Jo’s Monday walk : Natural beauty at Fonte Filipe

All that Carnaval razzamataz put away for another year, it’s back to the quiet life this week, in my sunny Algarve hills.  North of São Brás de Alportel lies a beautiful, green area which has provided me with many walks.  Twice lately I’ve started out from Fonte Filipe, a natural spring in the shape of a lemon, where legend has it a young girl appears at sunset, washing and singing in the fountain.

Leaving the fonte, I follow signs for Amendoeira.  Through the frothy wisps of tree branches, gentle humps hint at the surrounding hills.

A steady climb brings you to a villa, and a dog who looks down with casual indifference, lord and master of his landscape, for today, at least.  A drift of wild iris illuminates the path ahead.

Water is always the highlight of a walk for me.  I peer into ponds, ensnared by the meekest weeds, while reeds as straight as guardsmen protect me from the chorus of frogs.  Beyond them, cistus dance gaily in the slightest breeze.

Natural springs supplied the local populations of Amendoeira, Resinas, Carvalhal and part of  São Romão, and were used to irrigate the crops.  Stone pines grow freely here, their cones effervescent with colour at this time of year.  Mounds of cork lie drying in the sun.

It’s the turn of the pink cistus to dazzle now, the bees humming in ecstasy, while the wild narcissus gently nods.  Not to be outdone, there’s a flourish of cream and yellow among the rocks.

Back on the valley floor, a trickle of stream slides past the stepping stones.  I could paddle deliciously, but prefer to test my balance, pausing to enjoy the cool and the entwining of the shadows.

The trail from here is flagged, making easy walking.  It’s part of the Via Algarviana, which crosses the Algarve from the sea at Sagres to its border with Spain.  You need to keep your eyes wide open, for some jewels hide their beauty in the shade.  The bee eater orchid can be a shy creature.  Back into the sunshine, I pass a mill race, on the home straight now.  One more flurry of beauty and I’m back where I started.

From Fonte Filipe it’s an easy drive down into São Romão.  I stop to purchase homemade honey from a café, and a favourite restaurant, with views over the valley, supplies a wonderful panna cotta.

walking logo

Bombarded with walks this week, so you’re going to need to spend a little time here.  There are some beauties so please do visit if you can.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

A hard invitation to refuse, from Debbie :

Come Dawdle in Delphi

I just can’t believe I’m still sharing snowy walks!  Who’d be Canadian, Natalie?

A Walk to Canoe Landing Park

Drake knows where to find sunshine when he wants it (though he likes snow too  🙂  )

All day outdoors

I don’t mind a spot of rain sometimes, if we’re going somewhere interesting.  Thanks, Susanne!

A Walk through St. Augustine and Castillo de San Marcos

Janet’s post reminds me of the Leonard Cohen song, ‘Ring the bell!’  Funny the associations people make :

Goin’ to the chapel

Why not take it slow, and just enjoy the beauty, with Rupali?

Walking around 

Or you might prefer a bit of rough and tumble, with Alice :

Saint Patrick’s Day Rugby Tournament

And then you can always visit Jackie for sustenance :

Menu del Dia

Any baseball fans out there?  You might recognise this place :

China Basin Park

Mary shares some very beautiful murals :

Haibun : Cesar Chavez Elementary School

Short but sweet, and very familiar, from Becky!  Did you spot my Spiky Squares to welcome her back?

A stroll in the Barrocal

There’s nothing like looking at beauty through the eyes of one who appreciates it.  Double helping from Jude!

Godolphin Gardens in early Spring

Paris Focus : A Stroll along the Seine

Memories and much more, with Susan :

Walking Quito, Ecuador

And talking of memories, Amanda is testing my Polish this week :

A Little Polish Never goes Astray

Cathy plods on along the Camino, taking some interesting rest stops :

(Camino: day 8) Lorca to Villamayor de Monjardin

While Carol gives us a brand new definition for ‘close to the edge’ :

Edge Walking

Hope you enjoyed my company this week.  I certainly enjoyed yours.  Take care, and catch you next time on Jo’s Monday walk!

