Verena at Festival of Leaves has some glowing colours this week. We’re clinging on to ours for dear life!
Verena at Festival of Leaves has some glowing colours this week. We’re clinging on to ours for dear life!
Now don’t be too alarmed! It’s not as bad as it seems, and if you really don’t have a head for heights- well, you can tak’ the low road, and I’ll tak’ the high road. To be completely truthful, I was out of my comfort zone for a short while, but we can blame the partner for that (and he’s not here to defend himself).
The area along the River Guadiana is wonderfully peaceful at most times of the year. In places the road stays quite close to the river, making for a lovely scenic drive. But, of course, you have to get out of the car to admire the scenery properly. You never know quite what you’ll find. Parking alongside the tiny village of Laranjeiras, our first discovery was the ruins of a Roman villa. Not a lot to see, but the remains appear to date back to the 7th century.
Strolling into the village, life seemed to centre around a little riverside cafe, from which you could watch the occasional boat mooring at the jetty. A couple of youngsters indulged in that age old pastime of skimming stones. Entertainment for me presented itself in the form of a boatman, with a delivery of tarpaulin for the little boatyard. His antics, trying to find a convenient space to offload his cargo in the minute space, kept me happy.
Never content to sit for too long, I had a mooch about while Michael consulted the map. A path seemed to lead up the hillside and run parallel to the river before dipping back down at the next village, Guerreiros do Rio. Gamely, we set off.
There wasn’t much sign of the path and it was a bit of a scramble. Stopping to catch breath, we heard a tinkling sound, and suddenly two dogs burst out of the scrub. They darted to and fro, rustling between them a magnificent herd of goats. Sighting us, the creatures pressed on, with nervous sidewards glances. The goatherd gave us a nod, a third dog rounded up the stragglers, and the pack headed for home. Happy to have found a proper path, we followed them.
The trail rolled off across the hills, but we were quite happy to take a branch that led back down to the riverside. Enough of adventure!
It looks dry, doesn’t it? It had been a long, hot Summer and was still very warm in early September. Just around the bend we reached the next village, Guerreiro do Rios. Time for a drink! As usual, I left Michael sitting in the shade, while I went off to explore the back streets.
When I returned, one of those village cats had attached itself to Michael and was greedily begging the ham from his toastie. Good job he didn’t have the tuna kebabs he’d been fancying! Strangely, the cat was not at all interested in my glass of delicious white. I didn’t have time to hang about because I had discovered that the Museu do Rio was open! (the link is in Portuguese but you can translate it if you like)
We had passed the sign before, but never gone into this small museum, tucked away from the road. Here was my opportunity!
A lot has been achieved in the space available. I chatted to the nice young lady at the till, who sold me a ticket for 1.50 euro. This was also valid for admission to the castle at Alcoutim, a few miles up the road. A bargain, I thought! The museum is open daily except Mondays.
For us it was time to amble back along the riverbank, occasionally stopping to admire passing craft.
I hope you enjoyed our little Algarve adventure. It’s quite easy to just walk along the road and back between the two villages, if you don’t want to go following goats. It’s not a busy road. The riverside junction leading south from Alcoutim is the easiest way to find the villages.
Don’t let anybody tell you that the Algarve is just a strip of boring beaches, will you? Not in my experience, anyway.
And now it’s time to turn our attention to other people’s walks. Thank you so much to all my contributors. You take me to places I might never reach on my own. Anyone is welcome to join in, and it’s very straightforward. My Jo’s Monday walk page has all the details. Just click on the logo above. Let’s put the kettle on and settle in for a good read, shall we?
Benches actually have several uses in Anabel’s world. Highly useful on a walk!
Fancy taking the train? Let’s go to Montreux with Drake! No regrets, I promise :
I gather there has been lots of rain in Texas, but Amy’s found some sunshine :
A lady I’d never heard of next, but an interesting post from Jackie, in Canada :
Demonstrating her versatility, Violet Sky finds us some very scenic caves!
