Jo’s Monday walk : wild about orchids!

We walked with a certain spring in our step last Monday. Although it was a walk we’d done before, it was our first walk outside of our own small patch of the Algarve, and we were almost giddy with freedom. Starting at Fonte Felipe, in the hills above Sáo Romáo, a well marked trail led to many delights. Most exciting of these, wild orchids!

It’s rocky terrain and, even after a damper than usual winter, many of the river beds are dry. It’s amazing what can thrive in these conditions. Bright blue iris unfurl in the sunlight and the fields are studded with buttons of yellow and fragrant lavender. In a patch of green, a poppy sizzles.

The woodland shade nurtures the lively blue of the wild agapanthus. The trail twists and turns, and we breath in the scents of the flowers as we brush past them. Solid slabs of rock have been hewn from the landscape to create boundaries.

Progress is slow as we examine and exclaim at each new sighting. Jewel brights light the deep green shade. The last time we were here it was early Autumn and the paths were strewn with acorns. Spring has brought abundance to these hills. And then we have our first glimpse! Orchids are shy, and nestle beneath companion trees for protection from prying eyes. But finding one almost invariably leads to another.

We linger till we have spotted every last one. I am reluctant to move on, for I know that the orchids will have evaded capture. I can never produce a crisp image of these tiny things, try as I might. But the images are imprinted upon my brain. A treat to be stored for the future. I hurry to catch up my companions, smiling happily at the wonder of my surrounds.

Small white cistus dot the landscape, amid a spiky yellow shrub, not unlike broom. We have to watch our footing as the trail starts to descend, loose rocks being something of a hazard. But this isn’t a walk to rush, for there are surprises around every corner.

We could not decide what this beauty might be, but it stood, alone and proud, as we began our descent. The cork oaks stood sentinel over their beautiful charges, as they have for many long years, and all was right with our world.

I hope there are enough Bright Squares here to satisfy Becky. It’s a bit of a deviation from my bright memories in the Italian Lakes, but I’ll be back there later this week. Meanwhile there are walks to share.

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Feel free to join in at any time. I’m walking with you once a fortnight, but walks are always gratefully accepted. It doesn’t have to be a Monday. That’s washday, isn’t it?


What nicer way to start than with a garden tour from Jude?

Easter Monday Magnolia Walk

Wales can be just as beguiling in the company of Drake :

Stone for the roof

Definite signs of Spring where Joanne is taking us :

Easter weekend walk

How about a flying visit to India? Sheetal is such a fun guide :

Make A Wish At The Aeroplane Gurudwara in Punjab, India

It just won’t go away, will it, Rupali?

Fresh snow was served for breakfast

Weekend 118: Mountains are calling

Sarah joins me with a walk I know and love :

Kippers and castles: a walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh

And, by contrast, with a city walk I’d like to experience :

The Square of Religious Tolerance in Sofia

If I ever need an island retreat I will certainly consider this one, Karen! The name is misleading :

A walk around Scotland

The Australian landscape never fails to awe! Follow Mel on another adventure :

Stepping Down, Down, Down into the Gorgeous Fern Tree Gully, Rylstone

I’d like to end the day with a peaceful stroll, with Margaret :

The forgotten pleasure of an evening stroll

Or, even better, a tiptoe with Cady!

Jo’s Monday Walk: Let’s Tip-Toe through the Tulips!

I haven’t forgotten cake. Next time, I promise! Till then, take care, and get out walking when you can.


  1. Hi Jo, Challenges can be addictive and put a lot of pressure on you to keep up, but you do a great job of blogging and writing beautiful posts. Your flowers are so elegant, each beautiful in it’s own way. It’s like watching a beauty pageant for flowers. 🙂 How does anyone decide which one is the best! So in a completely different climate with almost no flowers in sight, here is my Monday Walk.


  2. Oh, what delights! Yet another reason to visit Portugal….I love the iris and the two blue flowers that look related to onions – wow, what knockouts they are! So your wild orchids are tiny, too…I think you need to focus manually on those if you can. And if you can, use a wide aperture (low number f-stop). I think your “alone and proud” beauty is also an orchid, of a very different kind. I love the cork oak, too. What a walk! Fantastic.


    1. Happy and sand boy come to mind, Lynn! There was a delicious sense of freedom in this walk, and much more beauty than we ever expected to see. Thank you! 🙂 🙂


  3. How wonderful that you had a time of escape, Jo. I understand the giddy feeling. 🙂 Your study in flowers is just beautiful and so full of springtime cheer. I hope you have many such adventures now and going forward. Be well!


    1. That’s lovely of you, Terri, but there really isn’t a lot of violet in this. It’s madness keeping up with Becky and her squares, and Jude and her colours, and all the rest. Don’t get me started on the challenges subject! I like to be an independent lady but it’s very hard around here 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a glorious walk that must have been and although I know the flowers are photographed in isolation, I can imagine how lovely they looked. You are so lucky to be there at this time of year. I only once had a walking holiday in spring and that was in Crete and I vowed to do another one but alas, like many other promises to myself, it never happened. Meanwhile, I’m lucky to have found this walk as I was unable to access my emails for two days until today (the WIFI worked but it was something to do with the Default progrmme – no, me neither). I knew you had to have done a walk so I ‘searched’ for you and found this in Spam. I hope it’s all working now but I’ve just had to delete hundreds of emails without checking them, otherwise I’d have been stuck on the computer for hours. Enjoy the rest of this lovely week.


    1. Life can be a bitch at times, can’t it, but thanks so much for making the effort to find me. I love this time of year here, and never want it to end. This Monday we were up in the hills again and the fields overflowing with cistus and lavender. We have just been talking houses with our son and it’s laughable what you have to pay to buy a house now, even in the north. We can help with the finance but how glad we are to be removed from the rat race. 🙂 🙂


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