Jo’s Monday walk : Rock cistus and water

If there’s anything that fills me with delight, it’s the sight of a hillside covered with wild, rock cistus.  Back in January, I took you to Furnazinhas in the Algarve hills, and we walked south of there to the reservoir of Odeleite.  The cistus were just beginning to open, and I hoped that when I returned to do a second walk from the village they would be more advanced.  As we drove north from Castro Marim, cistus lined the road.

We left the village following the sign PR10 for Barrancos, though as Becky will tell you, nothing is guaranteed when following Portuguese trails.  We were forewarned that this might not be straightforward but, with a bit of perseverance, managed to find a way through the overgrown path to confront our first water crossing.  A wobble or two and I was across the stones, and feeling triumphant.

To be fair, we were lucky, because there has been just one solid, downpouring day in the last couple of months, so following the course of the Beco da Maria Galega was not as tricky as it might have been.  In fact, we were surprised at how green and fresh everything looked, with new growth everywhere.  We even spotted green lavender!  The rockbed was equally fascinating, as Becky describes.

I loved the variety of this walk.  As I followed the stream, a cottage with a small farmstead peeped through the trees.  Down at my feet, flowers cavorted nimbly in the grass and tiny pink stars winked up at me.  A frog played lazy hide and seek with the shade.

Rounding a bend, I heard the gentle chuckle of water.  A waterfall had formed in a deep cleft in the rocks, and I peered into its clear green depths.  On the stiller waters nearby, tiny white starlets floated.

We had Crocs and a towel with us but, as always happens when you come prepared, we had no need of them.  Although we did cross and recross the water any number of times, mostly a hop, skip or even just a stride was more than adequate.  Spring was all around us.

As we continued through the valley, two deeply-voiced birds startled us into silence as they called loudly to each other.  I’m no birder and didn’t recognise their cry at all, but my husband thought they might be corncrakes.  I happened to mention this on Hanna‘s blog, and she very kindly tried to help me identify the bird voices, as you’ll see in her Comments.

The trail was easy to follow, but a moment’s indecision arose around 7km.  Follow the road, or an interesting path that felt like you were on private property?  Hoping not to fall foul of any stray dogs, we chose the second.  Tiptoeing around what looked like newly tilled soil, I caught a flicker of pink and white in the long, damp grass.  Could they be early wild orchids?  The photos are, unfortunately, too blurred to tell.

A last flurry of cistus, thankfully no dogs, and we were back in the village where, once again, the cafe was closed.  But you’ve been a patient audience so I shall still reward you with cake.  It’s only right to celebrate your 1000th post, isn’t it?

Water is my element so I loved this walk.  I hope you did too.

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Lots to share again this week.  Thank you for your company.  It wouldn’t be half so much fun without you.  Please visit as many as you can, and join me here next time on Jo’s Monday walk?


Lovely Debbie has spotted me a room with a great view this week, as she gallops around the world :

Ambling around Arachova

And Margaret has a nerve-tingling treat in store :

The foothills of the Sierra Nevada

You have to admire grit and determination, and the gurgle of water!  And Suzanne :

Hiking Mt Eliza Mine Loop

Janet finds some graves with a serene view :

Monday walk… a view to die for

And Alice goes looking for a piece of American Heritage :

Step into the Center of a Village dating back to 1135AD

While Susanne concentrates on a capital city :

A Capitol Tour of the Other Washington

I always enjoy a garden festival, don’t you?  Check this one out, with Sandra:

#Northwest Flower & Garden Festival (Post #2)

Heaven’s, Irene!  Will this lass ever be free of snow?

Reaching for the Goal

Drake must have chilly feet (but a warm heart  🙂  )

Streets of snow

And for any of you still missing ice and snow, Sartenada would love to take you walking in Finland :

Winter walk

How about a spot of sunny fishing with Jackie?


Tea Bee mostly hikes in the English Lake District, but sometimes in warm, exotic places :

Visite du Jardin de Balata et la Route de la Trace, Martinique

Talking of exotic, how about this from Natalie?

Postcard from Guatemala City

Or better yet, stroll down Memory Lane with Susan :

Walking Otavalo, Ecuador

Cathy’s got us all looking up this week!