So many lovely things to discover in Tasmania, thanks to Ruth :
I need to pull my socks up! I haven’t even made it to Amsterdam yet, and here’s Rotterdam looking so beautiful!
We’re joined this week by Fifi and Hop- isn’t that a great name? Please go and say ‘hi’ to Corey!
Indra at Trav Trails certainly covers some ground. Can you keep up?
Geoff’s Dog has had a poorly paw, so we might have to slow down a bit on this one :
‘Do you want this walk’, asked Meg? You HAVE to be joking! Wait till you see it!
Come and sing some Bruce Springfield with me? I love this song! Thanks, Kaz :
Nearer home, I don’t think I’ve been to Anglesey! Have you? Looking good!
And it’s simply impossible not to enjoy one of Tish’s posts! Look and learn!
As Jaspa demonstrates, on his trip to South America :
But you don’t have to go past Worcestershire for beauty- or pretty much anywhere on Jude’s blog!
Aren’t they a fantastic selection? Thank you very much everybody! I’m off to the Lake District on Thursday, celebrating another birthday, so hopefully I’ll have an English walk for you next week. Have a great time till then! Monday Escapes is on again this week if you’d like to join in.
I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween but I hate to be a killjoy. You have to enjoy the ingenuity and enthusiasm on display. The cafe in our local park has put the Christmas tree up, but decorated it Halloween style. Just a few adjustments and they’ll be good to go for another festive season. Help!!! It’s barely November…
It’s a damp old morning in my corner of the UK, so what better thing to do than move on to my second coffee (ok- third!) of the day and wander through some roses with you? A few weeks back, just before the colours started to turn, I made a Sunday afternoon visit to The Gardens at Wynyard Hall. In the profusion of colour that this Autumn has been, I almost forgot all about it.
Sir John Hall bought Wynyard Hall Estate in 1987 and has turned it into a truly sumptuous venue. I was lucky enough to attend a wedding there a few years ago and the stained glass panels high in the beautifully imperious house remain a warm memory. Many years in the planning, Sir John says that even as a boy he dreamed of owning his own rose garden. He has enlisted RHS award winning landscape architect Alistair Baldwin and rose expert Michael Marriott from David Austin Roses to help make his dream come true.
The setting is a nicely weathered wall garden, and the planting is lush. Newly opened this year, it was designed to be a rose garden for the 21st century. It takes inspiration from the geometric order of Persian grids and the Moorish influence of a bubbling rill, crowned by the raised beds of the traditional English kitchen garden.
You can wander through to the gardens of the Grand Marquee, if there is not an event in progress. The view sweeps down to the lake and there is still more planting to be admired. A little old, and something new.
But inevitably the stars of the show are the roses. The visitor guide lists 135 species but I am not going to attempt to name them all for you. (huge sighs of relief!) We’ll just share a small gallery together. I hope you enjoy them!
It lasts for such a short time! Already the Virginia Creeper, whose rosy hue adorns my wall in Autumn, is strewn across our drive and whistling off down the road. So I’m glad that I made it to Thorp Perrow Arboretum when I did. 100 acres of woodland are surely enough in which to worship Autumn colour. And you can take your eyes off that tearoom! That’s for much later,
As always, I hand the map to the other half, and set off to follow my nose. Or, in this case, a lovely little stream which wends its way through the woods. Signs promise ‘Henry’s Island’ and ‘Kate’s Island’. Will I be allowed?
A plopping sound stops me suddenly. From overhead something lands in the water, sending concentric rings dancing to shore. High in the canopy, a mischievous squirrel is dispensing acorns for our entertainment.
The history of Thorp Perrow can be traced back to the Domesday Book, where it was listed as ‘Torp’ manor house. The trees came much later. Planting began in the 16th and 17th centuries, and in the 1840’s the Milbank Pinetum was planted with seed brought over from America. There are now 5 National Collections of trees (Juglans-Walnuts, Tilia-Limes, Fraxinus-Ash, Cotinus and Laburnum) and 66 Champion Trees (the largest of their kind in Britain).
