On our second day of touring from Lagos we headed for the northern region of Algarve called the Monchique region. Narrow roads took us first to the thermal springs of Monchique. This hosts several spas and a very large Longevity Facility. The water that flows from the higher mountains into this narrow valley has long been known for good health. Below the nice buildings and beautiful landscaped grounds sit a large bottled water facility.
The beautiful and creative landscaping to direct the water flowing through the valley offers a soothing and relaxed atmosphere. Walking around you always hear running water and the songs of birds. There is a very large domed oven sitting in the square. They were starting the fire for baking bread and sausage offered by the wine boutique.
We continued on to the mountain village of Monchique, all built on a hillside. Many of the elderly ladies were carrying their purchased goods of the morning up the steep roads to their homes. There are many restaurants and artisan shops. The public benches and non-touristy coffee shops were full of the locals. We took a liking to the one elderly gentlemen seen in the photo.
The rest of the day we relied on the navigator’s “most scenic route” that took us to lakes and fields full of spring wild flowers. We were most impressed with this beautiful countryside.
Portugal has a illegal immigration problem: Storks that are staying for the winter instead of flying south. The local newspaper reports there are approximately 10,000 that have decided to stay. Consequently the recent high winds destroyed many of their nests. In the last village we drove through, Silves, we spotted a stork feeding her young in a nest that obviously survived the wind storms.