I feel a bit like that White Rabbit today, and if I had a pocket watch I’m sure I’d be consulting it and shaking my head. Whose ever idea was it to make my Monday walks a fortnightly event? Oh- mine! Well, not the brightest idea I ever had, because it’s too easy to forget which Monday my walk is due. If I can’t keep count, how can I expect you to? So, yes, I’m late! Having gleefully published a bevy of greens this morning, I then realised that I had a pressing engagement with my walking friends. I do apologise! But it’s still Monday in my part of the world so, shall we go?
We probably need a word or two of explanation here. Our neighbour and close friend needed to be at Faro hospital one day last week, and we agreed to take her. We are still expected to remain at home, but with certain exceptions and this was a necessary journey. Not sure how long the appointment would take, we set off to wander the streets of Faro, to see what changes had been wrought by the pandemic. All was eerily calm- no blaring traffic horns, and most of the shops closed. Like many a city centre, and especially here in Portugal, the streets are a total melange of architecture. New rubs shoulders with old and care worn, if not completely derelict, while some old and stately residences have been beautifully preserved. Street art has become commonplace.
The railway runs along the front at Faro and just beyond the railway station stands an imposing but not pretty building. A former flour mill, starting in May it’s set to be turned into an apartment block, so I was glad that I had an opportunity to inspect the artwork. Normally I would turn right from the railway, passing the bus station and head towards the marina and old town. The hub of the city, the cafés are usually busy and the shiny red fire engines on standby for duty.
Sturdy walls enclose much of the old town and vendors ply their trade beneath them, selling trips to the barrier islands and to observe birds and dolphins. Across a vast expanse of water lies the airport, and planes normally roar overhead at regular intervals. But not today! All is silent, until the train trundles along the tracks to discharge its pitiful cargo.
The kiosks are shuttered and the former fishermen’s huts stand forlorn. The occasional passerby passes, masked like ourselves, usually with averted gaze. The gaiety has gone from our lives, leaving behind suspicion and mistrust.
A sign of life, and even laughter, comes from a bizarrely painted shop in the city walls, and beyond that, the strange mournful sound of a didgeridoo. I recognise the sound before I see the performer, a young man in a beanie, sitting propped against the wall, playing for himself alone.
We’re happy to return to the hospital, past the empty car park, and pick up our friend. Faro, like many another, no longer feels like the city we love. But finishing on a positive note, life is set to return to the Algarve when current restrictions start to ease after Easter. And in the meantime, I’m sure Sami will be happy to add this to her collection of murals.
A great collection of walks to share this week. Apologies again and I will endeavour to stick to my schedule in future. Always happy if you can join me on Jo’s Monday walk.
Say hello to Linda? She’s not the only one!
I had no idea what Cady had in store when she said ‘come back on Monday’ :
What’s a little rain when the world is this beautiful? Let Sarah be your guide :
Carol has a wonderful surprise for us this week. And then you meet the kings of the canyon!
I was very wrong to think that Alice was taking us to a home for cats!
Meanwhile Cee’s waiting for those tulips to bloom. Not long now!
And Drake’s enjoying the change of season :
Joanne was tempted out into the sunshine, and Charlie enjoyed his walk :
Janet’s an early riser. See what she found in March!
While Lady Lee’s been doing jigsaws in lockdown :
Never too late for a walk! Karen takes a closer look at her surrounds :
Jude’s a busy bee at present. Nowhere she’d rather be than in a beautiful garden :
Wishing you all a happy week. Get out walking, if you can? See you soon!