Jo’s Monday walk : a surprise, at Estoi

The mother church at Estoi

The mother church at Estoi

Do you remember the lovely palace gardens at Estoi in the Algarve?  I was there last November for a Garden Fair. Always on the lookout for somewhere new to walk, I sat up and took notice when, advertised in the ‘Portugal News’, I spotted a guided walk in the countryside surrounding Estoi.

The village of Estoi makes a pleasant enough wander in itself, and so, one surprisingly warm April Saturday, I joined up with the group of walkers.  A young man called Chris was our walk leader. After gathering up his flock by the church steps in the main square, he set off, at a fair pace.  A little too fair, in all probability, for someone who loves the distraction of wild flowers.  But I managed to keep up… mostly!

The sky patterns were bewitching that day!

The sky patterns were bewitching that day!

I was really taken with the views

I was really taken with the views

In no time we’d turned down a trail that threaded round behind the village.  I chatted companionably with several of the walkers, eager as always to exchange titbits of information. And then I became hopelessly distracted by the flowers.  The red soil appeared quite dry, but from beneath every rock there peeped a smudge of colour.

Growing wild and free

Growing wild and free

The occasional farmhouse appeared, with its noisy dogs, and we passed by a field of melons.  I don’t recall ever seeing melons grow, but was assured that this was a melon crop.  A wild iris stretched shyly in the gentlest breeze. But the stars of the show for me, the gaily abandoned hot pink of the small rock cistus.

How can you ignore this?

Who can ignore these?

Profusely growing wild sage, lavender (both green and lilac shades), not to mention the less flamboyant white cistus- each had found a place.  An Algarve Spring has a wealth of treasures.

Click any photo in the gallery to walk  with me 

I continued to chat whenever I fell in step with someone.  Hearing interesting stories.  We were nearing the end of the walk when my then companion said ‘ah, I remember this!’  A group of the walkers had gathered to look through a high wire fence.  What was the attraction?  Unfortunately, by the time I got there the creatures had turned their back, and I didn’t manage much of a photo.

Who'd have expected an ostrich farm in the Algarve?

Who’d have expected an ostrich farm in the Algarve?

I hope you enjoyed my walk around Estoi this week.  ‘Let’s walk’ advertises in the Portugal News.  It cost 5 euros to join the walk, which lasted about 2 and a half hours.  See Portugal Walks website for details.  The walks cease in the hot summer months.

Many thanks again for your company.  I hope you’ve got the kettle on for a good read!

walking logo

For details of how to join in with Jo’s Monday walk, please click on the logo to go to my page.  Thanks to everyone for all your wonderful contributions.

……………………………………………………………………………………………

First of all, Drake takes us back to the time when he was a baby duck!

Memory walk through the village

Then Meg meets a friend and shows us around Poznan, in Poland :

To Poznan

It’s years since I was in our Lake District, but Anabel’s posts make me want to go back!

Lake District walks : Silver How

Every now and then I let someone ‘cheat’.  Especially when the alternative is very wet!

Bayous and swamps

Sometimes the beauty of our landscape just takes my breath away. See what I mean, with Amy :

Monday walk : Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Jude, meanwhile, is ‘at home’ in Cornwall.  Or hopes she soon will be!

Lizard Point

And in Scotland’s beautiful capital, Geoff climbs Calton Hill :

Fringe Benefits No. 3

Finally, say hello to a newcomer, Ruth :

On the Way

Yet again I’m scheduling this walk because when you read it I should be returning from the Norfolk Broads (no rest for the wicked!).  I should be back in time to chat with you on Monday evening.  Take care till then.

125 comments

  1. When you think of Algarve, you don’t exactly think of ostriches 🙂 That was a surprise!
    I love the white buildings but it must be sheer torture to be out and about in the summer months. The reflection of the sunlight must be unbearable.

  2. I can understand why you got distracted with the flowers, they’re so beautiful! And oh that sky! It’s good you managed to take so many wonderful photos and keep up with the group at the same time! 🙂

  3. That was a wonderful stroll through Estoi Jo! And what great value at just €5! Love the opening shot. An ostrich in the Algarve is certainty added bonus 😀

    1. Go, Richard! It’s a stunning island 🙂 I was there for a November week 7 years ago and I loved it. The weather is hit and miss but when the sun comes out it’s paradise.
      I would hesitate to make any recommendations. We did a couple of round the island trips with Strawberry World and I thought they were excellent value, but when I went to get you the link I find that they have financial problems and Trip Advisor are slamming them. I don’t set much store by Trip Advisor personally but a lot of people do. I have friends who were in Madeira just 2 weeks ago and they did some levada walks in a group so I will find out for you who they went with and let you know. 🙂

  4. You’re right, Jo, the cloud patterns were gorgeous. It looked like a fantastic painting.

    BTW — I just read a short article about ostriches. Did you know they can run at a sustained speed of about 30 miles per hour? Amazing! 🙂

  5. Jo, so beautiful …. and that blue sky. Algrave seams to have some magical hidden gems too.
    I know far too little about Portugal, my visit to Lisbon wasn’t the best .. most because the whole city center was like a building site. And I had a problem to find great food. *smile.
    I just have a make my way back. My favorite pick of this bunch is the ground with the village roof tops.

    1. Morning, Vivi! 🙂 How was Istanbul? I was just wondering if you were in the laundry room this morning 🙂 I need to share my walks on Facebook first then I can come visiting. Hugs, darlin’

  6. Well you do find some interesting things on your walks Jo. An ostrich farm in Portugal. I would not have guessed that. Oh I just had an idea. Maybe one time for your walk you could do a multiple choice guessing game. For instance when I came around this corner I saw a a) babbling brook, b) ostrich farm c) a little old man who wanted to chat d) an elephant.
    what do you think?

    1. Sounds like a plan, Sue 🙂 My head’s usually on a swivel… melons, you say?/ Oh, look at that hydrant/ anyone know the name of this flower? It IS a bit of a guessing game 🙂 No prizes…

    1. I think they’ve been avoiding me for the last 10 years, Suze, but I caught up with them in the end 🙂 Sorry I’ve not been to yours lately… here, there, everywhere at the moment. 🙂

  7. I love the way your guide gathered up his flock by the church steps in the main square. Wonderful! The sky above the grand house is beautiful and I love the flowers xxx

    1. I would have liked to scramble over the wall for a proper look at the melons, but it was a bit sharp and scratchy (and I got ‘the look’ from the other half 🙂 ) Yes, it was a lovely outing.

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