Jo’s Monday walk : a fresh, green Algarve

I don’t think I ever saw the Algarve looking greener than it does right now. I know it won’t last, as it starts to hot up this week, but it’s a joyful sight. Normally we’d only have four more weeks of walking before the group splits up and goes its own way. This year there is no group. We long ago dispersed, and have been maintaining contact with amusing anecdotes and photos. They would have chuckled to see us struggling through the undergrowth on this walk.

We left the village of Furnazhinas on a straightforward, if uphill, trail- PR10, Castro Marim. Efforts are made to maintain these trails and renew signs, but not always successfully. There has been so much growth with the damper than usual winter that a machete would have come in handy at one point. The cistus that I love for their beautiful flowers at this time of year are incredibly tenacious, clinging to our clothes as we tried to force a passage. A stream that we needed to cross didn’t help matters but, eventually, we found ourselves on firm ground. And undeniably beautiful.

We were following the bed of the stream for part of our route, and had thought to bring a towel and change of shoes in case of mishap. Not needed in this instance. It’s incredible how greedily this arid terrain can soak up water. A sea of lavender, from deepest purple to pale green, wafts us with fragrance, romping with wild abandon amongst the broom.

As always, oleander follows water, the buds bursting to open. The stream plays hide and seek over a slab of shale, wild sweet peas sprinkled in the long grasses. Tiny white starlets cling on to rocks, drifting helplessly on the water’s surface.

For a while the landscape opens out, and we catch our breath. The land has been left to fend for itself, thriving on the absence of human endeavour. Minute yellow and crimson flowers- more rock roses!- dot the trail, and I take great care not to trample them.

Rock roses, tiny and grand. Undoubtedly stars of nature. As are the crimson poppies at the water’s edge. And a wisp of softest, beguiling blue.

Just enough water, but not too much. Softening the surroundings. Nourishing the plants. Delighting the eyes. But not soaking our feet.

Lemon flowers of every description still carpet the bare patches, in this land where cistus rules. Almost at the end of the trail, I pause to admire the lichen. And then we’re back in the sleepy village. Not even a coffee stop in this one. We have to look elsewhere for cake and distractions.

And so we’re home. Another glorious day in our hills, which I’m privileged to share with you. I’m off up there this morning. Spring time is precious.

walking logo

Just time to share a walk or two before I go. Thank you for your company and the kind contributions you make.

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Jude knows which paths to lead me down. I love rhododendrons!

A Monday Spring Walk

While Margaret always has the power to soothe me when I’m feeling ruffled :

Catching the end of the sunrise

Sarah takes us to a lesser known, but fascinating, area of Newcastle-on-Tyne :

Following the River Tyne to Ouseburn

And Drake is full of surprises, good and bad!

Hidden away view

Outdoor striptease

Life always seems to be fun with Jesh :

Time on the Patio

Likewise with Marsha, who lives in a beautiful place and is keen to show you her walking prowess :

#BrightSquare: Old Soldier Pass Trail

What’s Older then Red Dirt?

# BrightSquare: Bright Spot in Hike – Miracle Marker

#BrightSquare 30: Bright Destination- Seven Sacred Pools

Do you know Aggie? Let her take you into the heart of the city :

A London Walk on my Day Off

How hardy is Spring in Rupali’s part of the world?

Weekend 119: A fresh breeze is good for us

Let’s finish with Mel’s wonderful city that never sleeps :

Exploring the Sydney Coastline – Bondi to Manly Path – Stage 6, Taronga Zoo to Spit Bridge

That’s it for now. Apologies to anyone I’ve offended along the way. I hope there’ll be a next time on Jo’s Monday walk. Take care till then. And don’t forget to eat cake!

131 comments

  1. What a lovely read, especially in the company of a glass of red and a slab of tiramisu! How nice to have the right amount of water, greening everything, but not bogging you down. And so many flowers. Thanks for sharing, Jo.

    1. Making the most of it, Graham, because the temperatures are slowly lifting and the ground will bake. It will be beach time πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Always a bright side, isn’t there? Thanks, hon!

