Last week on the eve of Winter solstice we enjoyed a stroll and picnic beside one of our favourite Algarvian rivers and it really didn’t feel like midwinter. There were bees in flower meadows, birds flitting about everywhere and Billy Goats Gruff under the bridge. It was a glorious day for doing very little.

I though was on a mission, I was hoping we’d finally make it to Moinho das Pernadas. You may recall me first mentioning this water mill when we walked with nightingales earlier this year. Moinho das Pernadas is only 2km downstream from Odeleite and so it is quite easy to visit unless like us you are easily distracted by the birds, flora and fauna or find yourself as we were when we walked with nightingales on the wrong side of the river!

Fording a stream on the return

If you do make it, then you will discover as we did the flour mill is in a really lovely setting. Up until the late 70s / early 80’s there was still a miller in situ however once the miller left, the site was abandoned and the mill and surrounding buildings quickly fell into disrepair. And it remained like that until a couple of years ago when it was restored. Fortunately it has been restored as a working mill to be used for educational purposes rather than as a private residence. It wasn’t though open on the day we went and there are no informational signs outside the mill. So as well as not being able to learn more about the mill and the dam, we were also unable to answer my questions about the impact the building of the much larger dam and reservoir upstream from Odeleite has had on the ribeira de Odeleite.

It is unclear when the mill is open for visits. One website indicates that the mill is opened on request, however I am not too sure that will be the case in the winter months nor am I confident, given the isolated location, they would open it for a party of two. I have though contacted them to find out more so hopefully we will be able to return one day and have all our questions answered! One question I won’t have to ask though will be about the stones in the wall, they of course are the tying stones for the donkeys.

If I ever discover more about the opening arrangements I’ll update this post with a comment below, but for now let me finish with a video of the Algarvian goats from the bridge. We crossed their path again on our return. It is only a minute in length but is worth playing with sound turned up.

If you enjoyed this short stroll do pop across and say hello to Jo as she has some lovely Boxing Day walks. We didn’t manage a walk on Boxing Day this year as instead we joined friends near São Brás for the killing of their pig, followed by an amazing lunch. I’ll be sharing my post about it all one day soon.