Jo’s Monday walk : Around Salir

You knew I’d end up back in the Algarve hills eventually, didn’t you?  I love to travel the scenic route up the N2 to Barranco do Velho.  When you look back down, the vivid blue of the sea has faded to a smokey distant haze.  This is cork territory and the ancient holm oaks enfold you as you turn off towards Salir, on the N124, in the foothills of the serra.

It’s a small village, notable for its loftily perched water tower, but one that is often bypassed in favour of prettier Alte or the mighty Rocha da Pena.

I didn’t have to worry too much about my route as I was following a walk leader.  What I did have to worry about was keeping up with the ‘Striders’. Not so easy to focus on the beauty all around whilst keeping half an eye on the walkers.  Blink, and they’d gone!  From the sports stadium at the back of the village we were quickly out onto a country lane, with views across to the Rocha, standing proud in the distance.

Oops!  Don’t miss that sign!  The trail leads steeply uphill (the Striders do seem to love hills!) to the left of the house.  Calla lilies caught my eye, and another of those precious water tanks, so vital for the hot summers.

There’s not a lot to tell about Salir.  It’s a sleepy place, with a benign 16th century church and a few castle ruins from the 12th century, keeping watch over the surrounding fields.  The softly curving Serra de Caldeirao forms a lovely backdrop.

It’s a lovely time of year.  The colours sing out, begging you to capture them.  So what, if I get left behind!

It would be well worthwhile, because look what I found, growing in the long, damp grass.  Wild orchids!  They are so exciting!

A quick scurry to catch up, but there are a couple of signposts.  This walk crosses the Via Algarviana, which spans the Algarve from Alcoutim in the east right across to Sagres in the west.  All around, the cistus are cheering me on, their crushed paper faces turned to the sun.

On this walk we’d been asked to bring a picnic, a bit of a disappointment to those of us who relish the usual restaurant stop at the end.  A couple of stone benches by a fonte made a good resting place, then we were striding off again.

I often remark to people that the Algarve is full of surprises.  Passing the cemetery at Palmeiros and an oddly colourful wall, we crossed over a bridge and made a right turn down a narrow country lane.  Expect the unexpected!

A battered drum kit in the garden told the unlikely tale.  The rest of the walk seemed almost anticlimactic after that, as we meandered back towards Salir.  The pace of the walk slowed after lunch, allowing more opportunity to chat.  Another water wheel or two and we were back where we started.

That’s the first of my recent Algarve walks completed.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Let’s put the kettle on now and see where everyone else has been.

Thanks so much everybody, for your company and kind comments each week.  I love walking with you.  If you’d like to share a walk, the details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  If not, just sit back and enjoy!


I do like to introduce someone new on my walks, especially when the scenery is this good.  Meet Chandi  :

The Pathway of the Gods- Italy’s Most Stunning Hike

Versailles seems a long time ago to me, but Drake has brought it all back!

More glimpses of Paris

Lady Lee has been cavorting in water parks with the family :

Our Subic experience

Opulence personified from Jackie this week!

Hearst Castle

Richard has a crack at climbing the highest cliff in Cornwall :

Cracking Crackington Haven

While my Sunshine friend is making the most of the blossom in our capital :

London- A Walk in thePark 

And please, don’t anyone accuse Woolly of being full of hot air!


If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!  Or, in Paula’s case, take a wonderful shot…


Can you imagine being smothered in cherry blossom?  Cathy can!  She’s in Tokyo at sakura time :

Cherry blossoms in the rain at Shinjuku Gyoen

Denzil has begun a new undertaking which proves, yet again, that Belgium has quite a lot to offer :

GR121, Stage 1: Wavre to La Roche

Does this look familiar to you?  Yes- me too!

Walking in Florence

I even accept wordless walks!  Especially when shared with my lovely friend, Meg :

Wordless walks : Jemisons Beach and headland

Finally, some great hills for rolling your paste eggs down, with Kathryn :

My weekly ramble

Wonderful, aren’t they?  It’s been a bit cool and damp in my part of the UK this weekend, but then, it was a Bank Holiday.  I hope you’ve had a good Easter celebration, and maybe a bit of walking?