The Saint Louis Gateway Arch

It’s Carnaval week here in the Algarve and celebration is in the air.  I hope to bring a little singing and dancing your way.  Take care till then!


  1. Congratulations on your 1000th post Jo – wow that’s quite an achievement! 🙂 🙂 And what a beautiful walk to share by way of celebration. Spring looks like it has well and truly sprung in your part of the world. The cistus (which I must confess I hadn’t heard of before) looks so pretty. I love the unspoilt nature of the terrain – your writing complements the photos so beautifully. Hope the week has gone well and you’re feeling more settled now that the weather is a bit warmer, take care xx 🙂

    1. Thanks, darlin! 🙂 🙂 23C this weekend, and I actually spent an afternoon at the beach with a book yesterday. It should, of course, have been a Portuguese text book, but I was slacking. 🙂 After our morning walk I’ll have to do some homework. Hope life’s treating you well.

      1. It can be hard to get stuck into text books Jo! An afternoon at the beach sounds a great idea. Which reminds me I need to do some German before my class this week ….. I try and watch the news in German as much as possible and also read blogs such as fashion and travel ones in German. Currently babysitting as our daughter and son in law have a birthday function to go to. Just back from the park and now watching Mary Poppins (the old version, the girls like it as it’s set in London where their aunt lives!). Enjoy your weekend 😃 😃

  2. Wow! Congratulations on your 1000th post! Thank you for taking me on another wonderful walk outside. I love the first picture and the waterfalls and bright sunshine. Hugs!

  3. Wow! 1000th post! Congratulations, Jo! nature walk like this one fills my heart with so much gratitude! and ending with a cake so divine is a big bonus! thanks for sharing as always, Jo 🙂
    so many signs of spring already and i can’t for it in my part of the world.

  4. I’d love to walk one of those trails with you, there’s so much to see. Sadly I don’t think that’s wild orchid, it’s something I’ve seen but my memory is no help. The lavender is gorgeous as is the white blossom. As always I’m late visiting, happy Thursday honey 🙂

  5. 1000 posts! Now that is something worth celebrating. Wonderful to see all of the blooms and colours. Solidly white and frigid still here Jo. I shall live vicariously. Hoping the settling in continues in a positive direction. Xo

    1. It’s no wonder you travel, Sue! 🙂 🙂 But still, there’s no place like home , and this place is definitely starting to feel like mine. Thanks so much!

  6. You’ve introduced me to cistus and green lavender! I didn’t know either one, Jo. What a beautiful landscape and another fabulous walk. 1,000 posts? I think you deserve more than one piece of cake. 🙂

    1. Really? I thought the cistus might be familiar as our landscape is not dissimilar 🙂 🙂 The big whites are everywhere in the hills and looking fabulous, even in the rain. 🙂

    1. No such thing as wrong around here, Sue. You can do whatever you want and I’ll be grateful. 🙂 🙂 Just home from a hill walk and more lovely cistus. On a high 🙂 Thank you!

  7. 1000th post? Congratulations! Thank you for another lovely walk, with so much to see! I think I’d definitely feel I needed the reward of a drink and cake after that walk, so how disappointing for you to find the cafe closed.

    1. I’ve just been chatting online to the owner of a B&B in the village and we hope to set something up for the future. 🙂 🙂 Apparently the cafe is closed Mondays but it would be open for my Tuesday group of walkers. Thanks, darlin!

  8. A 1000 posts?! Wow! Congratulations!!

    Water is my element too and any hike that takes me along water will make me happy. Toss in a waterfall and I’m thrilled 🙂

    Those delicate-looking papery flowers are so beautiful (obviously your photos show them off perfectly). I don’t think I’ve ever seen this flower here, but if this is a sign of spring, I’d say it’s all the more reason to love it 🙂

    1. Hi Joanne 🙂 🙂 Not long home from a walk in the hills and the cistus were everywhere! The skies were overcast today but it was still a stunning display. Feeling blessed. 🙂 Thank you!

      1. They sound like our trilliums which come out in the spring, and in sunny spots, will completely cover the forest floor. They are rather short-lived so it’s always a thrill to catch them at their height of bloom.

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