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Horseback riding in the Algarve (Aljezur)

New Forest Lodge Horse Drawn Carriage Tours


Today my husband was stressing out about the big old dent in the side of the car. "They're going to charge us 400 euro to fix that." "We need to fix that." "Ok, but today we are going horse back riding through the hills, so relax." I called Manny at the aforementioned business, and he responded to my "Ola! Fala englese?" with perfect English and perfect directions. Which is good, because I don't have much else to say in Portuguese. Someone, who will remain nameless, is obsessed with his GPS and insists on being provided with an address. If you've been to Portugal, you'll know that a lot of places don't actually have an address and if you want to get there, you've gotta do it the old fashioned way - landmarks and kilometer measurements.

Off we went to Aljezur, on the border between the Alentejo and the Algarve. We had some time before our 5:30 ride, which gave us time to explore the tiny town and its castle. On the map it looks like it's off a highway, but other than in Lisbon, I have yet to see an actual highway. After Madame GPS led us up yet another dead end dirt road (our tiny little dented Golf complaining the whole way), I patiently insisted we simply follow the signs that said "castello." It had a great view, was free, and the little ones had fun running around. Afterwards. I walked down through the town and met them in the square. I love Portuguese tile - isn't this beautiful?



Up the road 12km past the windmills (something like 80 percent of Portugals renewable energy is wind generated), we arrived at the farm. Manny was lovely, the horses were happy, and he, along with his brother in law and creating an experiment in sustainable agriculture that is utilizing groundwater from an ancient Roman well. We all climbed aboard for our trek through the hills. Other than one kid falling off once, it was spellbinding. My little one was in that meditative state I love so well, where his mind is just wandering and he's taking it all in. My husband, for whom this was only his second time on a horse, said it was one of the best experiences of his life. I could smell the ocean, hear the cacophony of cow bells, and just be content with how happy the family was. It was a blessed day.


And it was concluded by a meal in a restaurant that I will not soon forget. Pao Alentejo, garlicky aizetun, cheese, wine and bacalao. These people know how to eat well!

Posted by Restless Mama 15:14 Archived in Portugal

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