Jo’s Monday walk : Alte and about

Fonte Pequena at Alte

One of the great things about our Algarve walking group is the knowledge we can share.  Walking one day in Spring I was talking to a lovely lady called Stephanie.  She mentioned a favourite walk which included an abandoned, ruined village, and later sent me an email with a map.  So it was that, heading west for a wine tasting, we decided to seek out the village.  Just one problem- I didn’t have the map with me.  But I did have some scribbled instructions, which I thought should do.  The start was in pretty as a picture Alte, which we know well.

I always want to linger by Fonte Pequena, the smaller of the two natural springs, but my notes said to cross over the bridge and follow the signs for Julia.  Not paying attention, as usual, I turned left instead of right.  When the track became perilous and tangled with scratchy shrubs, I realised my mistake.  Back down and turn right.  Boa Vista beckoned, from the top of a seriously steep hill.  Lovely views, and a stunning passion flower.

A sign at the hilltop indicated that it was just 1.6km to Julia.  Being June it was a little too hot for hiking and I was grateful for any shade I could find.  At the edge of the village I hesitated, unsure of which way, but a villager pointed us in the right direction.  So far so good!  Down through the small cluster of houses we went, scrambling a bit as we hit some loose rocks.  Just as I was beginning to get in a lather, we came to the main road, N124.  An accusing look from the other half!  ‘Couldn’t we have driven here?’  An all too familiar scenario.  ‘But where’s the fun in that?’

The road was empty, but shade was non-existent.  A cowardly decision was about to be made.  Or should I say, good sense prevailed?  The signpost indicated 4km down a dirt track to Esteval dos Mouros, the ruined village.  Neither of us fancied getting hotter and stickier, and we still had the wine tasting venue to find.  The ruins would have to keep for a cooler day.

Back into Alte, hugging the sidewalk for shade.  The spring gurgled down the hill, vivid lemon cactus flowers blinking in the sunlight.  A relief to enter the cheerful pastelaria.  There’s just time for a morsel of cake.

Back on the road, Quinta do Francês proved tricky to find and we arrived with minutes to spare.  A very pleasurable time was spent wine tasting, but I was reluctant to bring an end to such a lovely day.  Our route home took us through Silves, where a striking mural caught my eye.  A quiet stroll by the river and beneath the jacarandas brought the day to a perfect close.

Linking this to Sami’s Monday Murals, where a bunch of like-minded people love to share.  I hope she won’t mind.  I had hoped to see Stephanie when the Algarve walkers met at Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire this week, as she lives nearby.  If she’s reading this I can assure her that we’ll be back to complete her walk this Autumn.  In the meantime I shall be sharing some English walks.

Next weekend is our wedding anniversary and I’m dragging him off up the Northumberland coast.  I hope to schedule a walk for next Monday, but my response rate may not be great as I’ll be in transit.

Many thanks to all of you who contribute and comment to keep my Monday walks alive.  I appreciate your company so much.  How can I possibly quit with you folks to spur me on?  Join me here any time.  Kettle on now, and settle in for a read :


How fascinating is this, our starter from Rupali?

Monday walk to “the Norwegian book town”

And these botanical gardens are rather special too.  Take a look with Miriam :

Jo’s Monday Walk : Huntington Library 

If I was looking for a piece of real estate, and I had lots of money in my pocket… I’d join Alice!

A walk on Queen Street

The things Janet gets up to in Wyoming!

Monday walk…to the phone booth

Lady Lee has been gadding about again!  🙂  🙂

Our long weekend in Cologne and Bonn

Time to write : Picture Prompt 19 (Creative Writing Prompt) – Gin, Rex and Niki

And as for Jackie, what’s on the menu this week?  Sounds good!

Jambalaya Crawfish Pie and File Gumbo

Melodie takes us hiking and then for a swim, in a quieter part of the English Lake District :


Or you can enjoy a glorious splash of colour with Drake!

Color Inferno

Koalas and kangaroos!  This is a very cuddlesome post from Carol, though maybe not the echidna!

Feathers and Fur

Eunice is definitely an animal lover too, and she likes a good ramble :

Jumbles Reservoir – a long walk

‘Far from the madding crowd’ with Cathy, in the most beautiful scenery!

The Devil’s Garden Hike at Arches

I’ve watched TV coverage from the Algarve these past couple of days, and am horrified at the fires engulfing swathes of the countryside that I love.  What sad times for so many!


