Jo’s Monday walk : from Ponta to Praia

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!

walking logo

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

Garden in the shade

He’s traveled far from his birthplace but it always pulls Drake back

Tiny but idyllic

Few changes

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!

159 comments

  1. This is another enjoyable walking, Jo. Beautiful images. Glad to know you will be back in fall. Looking forward to your new blog site. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Very Special Thanks for the Nice Presentation of Most Beautiful photos – Really wonderful and illustrated the amazing beauty of Nature.

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  3. Dear Jo, I was so enchanted by your walk, but disappointed to hear this blog site is folding. I have so enjoyed your walks, and thank you for the inspiration to find new places to explore. I really liked this one for the birthday theme. Your narrative was engaging and the photos were spectacular. Sending my best to you for a lovely trip and family event, and hope to see you in a different site in the future. Cheers to you.

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    1. Sorry, Jet- I thought I’d replied to this earlier, but it’s been another busy day. I’m almost set to go, but I’ll surely be back. I’m sure you know how addictive blogging is, but I think it’s time for a change. Have a great summer and I’ll hope to see you in the autumn. Thanks for your loyalty and support.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love cliffs, too. Maybe itโ€™s the element of danger, the high of looking down at the blue. So happy to hear of your upcoming vacation. Bon voyage, dear Jo.๐Ÿ’–

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  5. Whew Jo – I’m exhausted just reading about your day!!! Clearly your husband’s birthday was very special and the arrival of your son made everything perfect! And a wedding venue? Fingers crossed – I look forward to following that adventure! Happy anniversary to you both – enjoy your trip!

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    1. Tina, I sometimes exhaust myself, and I know I usually exhaust my husband. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ’• It was fantastic to have James here finally! The 8 year old is learning to swim and we were at the beach with a snorkel most days. And now I’m excitedly planning meet ups with various friends back in the UK. Smiling broadly ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

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      1. They do seem to make it incredibly complicated ๐Ÿ˜ฆ fortunately I discovered by chance that appointments can be booked in quite a few Boots. That does seem to be easier

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  6. Thank you for yet another scenic walk through beach and heights! Looking forward to finding you on your new blog – I, too, decided not to subscribe to keep my previous blog. It took some work to reconnect with everyone again, but here I am. So, I will find you.

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    1. Thanks for the reassurance, Ju-Lyn. In some ways it feels like a scary move, but I know I need the challenge, and there are hopefully other benefits to starting over. Wish me luck!

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  7. A beautiful walk Jo with stunning views from the top. Iโ€™m so sorry to hear youโ€™re ending this blog. I feel like I just found you and weโ€™ve just been getting to know each other. Still, living life is more important and youโ€™ve made that wise choice. Please send me the link of your new blog when you get it going. Wishing you the very best as you move forward with everything in front of you right now. And have a beautiful English summer. Iโ€™ll miss your posts! ๐Ÿ’•

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    1. Life has been a little overwhelming lately. Only half of what goes on appears here and I really need to detach from it all for a while. I started with little confidence last time. I hope I can do better, but certainly no worse. I’m sure I’ll see you in the autumn. Meanwhile thanks for your kind words ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’•

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  8. I would have taken the little train too. It sounds like the perfect way to start and end the day. I’m glad you decided to walk up onto the cliffs. The scenery is gorgeous. I look forward to seeing you again on your new blog, Jo and am pleased to hear that we’ll still be walking together. Have a wonderful time with your family and friends. See you later in the year.

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    1. Thanks, Carol! Feeling really tired at this juncture. So much going on and I don’t have the energy to maintain this blog, let alone reinvent myself. But I know when I’m back from the UK and the days start to shorten it’ll be different. Meanwhile, so much to enjoy!

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  9. I do hope your planned trip goes ahead with no hitches Jo. Have a wonderful English summer. And what a fabulous walk this was. Good to know that the Monday Walks will continue. How will you let us all know about your new blog, when it appears? How tantalising!

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    1. Good question, Margaret. I need to do some work on it this week so I can leave a ‘last post’ with a link. Otherwise I will be emailing a lot of people ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Trying to sort accommodation and a few glitches but hopefully it’ll all come together in the end. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

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