 

161 comments

  1. Jo, definitely a change of pace from the carnivals … the countryside isas beautiful as the coast and it’s heartwarming to see such flowers. The orchid is divine – they are not always easy to spot in the wild. A real treat to come across them. Thank you for spreading such sunshine on yet another gloomy grey day in England. I think the sun has forgotten us! 😀

    1. That’s so sad! My friends in the north east gave me the impression that summer had come, with grass mowing and such, but I know… changeable as the weather 😉🌷🐝🐞🐦💕

      1. Although we’ve managed to cut the grass a couple of times it’s been so stormy for many days. Yesterday was the first calm day in ages but still so grey! Enough moaning … your lovely post and deligtful array of emojiis have brightened my day! xx

  2. What a delightful walk Jo – so peaceful and serene, you evoke the feel of the hills and countryside so well! It is uncharacteristically humid here and I have to head out soon to go appliance shopping (we are getting our kitchen refurbished in a few months time) so have enjoyed a little interlude in the Algarve Hills! Hope you’re starting to feel a bit more settled now with the beautiful spring weather xx 🙂

    1. Thanks, Rosemay 🙂 🙂 A few of my Australian friends have been complaining about the humidity. It’s hard to find the energy to do things when it’s too hot so we’re making the most of our lovely weather to start planning our outdoor space. There are nothing like plants to cheer you up. Take care, darlin! 🙂

  3. Todays walk was accompanied with a glass of wine. I would have paddled myself, the piles of cork was fascinating and I just love panna cotta. Thanks Jo 🙂

      1. Not raining, too dry again, plants starting to go in the garden, lots to do with no enthusiasm to do stuff. Pop on over would be nice Jo 🙂

      2. Oh, not good! I’m enjoying the video on Holding Life Still. 🙂 So peaceful! Do you find the heat enervating, Brian? I don’t enjoy too much of it.

      3. It is supposed to be Autumn here but the days are 30C + There are two cyclones on the north of Australia so maybe will get a bit of rain in a few says. I enjoy the heat but the hun idity at the moment is taxing

  4. Hello, Although I’ve been reading your posts, due to internet issues and an out of control touchpad, my responses have been nil. Now that I’ve finally booked my (Norwegian) flight to Portugal for the month of May, (in and out of Madrid), I’m extra interested in everything you have to share, especially Roman Mineral Water Springs, still in use today. Did I miss any recommendations? Perhaps you’ll be on the roam in May. Just checking in about the possibility of a good chat while we soak somewhere, a cuppa tea – better yet, lunch. My treat. K

    1. Hi Krystina 🙂 🙂 It’s often a good time to be here, and we have friends staying with us for some of the month. Meeting very much depends on where you are and when but I can certainly recommend Silves, Alte and Monchique in the Algarve, and obviously I’m biased about Tavira. 🙂

  5. Thanks for taking me on a delightful walk in the countryside. We’re having spring rain and the weather is dull and gloomy. Your pictures breathe life and colour. I love it! 🙂

  6. Once again so beautiful, Jo. The cork drying is really interesting to me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. I have white iris just like the beauties you highlight here. Typically by now they are blooming like crazy, but this year, with all the rain and cold, they’re about a month behind. I am hoping they’re in bloom my Easter. Your photos entice me to get outdoors and to take some time this week to commune with nature. Well done!

    1. Conversely this has been a very dry winter and we’ve been so lucky with the weather here, Debbie. 🙂 It may be storing up problems for the summer but you never know that for sure till it’s here. This will be our first one here. Do you have imported cork for bottles, or perhaps it’s just a different process in the U.S? Glad to get you motivated anyway 🙂 🙂

      1. I suppose our cork is imported, Jo. I really don’t know. I think I’ll need to look into that just to satisfy my curiosity. But I know I know I have never seen it drying. 🙂

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