Jo’s Monday walk : A back street tour of Tavira

Tavira’s new bridge

A change of pace today. I’ve managed to complete a circular walk around Calçadinha de Sáo Brás de Alportel , and also around the waterfall in my Christmas themed Loulé walk, in the last few weeks but restrictions have arrived. Having kept our head above water throughout most of the pandemic, numbers in Portugal rocketed after Christmas. So, for now, I’m back to local walks. It’s not a serious hardship. I took off one morning with a spring in my step, to check out a few nooks and crannies.

Gardens within the town are mostly of the patio variety, a simple courtyard with pots of colour. Here and there a bougainvillea creeps up a wall and a chair is strategically placed. Most often in the shade.

Not everywhere is beautifully maintained. Tavira has its share of unloved and tumbledown. Cracks abound. But for every sad ruin there is a carefully nurtured home. And some of the doors are exquisite.

We’ve climbed to the oldest part of town now. The ancient water tower conceals a Camera Obscura within. A good way to observe the town in its entirety, it stands shoulder to shoulder with the Santa Maria church. Once both were enclosed by the town walls, whose remnants provide beautiful views across the salt marshes and out to sea.

A gentle descent, through a choice of back streets, will bring you to the Praca da Republica, the main square, overlooking the river. It’s unnaturally quiet here at the minute, used as I am to a friendly buzz of people sharing coffee, cake and life stories. I walk on through the riverside gardens, where even the terrapins in the bandstand pool seem to be avoiding me. The new bridge hasn’t yet had its unveiling but looks ready for action.

Fishing boats ride at anchor, the days’ catch waiting for takers. I approach the flyover, with its sweeping views. The river meanders out to meet the Ilha and I stop to watch the storks performing aerobatics. There are a couple in the nest and it’s fascinating to watch them glide through the air. I turn away discreetly when the noisy courtship begins.

It’s not a bad place to be marooned, is it? Hopefully the restrictions will be short-lived as numbers in the Algarve are already declining. We’ll beat this thing yet! And in the meantime, the bakers are still open. Naughty cake, anyone?

walking logo

A few shares this week, some of them looking very cold! I wish you could share the sunshine. Do visit, if you can! It’s nice to have a bit of company in these lonely times. Join me on Jo’s Monday walk whenever you like.

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Walk slowly to appreciate Inese’s wild Irish scenery! It’s in 2 parts :

Crotty’s Lake 1

Crotty’s Lake II

If you’ve never walked with Madhu you have a real treat in store :

Brussels – Exploring History Through Architecture

And just to remind us it’s Winter! Thanks, Rupali :

Weekend 113: A walk in fresh snow

Weekend 114: Winter settles in

Everyone knows the Canadians love snow, don’t they, Lynn?

Please come out & play

I love a coastal walk, but I do prefer blue skies, Anabel. I’m sure you do too :

Fife Coastal Path: Cellardyke to St. Monan’s

Fife Coastal Path: Cellardyke to Crail

Drake plays with nature and the wintery light :

Cool walk

Eunice has a love of street art. This is her latest collection :

Manchester street art 2020

For me, boats do it! Follow me to Norway with Cadyluck. It’s a bit cool though :

Haugesund, Norway: On the Waterfront

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. Up north Spring is coming. It’s already here! Take care of each other, and keep walking!

120 comments

  1. Must you torture me with those treats? And all that sun and beauty? No way would I choose between the cakes – I’ll take both. AND the espresso. After that delightful walk up and down the hills, I deserve it – oops, I meant YOU deserved it. 🙂 Thanks Jo!

