A Tale of Salt and Wave
Of Edgelands and Imagination
We live around 12 kilometres, or 7.5 miles, from the ocean. Here, as I have mentioned, the ground begins to fold and hills rise around us, stretching above crinkled, complicated valleys, all the way down to the Serra de Monchique.
Hills to the south, rolling cork oak pastureland and fields to the east, plains all the way north, and the vast, rolling waters of the Atlantic to the west.
There are mornings where a fresh wind from the west brings the scent of the sea; hike to the crest of the first hills in that direction and you can see the haze of the salt spray spreading out below you, all the way to the coast. It is barely a stretch of the imagination to imagine a 16th century farmer watching as Barbary Corsairs destroyed the village of Vila Nova de Milfontes, taking away the inhabitants, condemned to a life of slavery. There is a reason there are so few old settlements along this coast, and that reason was piracy.