Yesterday we made a wonderful hike from Monchique back to Spa d’Alma. It is like ten kilometers, slowly going uphill most of the time. The weather was perfect, 23o and a gentle breeze. Some small white clouds in the deep blue sky, inviting you to lay down in the grass and dream away but we decide to walk in silence. When we walk, everybody goes in his or hers own pace and that is special because you don’t adapt to others. This way you will find your own rhythm, you feel every step you take to be the result of the whole body in motion, heart beating, belly, diaphragm and chest expanding and relaxing while the valuable air flows in and out. The air in Monchique is filled with the smell of eucalyptus, it tickles your nose and then suddenly the sweet smell o orange blossom, followed by the adventurous Rosemary and Oregano. Small lizards dash away as you approach, you can hear them rustle in the undergrowth. A big eagle soars like ten meters over your head and you really feel to be an integrated part of creation.
We meet an old lady carrying a bucket full of shiny red tomatoes. She is in her eighties and loves to talk about her life. Her husband had a stroke a few years ago and the right side of his body is paralyzed. It doesn’t stop him from planting potatoes, corn and cabbages. These people are so intensely connected to the land, it is their life and if they cannot work their gardens anymore, you better die.
A little bit further up the hill we find lots of blackberry bushes, sweet and juicy berries that color your hands purple and bring a smile to your face. We pick hands full, party time!
One kilometer further we run into a huge fig tree, loaded with ripe figs, blue and red on the inside. We have to fights the wasps to get our shares but it is worth the trouble. With a full belly we continue to find more blackberries, figs, apples, water coming from springs. This is like a stroll through paradise, really so rich, so abundant, so basic.
Getting back to Spa d’Alma; a tree full of ripe plums is waiting for us. We will dry them for future breakfasts and other dishes.
Yes, a million things happen while walking in the mountains of Monchique, lucky us.