  2. As you say not a bad place to be marooned Jo though I do know it’s hard with family overseas and the travel restrictions. It does look so quiet and peaceful – love all those doors and the pretty flowers. At least you can still get coffee and cake! Hope all’s well – we had a busy weekend so couldn’t get a blog post organised (one day I will get ahead of myself!). I’m in the midst of a bedroom makeover and yesterdays task was assembling the new dresser – it took us all day and we both have rather sore backs today! Still it’s looking good and Mlle has been editing my wardrobe. She’s got so used to living a minimalist lifestyle in her tiny London apartments that she’s become ruthless at getting rid of unnecessary clutter – 4 huge bin bags have gone to the charity bins! Hopefully an auspicious start to the New Year! A long way to go before the world gets back to normality though. Had a long chat with my brother last night who’s stuck trying to work from home in his flat in Bradford – he says it’s all very grim there. Anyway hope all’s well and have a good week, take care xx

    1. Here too restrictions are getting tighter, Rosemay, and it starts to feel like a noose round your neck. I know that’s overdramatising things but when you’ve had freedom and it’s taken away it irks. We can still walk the lanes…we think!…but the beaches are closed again, and restaurants except for takeaway. It’s to protect the hospitals, which really can’t cope, but there must be a better way. Well, that’s my grumble over for the week! 🙂 🙂 Happy decorating!

      1. Hi Jo so sorry didn’t get back to you straightaway – I do really feel for you. I had exactly the same conservation with my brother a few days ago – he lives alone in a small flat and now has to work from home. He has a care bubble with a friend and pops over to see my dad when he can (as he is in effect my dad’s main carer) but that’s it. No real end in sight presently either. We are well here but had some really bad news a couple of days ago to do with Monsieur’s family – his brother, who has a number of disabilities, has been diagnosed with a serious illness and things don’t sound very good. His elderly widowed mother is the main carer. Under normal circumstances Monsieur would be on the first plane over but that is not possible at present and there is unlikely to be any improvement in travel in and out of Australia for at least this year and most probably well into next year. He will support remotely as best he can. Obviously I won’t be referring to this on my blog as I don’t want to upset his family who do read my blog! I always find sharing problems helps but I know in order to cope his mum has taken everything on herself. When we came out here 30 years ago we always said the UK was only a plane ride away – how things have now turned upside down. Even if Monsieur could get permission from our government to leave the country he would be highly unlikely to get back here any time soon. Indeed apparently you have to sign a waiver at present to say you won’t try and rebook a flight back for a minimum of 3 months. You have to be mentally prepared to be away for 6 months or more – you might be lucky and get back sooner but there are no guarantees. My close friend missed both her sister’s and brother in law’s funeral last year in California – they both passed with Covid within a day of each other. She attended on Zoom and another close friend “attended” her aunt’s funeral in Scotland the same way. We are so thankful we are living here and also have our immediate family here in Perth. We just do lots of Skype calls and messages with extended family overseas. I’m just sorting out more photos of Alaska for my next post and realising how lucky we have been to do so much travelling when we could. Do hope you have been able to outside for some walks – it does seem the regulations can get very confusing! Have a good weekend in the circumstances, take care xx 😃

      2. Oh, Rosemay! That’s awful news! Just when life is sailing along something like this hits you. I knew Australia was ‘closed’ to outsiders but I didn’t realise how strict it was. You would think that on compassionate grounds, but 3 months is a long time! I was watching tennis from Adelaide yesterday, with a crowd and most not wearing masks, so I thought things were easing. Zoom seems painfully inadekwate in these circumstances. So sorry, hon!

      3. Thanks so much Jo it’s a very difficult set of circumstances. Yes Australia is really strict you have to apply to the federal government for an exemption to leave the country. Might be granted in this case on compassionate grounds but no way of knowing when you can come back. Monsieur has no desire to be locked out of the country indefinitely and there are other considerations here too – work, family, pets etc. There are many desperate Australians trapped abroad who have been trying to get back here for months! Thankfully Monsieur has worked to get a support system in place over there – it’s taken a while but there has been a great care organisation helping for the past 18 months or so. Restrictions have eased within Australia between the states though still measures in place for contact tracing and social distancing. Western Australia has been one of the most cautious states and our internal state borders are still restricted. As for the international ones restrictions will be in place probably for the rest of the year and beyond. Just have to stoic and manage things from afar as best we can xx

  3. Um, I’d agree that your local walks are far from being a serious hardship.🙂 I actually lime the ruins here and there. They add character.

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