jeudi 1 mai 2014

Algarvian goats and sheep

It was a beautiful day of early April. I drove down with our little 1996 Red Fiat Punto to Tavira with my friend C., to go and choose some Churra Algarvia sheep. We followed the picturesque N122 road from Beja to Mertola, as often with the impression of driving in a paintings gallery. Rows of tens of stork nests half way and the little village of Corte da Velha (above), nested on the right, at the very beginning of the Guadiana National Park. Mr. Neto picked us up and drove us into the Tavira barrocal to discover a mixed herd of goats and sheeps that the Neto family has been taking care of for several generations. Here is a little movie. Both Algarvian goat and sheep breeds are relatively endangered with effectives in the range of respectively 2000 and 3000 heads. Those of Mr Neto graze in the middle of a carob trees orchard (Ceratonia siliqua var. mulata) that he planted himself. And they also find some shade under magnificent cork oak trees.

C. was super enthusiastic about the goats. Their coat looks like a piece of art. Below are the few sheep we selected. 6 females and one male. As soon as we'll get a green light from the vets, they will be carried to the Alentejo. Have a look at the horns of this impressive male too!

Great people, great breeds! And the whole thing ended at Noelia e Jeronimo, highly recommended!

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