  2. It’s easy to feel the excitement of seeing the landscape so alive and fresh with green, and the early flowering of the plants and flowers. I do understand from my own hills and open spaces how all that is lush today will change as the heat of summer increases, but it will be a different beautiful in a few weeks or months, I’m sure.

  3. Wow Jo, what a beautiful walk you had. Were all these images made on the same day?!?!? There’s a little bit of just about everything a hiker, or a botanist, could want! So glad you shared this one.

    1. Yes, same day, Tina. Last Monday, in fact πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ We were mostly following a stream through the valley, and the variety of plants right now is fabulous- especially the grasses, though they’re not so easy to photograph. Thanks a lot, hon!

  4. Beautiful nature walk, Jo! Miss nature since we moved back to the suburbs, except for when we walk through the Huntington Library Gardens (Pasadena, CA). It’s a 4+ hour walk, because of repeat stops to capture what we see. We did a walk in the Zilker Garden in Austin Texas, but stretching it to an hour:) Here’s a shot of the first.

    ENJOYING THE VIEW

  5. Spring is such a beautiful time of year for a walk. Love the vibrant colours that appear when everything comes back to life. We have had a ton of rain here the last little while so I look so forward to a little sunshine in the coming days.

    1. It’s starting to get really warm here, Lynn, but if you get out early you can be collapsed in a restaurant by lunch time. We call it helping the economy. Not every day though πŸ€£πŸ’•

    1. Good thing is, you’re retired, Anabel, and in theory can walk any time. We used to avoid going far at Bank Hols. More trouble than it was worth πŸ€”πŸ’•

  6. A delightful wander through your Algarvian hills, though it seemed a bit precarious in the beginning! We often get attacked by gorse bushes or brambles on our walks on the hill. It’s always a delight to see native flowers, the rock roses are very pretty and that lavender is definitely purple. English lavender is possibly more violet? I am wondering about the sweet-pea. Is it actually scented? Or perhaps the perennial type? Which aren’t scented but equally pretty. We get a pretty red-purple common vetch here which has small sweet-pea looking flowers, but no scent. Spring time is always the best season I think, when everything wakes up, especially after a few days of rain. And of course where you are, the perfect walking temperatures.

    Wild and windy here today and the rain has just arrived. Typical Bank Holiday! And I should have another spring walk for you if I get on with it!
    Stay safe xx

    1. The bigger cistus are quite sticky and wildly overgrown but we got through unscathed. Not sure about the ‘sweet peas’. The flowers are tiny and I don’t think they have a scent but they do look pretty in the long grass. Having trouble tearing myself away from the roof this afternoon after a ‘boa vista’ walk and lunch πŸ€—πŸ’•

      1. What is a boa vista walk? (I am now imagining you with a feather boa around your neck, but I know that can’t be right 🀣) Good views? You wouldn’t be on the roof here today! And I can’t wait to have lunch out again. Only outdoors still at the moment and it is far too chilly.

      2. Yes, beautiful views. Kwite high up but you can see the sea in the distance πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ We were in dappled shade under a vine but you don’t want to know that…

  7. What a lovely walk..!As I was watching your trail walk, I was actually imagining running there and enjoying that glorious weather and nature.Thank you for sharing.

    1. I wouldn’t be so happy to run. The trail is quite rough underfoot and I’d be bound to end up in a heap! πŸ€£πŸ’• And I’d miss seeing the flowers…

  8. Gosh what a lovely walk. I am torn between the lavender and broom perfume or the wild sweet-pea perfume, which |I had never before heard of (I presume they are perfumed too)? The river looks so nice as well and I can just hear it tinkling over the shale as I walk by. Enjoy these lovely spring days – is it still spring or are we now into early summer? Our climate is so changable these days I have no idea where I am.

    1. Still spring but on the verge of summer here, Mari. I’m calling them sweet peas but they might not be. There are just a handful of them, with tiny flowers. No perfume that I know of but pretty jewels in the long grass πŸ€—πŸ’•

  9. lovely walk and beautiful scenery dotted with flowers, Jo! green is truly refreshing and yes, spring time is truly precious! the last photo looks inviting πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. I’m not properly restless just yet. It’s been such an uncertain time. And we neither of us have to go far for beauty, do we? πŸ€—πŸ’•

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