A tale of two rivers

Today I thought I’d show you a slightly different aspect of Tavira. The Rio Séqua rises in the hills of the Serra de Caldeiráo and flows down into Tavira. For no very obvious reason when it reaches the bridge, Ponte Romana, it changes its name to become Rio Giláo.

The above photo was taken after heavy rain which brings the bright orange soil tumbling down with it. A road bridge carries the E125 over the river and around the city and a railway bridge does the same for trains.

Beyond the railway bridge the river flows beneath a low level blue bridge and into the heart of the city, where it meets Ponte Romana, with its hearts and love locks. Mysteriously becoming Rio Gilao, it then flows towards the former Military Bridge, completely renewed but not yet open.

The river starts to widen and flows on, beneath the high level road bridge. and out through the salt marshes, leaving the city behind.

In the normal course of things you can catch a ferry to follow the river on its journey to the sea, or you can walk the road beside it, through the salt pans and out to Quatro Aguas. I’m really missing being able to do this but, hopefully, after Easter.

Two rivers, six bridges and a ferry later you will find yourself on the Ilha, looking back at lovely Tavira. I always prefer to share the colour and beauty of this place, but sometimes I can be persuaded to see life in black and white. I think that the bridges make good subjects for this, with their strong lines and the deep shadows cast by the sun.

Terri at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives prompted me to share a black and white view of my world. I simply converted my images from colour. What do you think?


  1. Nicely done, Jo. It’s sad to see all that beautiful top soil washing away down the river. That happens here too after heavy rain. When I read the first paragraph the first time I read it as the river changed name for obvious reasons and I was thinking I can’t see anything obvious. When I went back and read it again it made more sense. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Carol! There is some kind of story of unhappy lovers drowning in the Séqua, resulting in the name change, but it’s a bit vague so I didn’t include it here. For your ears only 🙂 🙂

  2. Oh I prefer these in colour, and wish I could see the first one as such. Something about your sadness at not being able to do some of the walks brings added dullness to the B&W.

  3. The close ups work in black and white, the river shots are better in glorious colour. Converting colour does not always work well, it depends a lot on the light and shadows and contrasts. But it’s interesting to see you try something out of your comfort zone.

    1. It was a journey I wanted to make, Jude, and the colour was almost immaterial. I liked my perch up there on Millionaire’s Row 🙂 🙂 Terri wanted me to join in on her upcoming green challenge but I’m starting to feel ‘greened out’ and I enjoyed the opportunity to play a bit. I’m well aware it doesn’t always work out well but I like most of the shots. You know I’m a full colour woman at heart.

  4. And here comes the dissident voice. I don’t like the black and white images I’m afraid, and I was so glad to see that you had some in colour. They shot out and hit me straightaway and I could see the beauty of the place. I don’t think that the digital conversion works well as it lacks dynamism. For me, black and white has to be shot in black and white or manipulated in a programme to give more variations. The amount of light in the colour pix and the shading just isn’t conveyed in the black and white. The best one is one left-hand side at the bottom, that one comes off much better. Sorry to be so negative but you did ask what we thought.

    Loved the post though and the story of the river changing its name, and the wrought iron bridges look great (better in colour though, I feel cheated)!

    1. Dissenters always welcome, Mari, and actually a few people had reservations, as I did myself. The bench with the stripes of light, you mean? I really liked that one. I don’t use Photoshop and have limited facilities on my photo processing, some of which I simply don’t like. I thought the ornate railings didn’t come out too badly and they were displayed in glorious full colour on Monday so I don’t feel guilty for cheating you. 🙂 🙂 Hugs for your honesty!

  5. Wonderful tale, Jo, and your photos were much enjoyed. The B&W photos do accent the lines in the bridges, and the water in the color photos is also lovely. I really like that nifty techno option on the second photo, of being able to see the photo in both B&W and color. And how gloriously orange that water is. Wonderful visit here today, Jo, thank you.

    1. It just occurred to me that despite my numerous Tavira posts I hadn’t actually ‘walked’ you down the river and out to sea. Glad you enjoyed it, Jet. The slider is really useful for comparisons like this 🙂 🙂

  6. Wow, Jo, what an interesting journey the river takes. Your black and whites really look stunning and I liked the image compare shots to see the colors. The first one reminds me of the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with its Chocolate river. The textures of the fences are really quite beautiful in b&w. Well done and so glad you shared these on Sunday Stills!

    1. Thanks a lot, Terri! As I said, I’m a little ‘greened out’ and it’s always good to try something different, even if it’s not a huge success. Many thanks for the opportunity 🙂 🙂

  7. Dear Jo,
    you presented the tale of the two rivers very nicely. We prefer these b&w pictures, they are more abstract.
    Thanks for sharing
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. Fair enough, Sue. I had a story I wanted to tell and it seemed to work with this challenge. My favourite is probably the slider upriver as that’s not a shot I’d often get. Posh end of town. Well, one of them! 🤗💕

  8. Interesting that the monochrome approach gives a time-slip look to many of the images – makes me think of old photos in a family album. Very intriguing effect, especially noticeable with the slider ‘either/or’ river shot. Interesting to see more of the hinterland too.

  9. I agree that the bridges are great in B&W Jo. The naming of the rivers is perplexing and must cause some confusing to some other than locals 🙂 🙂

    1. I’m not great at discerning what will be a good B&W, Debs, but even I could see that. I love the wider view up into the hills too. A sort of ethereal effect. Away with the fairies, you might say 🙂 🙂

  10. I must say, I have a preference for your Portuguese views in glorious technicolor, but this is such an interesting story. Our local river, the Ure, changes its name to the Ouse in Boroughbridge. A subject for river-twinning?

  11. Jo, I think we stayed quite near here when we visited Tavira, it is beautiful. I can see why you miss returning for a walk around here. Fingers crossed it will not be too long before things open up again😄

    1. Yes, they do have that effect, don’t they? I was having a scramble around, solo, up above Millionaires Row and the views up there are fabulous. Thanks, hon! 🙂 🙂

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