    1. Thanks, Elisa. Just been pottering in my garden because the sunshine finally reached the north east this afternoon. 🙂 Flower Show at Harrogate tomorrow so I hope it holds.

  1. Such beautiful photos as always. Love those Calla lilies and of course the stunning mural! My husband is a strider too. Drives me crazy! I prefer to amble along, stopping to take photos as I go.

    1. Thanks, hon. 🙂 🙂 Sometimes Mick is made to suffer, when there are just the two of us, but he gets his own back if we go to a garden. He can be there forever, even if it’s all green! 🙂

  2. Love the wild orchids and other wildflowers. Even though I enjoy a brisk walk, I’d probably lag behind a bit, too. The street art…what a surprise way out there. 😎

  3. Dew drops on wild orchids … Oh, my!

    One of the exhibits my sister and I saw in a recent visit to an art museum was a series of art photos of flowers (mainly close-ups) and insects. Your photo of the white flower would have fit right in.

  4. Those wild orchids, excellent photos. Orchid lovers would go “wild” after them. At least you don’t have to hang off some mountainside in Peru or Ecuador to see these.

  5. I love the art and flowers and scenery, Jo – and I often wonder if you’ve ever come across a snake. Maybe it’s where I live, but snakes would be at the forefront of my thoughts when walking through fields and up and down hills 🙂

    1. The only snake I have ever seen was a dead one lying by the roadside Dianne. I believe there are a number of them but they tend to give people a wide berth. I certainly would do the same for them xx

  6. I am chuckling at you having to catch up with your group. It seems I am often playing the run after the group game with my camera dangling around my neck. Lovely blooms and wonderful street art. I enjoyed the stroll immensely.

    1. There is a Strollers group too, but they are at the opposite extreme and there are rather too many of them. I like the exercise (and occasional adventure 🙂 ) I get with the Striders but I can’t leave my camera at home. Just recently a photographic walk group has started up but it’s once a month and I’ve not been over there at the right time. 😦 Happy hols! 🙂

  7. Jo I love the walk as always. I am struggling between if I like the flowers or the street art the best! Both fabulous! And I am delighted to see you connected with chandi!! Wonderful!

  8. How can you take such gorgeous shots when you’re walking with Striders? You always make me want to be walking with you, but I’d never keep up. Although there are incentives! Those orchid shots are superb – such luxuriance of bloom. I snaffled them and sent them off to my orchid-loving friend – with due acknowledgement of course – and they cheered her immensely. And after the orchids the murals. And that’s not to mention the countryside and the stone buildings and the waterwheels … and the … and the …!! I could go on, but I have to get ready to go out.

    1. I was astounded at the variety of orchids this year, Meg. More than I’ve ever seen. I almost became blase and stopped getting excited by the end of the 2 weeks. 🙂 🙂 I can walk slowly too. In fact, when there are just the two of us, Mick is often to be found tapping his foot and gazing skywards. Though he does sometimes take a few shots on his phone. 🙂

  9. Lovely photos Jo, and I spied a macro there – the fly! What joy to discover orchids and a bee orchid too (I think, having seen Becky’s orchids). And then that very surreal wall mural. SO how many of you are there in the walking group? And can you pick and choose the walks you go on? I’m not sure I would be any good in a group as I have difficulty with certain stiles and steep inclines and I am always slow as I stop to take photos. But it would be nice for someone to do the leading.

    1. Thanks, Jude 🙂 There are usually around 15-20 of us, but it can vary quite a bit. The mailing list of the walks goes out monthly and then whoever’s free turns up, if they want to. Sometimes they are more strenuous than others, and it has been known for a few of the ladies to take themselves off on an easier walk. There is a Strollers group too, but there are 30 or so on that, and they spend more time drinking coffee than walking. I know that might sound appealing but it’s not really my cup of tea- ha! 🙂 But there are some very nice people in both groups and there is a bit of a crossover.
      Did you take the laptop in today?

