You’ll be happy to know that I was properly shod for this little expedition. Relatively speaking, of course! But then, I wasn’t going to The end of the world. It’s amazing how far you can actually see, round this wonderful coastline. The cliffs seem to roll on and on. Here I’m standing, in the fresh wind I’d been longing for, looking down on Praia do Tonel. Ahead lies the Sagres promontory. Behind me, a modest little pottery shop.
The commanding fortress looks out to sea in all directions. Built in the time of Prince Henry the Navigator, its most distinctive feature is the compass rose, a giant pebble compass, 43 metres in diameter. Within the fortress, Nossa Senhora de Graca dates from 1579, replacing the original chapel built for Henry in 1459. He spent much of his later life here, dying in 1460.
The sea sucks greedily at the cliffs, battering its way in on the calmest of days. It’s a place to be in awe of nature, yet fishermen cast their rods with the nonchalance of familiarity, from the most precarious nooks and crannies in the rock face.
From the solid entrance to the fortress, Rua da Fortaleza gradually dwindles into Sagres, the cobbles culminating in a timeless square, the heart of the community. My visit coincides with an easing of restrictions related to lockdown and Covid-19. Caution is in the air and people are sparse, yet there’s a peace and calm to this sun-soaked spot. It’s not hard to linger here, sheltered from the wind, and indulge and daydream a little.
Reluctantly I move on. Curving round the cliff tops, views sweep down to Praia da Mareta and across the bay. The sun is gaining strength as I follow the road past an old school, converted to a café, and a straggle of surf shops, eating establishments and a tiny post office. The signs are leading me to Praia da Baleeira and the old port.
From here the lookout is to distant Praia do Martinhal. The bay is protected by the four islets lined up on the horizon. It’s a bustling port area, temporarily becalmed. The small cove has tempted just a few to frolic on the sands.
I’m pleasantly tired now, and climb back up the steep cliff, passing the pretty tasca with the incomparable view, to a more modest eatery, where the locals happily pass the time of day. I try to catch a few scraps of gossip while gazing out across the bay.
I hope you enjoyed a wander across Sagres. Even in high summer it’s a place where you need a warm jacket early morning, and certainly when the mist creeps in on an evening. I’d love to see it with the sea raging and storming those cliffs. For now I’m content to share a few walks. Many thanks to all of you who keep them coming.
Carol has shared some truly spectacular scenery from Australia :
While Marion treads carefully on limestone pavement in Yorkshire :
And speaking of limestone, Drake introduces us to a rather special one :
While, just across the water, we are…
An early start and a bit of a climb certainly didn’t daunt Albert :
Nor is there any reason to stay at home with local views like this!
Walking doesn’t have to be restricted to Mondays. Whatever suits you, Colline 🙂
Rupali enjoys taking us out for the day and exploring her beautiful world :
While Susan finds delight in the simplest of pleasures :
Natalie always manages to keep herself busy, no matter where :
It’s a long while since I’ve been to Morecambe Bay, and I’m happy to do it in Eunice’s company :
How about this for a grand finale? A fabulous post from Sheetal :
Rather a lot of shares this week. Please visit where you can, and apologies for anyone I’ve missed. I’m temporarily becalmed myself, after a wonderful family visit. Take care all, and have a good week.