5 Jun 2018

By the road

Seen in Estoi, Algarve, Portugal last month. An abandoned olive tree grove in the setting sun. It's a sight you often see in Mediterranean countries-an abandoned farm or a large old dilapidated/abandoned house with a beautiful olive tree grove. I peeped through the rusting iron gate with its hefty padlock and chain into this one with its carpet of wild flowers.

This scene is very Portugese-cork trees growing in a meadow of wildflowers. Cork trees are disappearing as corks gets displaced by screw caps in wine bottles. Portugese producers are putting up a strong rearguard action and producing all sorts of cork products -the most succesful of which is cork flooring-but it is a losing battle. The cork trees are being pulled up in many areas and replaced by olive trees and vineyards. South of Evora in the Alentejo region there are enormous areas of newly planted olive trees and vineyards. Nowhere nearly as picturesque as cork trees.

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