for a lovely hearty lunch. It happened once! I said I’d sit outside, learn my Portuguese while looking at the landscape, it’s normally too hot/windy/cold to do that. Last year we must have swam in the local praia fluvial just a handful of times.
We got the dog, I had images of us taking long walks through the forests, exploring areas inaccessible by car and off the beaten track, taking our lunch with us, sitting under a tree with our feet cooling in the stream. We got a dog that cannot really be off the lead, and dog walking has become a daily chore! And while he loves his walks he also loves sitting in his bean-bag bed.
But, on Saturday we changed that, just for the day, but changed it we did. Packed up our sandwiches, harnessed up Lord (!) and off we went into the forest. We took a route through the area devastated by the forest fire we had at the end of the summer last year. It is strangely beautiful, the charcoal of the trees, no dead bracken on the ground, opening up vistas that normally wouldn’t be there.
All of this had a motive though, we were heading up to our friend Ferrie’s house to welcome him home after a few months in Holland. He has a B&B up in Sarnadas and very lovely it is too, with a pool fed directly from the stream and small waterfall his property backs onto.
Being served three strong dark beers while sitting on this terrace in the heat of the winter sun made me think ‘we really should do this more often’!