Walking with grasshoppers' on Porto Santo island, Portugal

When I started one of my walks at Porto Santo, Madeira, I couldn’t imagine I was going to walk with so many grasshoppers.

There is no marked walking path from Portela’s Viewpoint to the Porto dos Frades restaurant at the place with the same name. 

Still, since the beginning of the road, we felt this was not really a necessity either.

We were able to walk towards our destination on one dirt trail we found there.

I let chance and good sense to guide my footsteps, so I was more relaxed to photograph.

Serra de Fora is the name of these hills.

They are not very high, although it is a windy area.

The weather forecast was telling us about good weather, so we kept the spirits up.

All around it was dry, the rain didn’t visit this place for a long time.

The golden straws were giving an Alentejo look to the landscape, and the reddish, stony land with scattered houses remind me of São Vicente in Cape Verde.

We couldn’t find tourists or other hikers here. 

The few cars that pass by on the road had people giving us funny looks, sure wondering what we were doing.

Those are signs of infrequent walkers here.

For us, the surprise of this walk jumped off the ground … literally.

Thousands of grasshoppers’ launched themselves into free flights as we approached.

Because of their light yellow color, they blend perfectly with the surrounding space of golden straws. We only saw them when they jumped, and when they brought lots of friends.

They were big and fat, with the length of a finger of an adult.

I found it so fun that I started walking to where I realized they would most likely be.

I knew nothing about these insects on Porto Santo island, so I decided to search for some information related to the case.

After reading a few articles, I found the explanations.

Apparently, these grasshoppers’ arrived here wind-swept 

from African lands.

It seems they cause many problems for crops wherever they go. I don’t have the same information about such issues on this island. However, they must be eating something.

We quickly got used to the presence of these animals, and these bouncers ended up making us company for the remaining days of visiting the island. 

Now, thinking about walking in Porto Santo for me is also thinking about grasshoppers’ jumping.

David Monteiro

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