What is it with me and cliffs? An element of wanting what you don’t have, I suspect, because I live at the flat end of the Algarve. But I do love them, both looking up, and looking down! I’ve found few more sensational than the falesias~cliffs~ at Ponta da Piedade, the most far distant point of Lagos. Shall we start the lazy way, by catching the little train from the marina? Always a hotspot for me!
So, we board the train and off we go, the full length of Avenida dos Descobrimentos, and out beyond Praca Infante Dom Henrique and the fortress. Past Praia da Batata (Spud Beach!) and onto Estrada da Ponta da Piedade. It’s definitely a good ride for the money! Praia Dona Ana is the beauty spot on this bit of coast, but we stay determinedly in our seats till the end of the line, the lighthouse at Piedade.
We can choose to go down to the grottoes, or along the cliff top on a rather magnificent boardwalk which stretches far off into the distance. ‘Just a little way?’ I ask. It’s my husband’s birthday so the choices are not mine to make. Irresistible, though, isn’t it?
A pirate galleon is anchored out in the bay, and as we round the cliffs we spot a shoal of canoes. We later discover that they are towed out there from the harbour in Lagos, to explore the caves. A combination of boardwalk and concrete path dips and sways around the rocky headlands, making it easy for most people to access these magnificent views. The adventurous young persist in leaving the boardwalk and scrambling to precarious lookouts, despite the warning that cliffs crumble. And it’s a long way down!
In the distance we can see Porto de Mos, another fine looking stretch of sand, but it’s time to turn around if we want to have a look at the grottoes. Maybe another day! Back to the lighthouse we go and, behind the cafe, we find another lovely view, looking back this time, towards Lagos.
We linger on the cliff tops a while, before starting the descent to the grottoes. Approaching midday, it has become much busier than I would have liked, but still it felt like a ‘must do’. I didn’t remember to count the steps, but there were a lot of them! Even more coming back up, or so it seemed. That elusive breeze never managed to find it’s way down into these canyons.
So many lumps and bumps and arches! It’s easy to see why the grottoes are a popular boat trip out of Lagos. The last time we were here we hopped a boat from the harbour, but it was good to see the stacks from above.
Just time for a coffee, and back onto the little train. Meia Praia is at the opposite end of Lagos and we’ve only ever seen it from a distance, and usually crowded, but I was assured by a Portuguese friend recently that it was ‘maravilhosa’. A rare treat, then, to find it so empty! But we’d found that naughty wind again, so maybe it had blown everybody home. As a saving grace, it was a warm wind.
The waves rippled gently to shore, as we went in search of a birthday lunch. A humble cafe would have done, as a we planned something celebratory for evening. Leaning into the wind, we laughed. It was good to be carefree again, if just for a little while.
The only place we could find on that windswept stretch of coast was a rather grand looking restaurant, A Gaivota Branca, white seagull, the symbol of the restaurant perched imperiously on the crisp white wall. As the maitre’d rushed enthusiastically towards us we rolled our eyes. Too late to back out, but I did restrict myself to a glass of white and a rather wicked cake. I explained that I wasn’t really hungry, but what a perfect spot they had. I was assured that I was very welcome and that I could simply sit and enjoy the view. The birthday lad was a little more self indulgent and his chunky chips did look good!
Afterwards he paddled happily back towards the town, a night of gaiety still to look forward to.
It seems ages ago, now, as the arrival of our son overshadowed everything. A full year since we were together! One short week, in which to celebrate a birthday, and even to look at a possible wedding venue. But that’s for the future.
Saying our goodbyes at the airport was not as painful as usual, for we have flights to the UK booked for 12th August. Our wedding anniversary, and in the circumstances, a perfect present!
Let me share a few walks before I make my farewells.
Sarah’s walk filled me with delight, and rekindled my love for Italy
On a walk through Serra San Quirico
Happy to share a little sunlight and shade with I. J
He’s traveled far from his birthplace but it always pulls Drake back
You probably all know Mel. She’s always such good company!
Elizabeth Quay – a relaxing corner of Perth, Western Australia
What’s a little rain between friends? I. J. is happy to share!
Younger than the mountains, older than the trees
Rupali is 1300 meters above sea level, having a good time
Taking a short break : Looking for Roads less travelled
I guess now is as good a time as any to announce that I won’t be renewing my subscription to my Restlessjo site on WordPress when it runs out in the middle of this month. That’s not to say that I won’t still be walking, and you’ll always be welcome to come along. I intend to go back to basics and start a new blog, in which Jo’s Monday walk will still make an appearance. Further details will follow, but I don’t expect to be up and running before September. An English summer with family and friends will keep me occupied. I hope you have great plans too. Take care and see you soon!