  10. I was a little let down when I realized you weren’t talking about Salir do Porto, where I spent most of my summers as a kid, but the photos, the writing and the wild orchids more than made up for it 🙂 -Verne

  11. I think the blossom, the lilies and the irises are my faves. I once did a touch tapestry with irises, I loved watching the iris gradually come into shape as I fed in the wools. Almost like seeing it come into bloom.

  12. Jo your pictures looked bright and sharp with the amazing light of the Algarve. Orchids are my favourite flowers so lovely to find them out in the wild. Loved the arty murals. Thank you Jo:)

  13. There’s so much in this post….
    Landscape,flowers,trees, graffiti, bugs….All so well captured and told about!
    I wish I were there this morning….!
    Thanks , JO , for this share…

    1. Bank Holiday Mondays can be a bit manic here, Anna, so we just tootled as far as Durham this morning. But at least it was sunny… for a while 🙂 🙂
      Yes, I’d rather like to be back there too. Thanks for your company, hon.

  14. oh what a wonderful walk . . . something for everyone. I’d been with you hanging about at the back scurrying into the hedgerows and looking over walls!

    1. An easy one, for a change, Becky, except where Pete tried one of his shortcuts over a wall and through some overgrown brambles. (and then we had to retreat! 😦 It’s not only Mick who gets it wrong 🙂 )

  15. What a beautiful walk. Must be amazing to spend so much time abroad amongst all those brightly coloured flowers. And thanks for including me.:)

  16. Ha, I did laugh about the Striders! A good description, and the reason why I don’t walk in groups; I too would get left behind and maybe lost while I kept stopping to identify a wild flower. And what gorgeous wild flowers you were able to identify; I love those orchids. And dear old John, looking as young as ever.

  17. What a lovely yomp Jo, so much variety on offer! I can imagine you hanging around to take photos, then trotting to catch up. It’s great to walk with a photo friend and you got to see the orchids, hooray 🙂 Happy Easter Monday x:-)x

    1. Hello, darlin! Lovely to have you back 🙂 🙂 I was just over chatting to Meg before I get my lazy legs walking. Are you still in Plymouth? Have a lovely day! And have a few hugs! 🙂 🙂

      1. Hello again, I’ve just read your news about James, you must be so relieved, wonderful! I was only in Plymouth for Sunday, today I’ve been to the woods with the dogs and I’m shivering now! Hugs to you and well done James 🙂

  18. Your photos are simply invigorating, enlivening and uplifting, Jo. You’ve certainly given my spirits a good walk. The house with the green door! The delicious orchids. The extraordinary roadside mural. Just gorgeous.

    1. There’s an old joke about going for a tramp in the countryside, Tish, but I wouldn’t dream of telling it here. 🙂 🙂 Lovely, isn’t it? What a privileged person I am. Thanks for your company and happy Monday! Beavering away in that garden again?

      1. It’s raining at the mo’ so I might just get out the sewing machine and do some piled up jobs. Promised G a new set of mango shorts (i.e.from left over curtains from our Zambia days; local cotton with mango trees on it; they’ve made 3 pairs so far). It’s a sight to behold of course 🙂

  19. what a wonderful walk, Jo…full of lovely things (orchids, crinkly petals) and surprising things (the murals of Dali, the Beatles)…. Oh that, I could have been there….

    1. I thought I’d start you off gently, Sue. It was mostly level but there’s always a scramble or two where our walk leader is concerned. 🙂 🙂 Happy Easter Monday to you!

      1. Thank you, Jo, and have a lovely Easter Monday yourself…..I’m off to brave the roads, not sensible, I know, but visiting a friend who will be back at work tomorrow…..

  20. A great walk, Jo. Got my week off to a healthy start (or were there cakes in that picnic?)
    You had some gorgeous shots in there – the opening one, the damp wild orchids and those crinkly petals. And plenty more!
    Have a good Monday!

    1. Cake? I’ll have you know that I had a banana, young lady! Mick might have scoffed an apple turnover when I wasn’t looking 🙂 🙂 Thanks, darlin. You too!

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