Jo’s Monday walk : Idling through the lanes

We’re back in the lanes again this week. Not so much a walk as a collection of reminiscences. In these past few weeks we’ve walked, in 2s and 4s, and once, daringly, in an 8. Our horizons were broadened and then, like the slamming of a door, curtailed.

In common with much of Europe. Patience is required. Not something that comes naturally, to me, at least. And yet, I’m surrounded by beauty.

It is the time of year to return to the hills. Slowly, for there is no hurry. Savouring the subtle aroma of orange blossom. A day’s worth of rain brings life and colour to the fields. Gentle sunshine breathes warmth over ripened vines and olives. The grape harvest now complete, nets are spread hopefully beneath gnarled trees to catch the olives. Pomegranates blaze a dark red promise of the luscious jewels to come.

As we ramble, snippets of information are exchanged. Our own grapevine of survival. Stories that make us smile. Some that make us sad. Linking us to one another. I stop to peer at a chequered fork, lying on the cobbles. Fallen from a bike’s panier after a picnic, perhaps? A quirky find. Softly coloured houses, one with a spreading vine, one trailing delicate green fronds over a wall. Its shadow dances at any hint of breeze.

A slight gradient follows, and a climb into the hills. Overhead the clouds soar and bubble away to the horizon. We look back to the coast, glistening in the distance, and point out our homes. The rock formations crumble on either side of us, raw nature reminding us that the earth has survived many ages. And, with or without our help, will continue to do so. Unlike some of the abandoned hill villages in the Algarve.

Dark clouds swoop, a portent of further life-giving rain, and a nudge back down the hill in time for lunch. I’m sure we can find cake somewhere? After all, it’s Monday!

walking logo

Hopefully I’ve rounded you all up from my last Monday walk. Apologies to anyone I’ve missed. I’m intending to make Jo’s Monday walk a monthly feature at present, so feel free to drop by with a walk at any time. I’ll always try to make you welcome.


Janet has discovered a whole new and wonderful world in Arizona :

Jo’s Monday walk…diversity

Is it Autumn where you are? Rupali trails colours in her wake :

Weekend 106 : Autumn walk

While Margaret takes note of each step and stone :

Trusty’s Hill and Rutherford’s Monument

Carol shows off her native Australia :

Small but beautiful Part 1

Small but beautiful Part 2

Wonderful autumnal scenes and an ‘almost selfie’ from Drake :

Doing it the own way

Next path at the right

Way back in time, LadyLee had a holiday!

Kranzbach holiday

And Marion explored a beautiful English town :

Ross-on-Wye, Hertfordshire

Have you ever been to Armenia? No, nor me! Interesting, though…

Armenia: The Beauty of Not Hiking Mont Azhdahak

I’m always a sucker for enthusiasm. Where better than Tuscany?

San Gimignano, the turreted village

While Frank muses on the shoreline :

4 – Shells – Beach Walk Reflections

Please do visit the above. They’re all lovely people and you might make a new friend. Meanwhile, have a great month!


  1. It’s lovely to have such beautiful surroundings and despite so many extra restrictions, offers peace and tranquility. We live in a similar climate and still have warm weather, so although I’m virtually “locked down,” at least I have the outdoors. Seeing comments about hair…now that’s an entirely different story. LOL!

    1. Are things still very restricted in California, Debbie? It’s hard to keep track of other countries because even here the situation is constantly changing. The only time I willingly stay indoors is when the weather is bad. We have a couple of rainy days coming up, which messes with my notion of a brief birthday jaunt, but in the scheme of things, let’s just welcome the rain. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      1. Parts of California are more restricted than others, but here in Los Angeles County, or San Francisco area where my son lives, it’s still pretty restricted. Recommendations are still more restrictive than many people are willing to accept, so science, once again, loses to “don’t make me wear a mask, it’s against my freedom.” Watching the trends, I honestly think that a year from now we, as a family, will still be restricted quite a bit. I haven’t been in a grocery store since March. I have everything delivered, which I’m getting quite good at. The United States is so big and there is no universal organizing plan. So to be quite honest, my faith in people to respond with care for others, although not strong before, has plummeted to all time lows. I’m so grateful for my family, my lovely garden, and I have very little to personally complain about. I will continue to hope for better. It’s election day here in the US (You might have heard. LOL! ) and if we have the good sense to elect a change, my hope might slightly bump up. If we have four more years of the same, good luck to us all. LOL! Aren’t you glad you asked, Jo? Sorry…I can rant with the best of them these days!

