Burnt trees and bumble bees - Spring between Gavião and Belver

 

I'm writing this in the present tense because I can't sleep. Burt [the van] is broken, but we still don't know if this is the end of the road. Hopefully the mechanic will tell us in the morning and the wait, at least, will be over. On life's scale of problems, this is small fry, but I'm not good at waiting.

 

This is now our forth night here in Gavião. I spent the first day moping in the room of our guesthouse; it was raining, but I still should have ventured outside. By yesterday I was already stir crazy; irritable and bored. The sun came out, so I walked out of the village, down the main road, round an empty roundabout and out of sight. The roadside trees, plots of tall cabbage and distant barking dogs did me good. This place didn't even know I was there. I floated loosely through reality like Schrödinger's cat, wondering if I might have disappeared. 

 

well and wild flowers between Gavião and Belver

 

I veered off down a small track. Marked as municipal land, I hoped not to upset anyone, but was happy to be off the tarmac. Rows of cultivated vines gave way to wildflowers. Buzzing clouds of yellow, white and purple floated over the green. The air was sweet, but I couldn't find which flowers it was coming from. Do so many flowers always smell like that?

 

wild flowers between Gavião and Belver
wild flowers between Gavião and Belver
wild flowers between Gavião and Belver
water and wild flowers between Gavião and Belver,  Spring in Portugal
yellow Spring wild flowers, Portugal
wall and wildflowers, Spring in Portugal

 

Further on, the trees were scorched; black bark and bare land. The fires had ripped through last Summer. We've had so much rain that it's hard to imagine.

 

fire damage in Portugal, Gavião and Belver
burnt trees and wild flowers between Gavião and Belver
burnt trees and wild flowers between Gavião and Belver, Portugal
wild fire damage, Portugal
burnt tree trunk, between Gavião and Belver Portugal

 

Passing a small farm, I came to the brow of a hill. Spread below and around me was the panorama of a terraced landscape; whitewashed Alvisquer across the valley and Belver with its castle to my left. I looped down to a small stream to wash my face and cool the blood in my wrists, before heading dehydrated back the way I had come. The flowers were so beautiful, I did the same walk twice. 

 

abandoned building and farmland, between Gavião and Belver, Portugal
rocks and path, between Gavião and Belver, Portugal
wild flowers Belver, Portugal
Belver
Spring wild flowers, Portugal
Burnt tree stumps, Belver, Portugal
Burnt tree stumps and Belver in the background
purple wildflowers, Portugal
wild flowers and rocks between Gavião and Belver, Portugal
path, wildflowers and Belver, Portugal

 

Burt did not recover and we had to get back to the UK with far too much stuff - bodyboards, Dan's music making things, clothes for every type of weather, all of the five pairs of shoes and boots that I own... That is, of course, the reality of "#vanlife", but we will miss that little guy. 

 

sunset, Gavião, Portugal
The view from our window in Gavião

This site is written and edited solely by me (Katie). Please contact me if you find any typos or mistakes!

 

You can find Feathery Travels on facebook, twitter, instagram and pinterest.

 

Phone Credit For Refugees and Displaced People is a volunteer run organisation. I can't stress their importance enough - please click on the image below and join the facebook group to find out how you can help. If you are not on facebook, you can still donate here