Jo’s Monday walk : São Lourenço Trail

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Nothing special this week.  Just a short walk in the Algarve and a reminder that I will not be here to post a walk next week.  I probably won’t have time to respond to many of you before I go, either, so I’ll have to crave your indulgence.  You know I’ll catch you up when I’m back, don’t you?

In all honesty, I was a little disappointed in this section of the São Lourenço Trail but there were compensations.  It borders affluent Quinta do Lago, and appears to be used largely by joggers and cyclists, between rounds of golf.  I approached the trail from the beach, crossing over the salt flats via the Ponte de Ancao, an extremely long foot bridge, easily visible when you fly over the Algarve.

The last time I was in this neighbourhood I had turned left after the bridge, and been astounded at the beauty of the saltwater lake stretching before me. So I had high hopes on my return.  A right turn after the bridge had me skirting the edge of a golf course, the salt marsh squidging at my toes. The tide was out, but it was obvious that when it came in, some of the trail would be underwater and a little paddling might be required.  A good reason not to loiter, but it was not very obvious to me which was the trail.

IMG_1220This new-looking red dust cycle track proved to be a false start.  It led far into the distance, towards the airport, and seemed very popular with birdwatchers.  Solid benches along the way attracted couples with binoculars, focused on the watery world.  An about face proved necessary.

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It was immediately apparent that I should have stuck close to the golf course, on a much more beaten track.  I retraced my steps and headed into a stand of pines.  Beyond them, a small lake was overlooked by a two-storey bird hide.

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I spent a little while in the bird hide, enjoying the antics of the waterfowl, but I forgot to look for the two species of native terrapin. Azure-winged magpie are a common enough sight in Portuguese woods.  The trail ends at some rather unprepossessing Roman ruins, former salting tanks used for the preservation of fish.  A signboard describes the process.

Time to retrace my steps the brief distance back to the bridge, the tide not having advanced too far.  It was a warm day for late November and I had neglected to bring water.  The price of my folly was high.  I did say that this was wealthy Quinta do Lago, didn’t I? The cost of my glass of white at Gigi’s bar made me wince, but there was nowhere else in sight.  I stayed as long as possible to gain maximum value from the view.

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This is walk no. 42 from Walking Trails in the Algarve, a book I’ve used previously.  Remember Carrapateira?  Full details of how to get there, complete with maps, are shown in the guide.

And that’s it from me.  I’m publishing this a little early to give me a head start, but I hope you’ll still put the kettle on and settle in for a good read.

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As always, huge thanks to my contributors, and to those of you who just enjoy keeping me company.  Details of how to join in can be found on my Jo’s Monday walk page, with a click on the logo above.  Remember though, I’ll be missing next week.

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Lots of snow about the blogs this week!  Start us off, Anabel!

Mugdock in the snow

But we can hop aboard the Royal Yacht and keep warm with Smidge :

The Royal Yacht and Gormley’s 6 times

Or head for San Diego with Amy :

Monday Walking: Ringling Museum

Jackie’s still got plenty of sunshine too :

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Meet Susan, everybody!  She’s new to my walks so please make her welcome :

Discovering Street Art in Astoria, Queens 

This week Debbie brings us a fascinating tower and observatory in Copenhagen :

A Short and Winding Walk

No matter how often you see Banff National Park, it always looks spectacular!

Snow Decor

Some pretty wonderful rime ice leaves from Jude!  Brrrhh  :)

Monthly Photo Challenge : Frosty January

More of the white stuff, anybody?  You could snowboard with Drake!

Snow time

Or stroll peacefully with Jaspa in the evening sun :

Villa Doria Pamphili Park

Not so much a garden as a torture chamber but this one’s very colourful.  Thanks, Lee Ann!

Haw Par Villa- Chinese Mythological Garden

Shall we end with a nice English resort?  Gilly still manages to make it look inviting, even on a gloomy day :

Winter by the sea

Many thanks, everybody!  I love your walks.  I hope to be back with an Algarve walk on Monday, 15th February.  Take good care till then.

118 comments

      1. It’s different here in the Sierra and we should have more rain. We’re in Lisbon next week and hope that will be fine too. Not sure when we’ll get back to the Algarve before end of April. Hope the sun shines for you.

    1. You’ve made it, Jill. :) I was up at the crack of dawn to finish this week’s walk (which may be a little late, but minutes rather than days :) ) and I found 2 other walks which were posted while I was away so I’d better get cracking! I had you in my Inbox to pay a visit already but now I have an immediate reason. Thanks a lot! :)

  1. Hope you’ve been having a wonderful time in the Algarve Jo! Apologies for my absence in “Blogland” – I’ve scarcely managed to get my own blog post out recently a few things going on though all is fine just very busy. I am trying to catch up a bit now. Have a great week!:)

    1. It bridged the gap into an English Spring rather nicely, Rosemay. :) :) It’s been a busy weekend of organising since we got back late Friday. I hope to settle down to write my Monday walk soon, and then it will be catch up time for me too. Glad all’s well with you. Take care!

      1. Thanks Jo:) I hope that Spring will be well and truly underway soon for you! I always find it tricky knowing what to pack for an April trip to Europe but it will feel cool to me after a Perth summer! I will be along later to read this week’s Monday Walk – have a great week:)

  2. What a lovely taste of your delightful Algarve. I hope you are all settled in by now and enjoying the sun over there. Looking forward to more Algarve walks when you get back.

  3. A delightful ‘short’ walk this Jo, it looks so calm and peaceful and so refreshing. I would love to walk there, with you:-) Have a wonderful time, happy, safe travels and see you when you return. Big hugs:-) xx

  4. Why were you disappointed honey? it looks lovely to me. Great photos of a varied land and water scape, sunshine and blue sky, there’s even a lantana flower to make me smile! perfect:-)

  5. I know you’re in your beloved Algarve now, Jo, and I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine. This walk looks wonderful; you know I have a soft spot in my heart for any marshlands! Thanks for taking us along. Sorry about the high-priced wine, but I’m sure you enjoyed it despite the price.:-) Hugs. xxx

  6. Yes, they’ve cut down and cleared a couple of acres of old woodland by the trail since last year; wish I knew why, it was a good place for birds to shelter. Now just a piece of waste ground.

  7. Beautiful post, Jo. That photo of a pine tree close-up reminds me of some photos I used to take. Enjoy your stay in Algarve and see you when you come back. Boa viagem!

    1. It’s blowing a hooligan here, Sue, and I’m hoping it calms down for our teatime flight. It will be good to be back there :) What date for Australia? Must be only a few weeks?

    1. Me and that sky are ‘besties’, Meg :) It really is your kind of walk. And no dangerous rocks for scrambling on. :) Take care, sweetheart, and enjoy family… when they arrive.

  8. With views like that I’d have enjoyed the wine even if it was pricey!
    Have a wonderful time back in Portugal, Jo – perfect timing judging by our weather forecast for the next couple of weeks. Safe travels!

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