      2. There are a lot of angry and bewildered people out there, Debbie, but I really don’t see wearing a mask as an infringement of personal liberty. A discomfort, yes, but it isn’t just a bed of roses, hon. We know that. Sending grumpy hugs! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  2. What gorgeous photos you managed on this walk, Jo. Great post with something for everyone. Here’s wishing you a very happy birthday on Thursday – and many more to follow – and i hope the sun shines for you on that day. Maybe you’ll have s whole big cake too. I shall drink to your health that evening so if you sense a whisper in your ear it will be me telling you the night is yet young and riotous behaviour is permitted always when the 5th November falls on a Thursday.

    1. Bless you, Mari! The forecast is rain but I shall light-heartedly skip across the puddles to a nice little restaurant I’ve been wanting to try. I’ve absolutely had my share of sunshine lately. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I shall keep an ear open for that whisper though. Ages since I’ve been riotous!

  3. Brian and I have just returned home from Italy, so we have entered a two weeks quarantine. It is lovely to do this walk vicariously with you. Beautiful writing and photos πŸ˜„

  4. Your walk was especially appreciated as I sit in my room for the third day, now waiting for Covid test results. Don’t worry, though!! If I do have it, the symptoms are so mild that they’re like (and may be) flue or something else that gives you a fever and makes you tired for a few days. But I’m isolating in the bedroom for the most part (or watching “The Great British Baking Show” and “NCIS” with my husband while wearing a mask. Can’t wait ’til I feel better and can get outside again!! So thanks for the beautiful break.


    1. Oh, Janet! I’ve been saying for weeks that eventually we’ll all have it. You can feel the net tightening, imperceptibly, however careful we might be. I know of more and more cases, personally, in the UK, though so far not here, and most of them mild. I hope you’re soon out and about again and feeling on top of the world. I had a fit of miseries when the latest restrictions were announced here. Very selfish because it’s my birthday on Thursday and I’d been planning a little jaunt. That, combined with a forecast for rain for the second half of this week, foiled my plans. But the sky is a rosy pink this morning and I’m counting my blessings. We’ll try out a restaurant in nearby OlhΓ‘o instead, take an umbrella and jump in the puddles. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Sending hugs, darlin. Get well soon!

      1. Happy birthday in advance, Jo. I hope it will be a wonderful day despite the setbacks. You’re alive and well and Irving in a beautiful place you love with someone you love. What’s not to like??

        The physician’s assistant I talked to said most people who get Covid have few symptoms and recover quickly. We really only hear the numbers, not that most cases are mild.

        I was excited to take a shower this morning and then, following a video I watched online, I bravely cut about 3”+ off my hair, hair that hadn’t been cut for over a year due to all that’s happened in our lives and the Covid world. It doesn’t look at all bad and I’m thrilled!

  5. Jo I have been wondering if you have been affected by the restrictions we are hearing about in Portugal. So much uncertainty around the world right now. One step or walk at a time. A beautiful area of the world you have to walk about. We have had a wave of autumn and while last week we had -20C today +21C. It won’t last but for now what a gift.

    1. Accept all gifts gratefully, hey, Sue? We are pretty lucky here because the Algarve has relatively few cases, in spite of tourism, but it can escalate overnight. It’s sensible to try and slow it down so the medical profession can cope. I’m just not good at being ‘contained’. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      1. I hear you Jo. Our wandering ways have changed here too. I used to love being in busy airports and the hot of taking off in a plane. Now… well a very different feel.

    1. It feels a little like living on borrowed time right now, Carol. 121 towns in Portugal are subject to restrictions. To date the Algarve has only one of these. Just have to hope πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      1. It seems like the best way to go, even though it’s difficult. Tough restrictions have had an amazing result in Melbourne, where they are now recording no new cases or deaths. I hope things begin to improve again for you.

      1. Just glad you spotted it. Probably because the post was from 2018! Which reminds me- I really do need to do some housekeeping around the blog. Not my favourite but we have rainy days ahead. 😦

    1. Thanks so much, Cee! My camera is seldom idle, unless I’m walking in company and we’re too busy chatting, like today. But there’s always something beautiful to see here. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. I should probably have explained in the text, but I’m so used to seeing them I kinda take them for granted, Rita. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ They are both wells. The main photo would have had a donkey harnessed to the wheel to draw the water, as the well is deep. The other is hand operated and you see them everywhere in the countryside.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.