  1. This was such a lovely, colorful post, Jo. It is lovely to envision you with friends on your walks and to know that the exchange of information can be energizing. I think you were wise to forego some of the sights to conserve your energy and prepare for the wine tasting. That sounded like a good way to spend a hot summer day. Happy anniversary, and more wonderful travels. 🙂


    1. Thanks a lot, Debbie. 🙂 🙂 We have a weekend away planned, just up the Northumbrian coast. There’s rain forecast so I’m hoping it’s kind to us, but it won’t be the first damp anniversary we’ve spent and I’m well aware that many are praying for rain.


  2. Astonishing pictures, Jo! Alte seems so picturesque and a very charming village. I was in Portugal last year but didn’t get the chance to explore the Algarve region. I guess I’ll have to get back there as soon as possible. 🙂


      1. Your walks are fun to read and you have an eye for the details that many people would miss. I too enjoy taking the time to really enjoy a walk or hike. Keep on doing what you do, Jo!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a former Arab castle at the top of the hill, Gilly, and I suspect it relates to that. 🙂 🙂 The donkey’s great. It’s quite a quirky, arty kind of place. We’ll take you next time. 🙂


  3. I remember when you and Mick took me to Alte and Silves. 🙂 At least we did drive on that day; we didn’t have to walk out in the hot sun, although we did do some easy rambling. I like those little characters who are sitting on top of those walls. Those murals are very interesting indeed. Thanks, Jo, for the link. Enjoy your anniversary in the Northumberland coast! Happy celebration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The characters are fun, aren’t they? I love that area. Nice to get away from the beaches sometimes, though not right now because it’s melting hot over there. Thanks, Cathy 🙂 🙂


  4. Your photos are entrancing and you haven’t even arrived at your intended destination! I could bury myself in that field of pink and yellow wildflowers you captured. “‘Couldn’t we have driven here?’ ‘But where’s the fun in that?’” 😁 An all too familiar scenario, indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m almost on Michael’s side here Jo as walking in hot weather is not my idea of fun. But I’m glad you dragged him along as the floral life is wonderful and those Jacaranda trees! Oh, my. Wild fires not so good though, and very scary for lots of people

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It didn’t seem so hot when we left home, Jude, and Alte has some shade, but out in the open it wasn’t such a good idea. Shame we had to rush off to taste wine. Ha! ha! 🙂 🙂 But I was horrified to see Monchique on the news, with the fires right at the edge of the village. I would certainly think twice about living up in the hills.


  6. Sounds as though the snack and wine tasting came at just the right time. As my husband says, “Hunger makes the best sauce”, and I’d say the same feel applies to your walk. You also go some lovely shots as well as the exercise (and you’re still married) so that’s a win-win-win. 🙂 Happy almost-anniversary. May God bless you with many more happy, healthy years together and enjoy your trip!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. How we’ve stayed married sometimes bemuses me, Janet, but it’s ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ at this stage of the game. 🙂 🙂 We’ll jump life’s hurdles together or limp over the stiles, whichever… 🙂 Thank you for you lovely wishes.


  7. My apology for not getting back to you a few weeks ago. It proves I am not handling 2 blogs at the same time:( Nothing to do with you Jo:)
    Hopefully the division I’m making this week, will force me to do that. because my normal weekly posts go here, and ALL SEASONS remains at “artworks,” my almost out of space site.

    What a delightful walk, Jo! Am admitting walking is not my favorite past time, so, instead I would have painted a plein air – and you give several points in the walk that would be worthy of a great “vacation shot” (as I call my plein airs! Jesh StG

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No worries, Jesh 🙂 🙂 I may well be moving to a new blog soon but it’s beyond me to run two. I don’t mind if you follow me from the armchair, so long as you pop in now and then.


  8. Ahhh I so relate to this post right now, as there is a heat wave in Amsterdam as well. Blame it on climate change, but the earth and the summers are hotting up. Sooo a walk that usually would be no big deal becomes rather taxing and we have to adjust accordingly as you sensibly did. I cannot believe the color of that passion fruit flower – wow – the ones we get in Sri Lanka are a light lilac color. The mural is so striking – love it!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. We hadn’t seen a passion flower that colour either, Peta. Absolutely lovely! 🙂 🙂 We already had the wine tasting booked and didn’t want to be late. It all worked out well in the end. 🙂


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