But it’s not at all a stuffy place! A sense of humour manifests itself in many forms.
Throughout this month the children have been treated (or tricked!) with a collection of spectres and ghouls lurking in the woods. Eek!!!
There is also a growing Wildlife Park, where you can ‘meet the meerkat’, watch bizarrely plumed fowl strutting their stuff, and gasp at the exploits of the birds of prey. The flying displays are one of the park’s most popular features, and are well worth seeing. I’ll let you discover them for yourself. For me the park is mostly about the landscape.
Beautifully weathered statues loiter wistfully amongst the trees. They mingle with newer wood sculptures, showing no apparent resentment.
Walks spiral off in all directions from the mighty Jubilee Oak, and another named for Catherine Parr. You don’t have to follow a specific route but simply wander to wherever your eye finds most pleasing. It doesn’t really matter. It’s all lovely!
Despite it being a glorious day, the park is quite peaceful. Strangers nod to each other, wearing beatific smiles in the unaccustomed October warmth. Only when we reach the Autumn bays is there a sense of urgency. Bathed in rosy colour, we gaze upwards.
I can sense you beginning to tire. There’s only so much beauty the eyes can take in, and we’re not far from the promised tea rooms. If Meg were here she’d be fingering the bark on so many of the trees. But you’ve earned your bowl of soup, and some of that yummy cake. Which one to choose, I wonder? There’s a full menu on the website, all very reasonably priced. (Dare I admit to having the pensioner’s special?)
The Arboretum is just beyond the lovely market town of Bedale, in North Yorkshire, and details of how to get there are also shown on the website.
I’m feeling quite tired myself after all that exercise. I’ll just say my thank you’s and get that kettle on, I think. You’ve certainly brought variety this week. Thank you so much to all of you who keep following me down this path. I really value your company. Anyone wanting to join in will be made very welcome. Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Just click on the logo.
Scotland has some of the most beautiful gardens, and in wonderful locations too. Thanks, Anabel!
And I can’t argue with this description from Violet, either :
A little fog gives a nice air of mystery, don’t you think?
A comprehensive guide- see the sights with Jackie!
Richard doesn’t mind being a beach bum. With beaches like this, who would?
A ‘kick of happiness’ is what you’ll get if you join Drake this week!
Ever tried Australian salmon? Ruth explains why you might not have :
Not so taxing as last week’s walk, but still you might prefer just to gaze in admiration :
Next up, a nice relaxing stroll around Central Park (or a ride in a horse drawn carriage if you’re feeling flush)
Tobias is showing us a very different kind of beauty. Come and see!
I hope you enjoyed the walks this week. I certainly did! Where to take you next week? I haven’t made my mind up yet. I shall just wish you all a Happy Halloween week and hope the weather stays fine. Bye for now!
Strolling in the country park at Sedgefield last week, I spotted the duck decoy sign. I’d never noticed it before but it gave rise to my little Saturday story. (if you magnify the sign, you will see that it was a method of trapping ducks for the table at the ‘big house’) Hope it gave you a smile.
And while I’m in the park, here are two photos I took on the boardwalk, just perfect for Verena’s Festival of Leaves. It’s a lovely autumnal challenge you might like to visit. But don’t forget to pop in on Cate, will you? Happy Saturday everybody!
Some posts seem to just glide effortlessly onto the page. Others don’t! They kick and bite and scratch. You can’t find just that photo that you wanted, lost in the annals of untidy folders. Too many thoughts collide in your head, often at silly times like 5 in the morning. And then there are those that miss the deadline by a smidgeon. Just enough to be annoying. I’ll leave you to work out which this is.
Rustle and tussle
A backlit ballerina
Twirling in the wind
And whilst I have been known to cheat occasionally, in the interests of a beautiful azulejo or two- can you spot these people sitting on benches?
I’m off out to kick a few leaves now. You never know- I might spot somebody loitering on a bench. If I do I may even share it with Jude.