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. Thanks so much for this, Jo. I really needed it this morning. Here, it is 4C, grey with gale force wind and horizontal rain. I could almost feel the sun on my skin. Thanks for the blue skies, sea breezes and the share. Melx

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    1. You’re very welcome, Mel. I’m just sitting in the new little garden room as the sun comes up and enjoying the last bit of cool in the day. Forecast 35C so life will be at a slow pace today and those cliff top breezes would be welcome πŸ€£πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful coastal scenery! It was nice to get a new glimpse of your part of the world and hear about your doings – sounds like all is well, which is great!

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    1. Life has a habit of tripping you up, just when you think it’s plain sailing, Lexie. We have a week of tests booked for Mike. It may only have been heatstroke or dehydration that made him so ill last week but we need to check a few things before our UK trip. But it was fabulous to have the youngsters here πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  3. gorgeous cliffs, Jo! and picturesque coves and beaches! what a wonderful way to celebrate! happy birthday to your husband and wishing you both all the best on your anniversary! safe travels! πŸ™‚

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  4. It looks like you love your cliffs as much as you love the ocean, water and blue skies, Jo. What a beautiful day from Ponta to Praia. Those arches and formations by the seaside look very inviting, and there must have been much to explore around the grottoes. Maybe next time… That humble cafΓ© really sounded lovely even when you weren’t too hungry! Noting like spending time with family πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

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    1. We had a great week together, Mabel, even though it wasn’t without a hiccup or two. That’s life, isn’t it? Trying to organise my UK visit now. Never a dull moment πŸ€£πŸ’•

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      1. Life is always a series of ups and downs. No matter what happens, we just have to go along with it. Hope your organising and packing for the UK trip goes well and you get to enjoy a lovely trip πŸ’•

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  5. I’m with you on cliff walks. Hard to beat and I don’t have a head for heights anymore. I look forward to seeing your new blog and, in the meantime, enjoy your time with family in the old country.

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  6. I do love the “lumps, bumps and arches,” and I think the cliffs manage to convey a sense of time. There’s history in those cliffs…and a wonderfully full vantage point from which to enjoy the further sites/sights. Gorgeous photos, once again, Jo.

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  7. Oh wow, such a beautiful place to be…and some busy months and days ahead. The looking forward to things to come is the most exciting part. Be well, Jo!

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  8. Am partial to the coast, for I grew up not too far from there. Whether is slick sand dunes (as in my case), or caves, and what have you! Although before coming to Texas I began to e forest walks too! Have a great week, Emille (Jesh)

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  9. Such a delightful walk! My kind of adventure, but staying far from the edges of the cliffs. Unfortunately we have our own adventurous young, quite a few needing rescuing, or sadly beyond rescue. I must be getting to the age where I can’t remember being that foolish. Happy travels and visits!!!! ☺️ πŸ€—

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  10. Great post and so many wonderful photos, Jo. Lagos is blessed with a coastline of beautiful beaches. The picturesque cove beaches of Praia de Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo and Ponta da Piedade (one those places that is hard to believe exist) were some of my favourite ones. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely evening πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

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  11. A beautiful walk, gorgeous coastal views! And how lovely that this time it isn’t such a hard goodbye…just a see you soon.

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    1. Yes! We’re in the midst of booking accommodation as we can’t stay with them and daren’t book anything beforehand with so many uncertainties. We had a fabulous week. Chaotic in places but who cares? πŸ€£πŸ’• Thanks for your company, Helen.

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  12. Your pictures are amazing and what a beautiful place! It sounds like a wonderful time to celebrate special days too… πŸ™‚

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