I thought long and hard over whether I ought to include this walk, but I loved it. Full of warmth and companionship, it was in celebration of a very special lady. Roberta Smith was always Bobbie to me, and she was there right from the very beginning of my Algarve walking days. A very determined lady, she had overcome a near fatal aneurism to get back to walking in the hills she loved. Always she was spurred on by the promise of the one gin and tonic she allowed herself each week. Simple pleasures for a lady who needed to be frugal.
Always kind to others, in the end life wasn’t kind to her. Months short of her 65th birthday, and of drawing the pension she had so looked forward to, cancer abruptly claimed Bobbie. We, her walking friends, were in shock. It has taken close to a year for us to make this walk, in celebration of our time with her. On a day of blue skies and softly drifting clouds, many of us said our goodbyes.
I’ve never struggled to know what Bobbie saw in these hills. From the first time I ventured up here, I was under their spell. The patterns that trail from valley to summit and down again, as the clouds gently jostle for position. The trees, in silhouette on the horizon, gnarled and torn, up close. The isolation of distant dwellings, and the ruins, sorrowful remnants of life. The blues and violet shades that come with evening. I love them all.
It is the time of year for medronho, the berries ripening with gold and scarlet temptation. Recently I was offered them with a dessert, but more often they are distilled to a fiery beverage. To keep out those winter chills. The wind can be cold up here.
Finally, at the summit, a ceremony was performed. One of our group had carried her ashes. Another filled a glass with the G & T she loved. Another had photos of when we were last all together. We had no idea, then…
We continued through desperately arid land, streams dry as dust, but life clinging on determinedly, as it must. Afterwards we convened at a restaurant in the hills that we often use. Those who had been unable to walk joined us there, to celebrate Bobbie’s life, and to raise a toast.
Life is short. Some are luckier than others. But all of us must find a path. I hope that Bobbie and her many friends will not mind me sharing hers.
There are many walks and lives to share here this week. Please find a little time to visit each other. See you next time, on Jo’s Monday walk.
Patience is rewarded, oh, so beautifully, for Jude :
While Alice finds beauty of a very different kind :
Feast your eyes on this lot! Sandy plays gourmet in Lisbon :
Someone else who doesn’t have an aversion to food- you can always eat well with Jackie :
Some beautiful finds in the woods, with Janet :
While Natalie shows us Autumn in all its splendour :
A follow-up to Denzil’s recent Foresters’ Memorial post :
And to Ann Christine’s walk through stunning Old Tbilisi :
Have you been walking with that lovely man Ernst lately? And Gisella, too :
Or that other lovely man, who sometimes likes life a…
And talking of gentlemen, have you seen this post from Debbie?
It’s a little cool for me in Irene’s part of the world. Or do I mean, ‘a lot’?
And Karen can hardly see her hand in front of her face!
I don’t know much about this part of the world, but I wouldn’t mind keeping Athena company :
And I had hoped to join Cathy on her journey, but it wasn’t to be :
I did, however, make it to the Azores, and I will return. If these photos don’t entice you…
That’s all for another week. I’m feeling quite emotional. It must be the time of year. Thank you so much, all of you who’ve followed the Living the dream journey with me. Stay well, be kind to each other, and enjoy your week!