Author: restlessjo

Hi! I’m Jo! Johanna when I’m feeling posh, Jan to my Dad, and Joasiu to my Polish family. A bit of a mix-up, that’s me. The one constant, however, is my restless nature. I love to travel and to explore our world. It doesn’t have to be the big wide world. I can be ridiculously happy not too far from home, so long as I’m seeking new horizons. Of course I have a wish list, and it was to help me fulfil my dreams that I started to write travel guides for a venture called Simonseeks. I’d always kept a travel diary, and it was hugely satisfying to share my experiences and to make new friends who shared my passion for travel. Alas, Simonseeks hit a few troubles, but I still find myself writing about my travels. I’ve become addicted. I’d love to share them, and to make more friends. So, it has to be a blog- right? Or do I mean- write?

Jo’s Monday walk : Praia de Barril

Such a familiar sight, and one that I love, especially when the heather is in bloom here at Barril.  The salt marshes can be a wallow of mud and scurrying crabs, but catch it right, with the tide in, and it’s very beautiful.  The temperatures have been steadily rising this week, and with them the temptation to visit the beach.  We parked at our usual spot, looking out to the bridge, and the Ilha beyond.

The path over the causeway is narrow, and has been closed while emergency measures were in place, but the time has not been wasted.  New signboards describe the antics of the bocas cava-terra, or Fiddler crabs, and the wading birds that happily fish these waters.

Track maintenance has taken place too, sand being always anxious to reclaim its rights, and the engines and carriages have been given a shiny new coat of paint.  A 15 to 20 minute stroll brings you to the beach, Praia de Barril, on Tavira Island.

A fringe of green weed decorates part of the shoreline, and in the distance a heat haze.  We turn to walk in the opposite direction, aware of other footsteps in the sand, but not a soul in sight.  The haze persists on yonder horizon too.

The strangest thing!  As we walk, the haze expands to meet us, and before too long we are shrouded in a fine, damp mist.  Turning back, we can’t help but chuckle that it’s just like the sea fret on the north east coast of England.  Only once before has this happened to us here.  I can remember the eerie feeling as we sat on the beach, engulfed in a sunny fog.  Then, as now, it had rolled away again within half an hour or so.

The graveyard anchors clung on, unimpressed.  I’m sure they must have seen much worse in their many years.  The beach bar was newly reopened and we stopped for a drink and chat to the young waiter, who had had no work or income for 2 months.  He shrugged and smiled, glad to be working again, even if custom was poor.  ‘We have to try!’  And in bright sunlight we started back.

The engines, in various stages of undress, made me smile.  Hopefully they will be pulling full coaches again, before the summer is over.

Back over the bridge and homeward bound, where I can offer you a choice of something sweet, or savoury if you prefer.  And shade!

Now and again I like to spoil you.  🙂  The heat has reached a crescendo around 30C this weekend, and an evening stroll by the water is a luxury.

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Let’s see what my walkers around the world are up to.  Many thanks to all of you for continuing to share.  Your company is always appreciated.

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Start at ‘Ye Olde Fighting Cocks’, with Debbie :

Wandering around St. Albans again

Janet appears to have found an oasis in the desert :

Monday walk…at the olive mill

But Rupali doesn’t need words :

Wordless Wednesday Walk

And Drake is all at sea!

Foreigners missing

Natalie doesn’t have any problem with getting out among the Spring flowers :

Life with Moments of Beauty

And I didn’t mind a few grey skies in Berwickshire, with Anabel :

Duns Law

Mel takes us silver mining in the Outback :

Walking through history in Broken Hill

While Denzil takes us on a longish walk from a pretty Belgian town :

Walk from Diest to Loksbergen (and back)

Ending with Cathy, in one of the loveliest cities I know :

A first glimpse into the glory of Florence

Next week we’ll go and look at a reservoir, to see how well they’re faring.  I hope you’ll come along.  Meantime, enjoy your week!

Six word Saturday

Many thanks for your kind thoughts

Whenever I’m feeling distressed I have an outlet.  It’s right here, with you lovely people.  It’s a huge reason why we blog, isn’t it?  Our emotional safety net, which means we can express our doubts and fears, however foolish, however irrational, and know that we will not be harshly judged.  You are immensely kind.  My thanks to you all for giving me this space.  Meanwhile, Debbie is busy circling, with Six Words.  Happy weekend!

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When ‘living the dream’ goes pear-shaped

Pear-shaped is exactly how it feels, some days.  A sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  A sadness that won’t be pushed away.  No matter how many times I might repeat ‘get a grip!’  Get a grip!  It’s 18 months since we sold our UK home and renounced life in England, in pursuit of ‘the dream‘.  And yes, we found it.  A world of sunlight and smiling faces.  But often now, I wonder, at what cost?

Of course, we discussed the ‘what ifs’ before we made the move.  What if we’re seriously ill over there, or worse, the youngsters are?  Easily dismissed!  Portugal has a health care system.  Flights are cheap and easy.  Stop right there.  You can see the flaw in the argument now, can’t you?  Why didn’t we?  Hindsight, such a wonderful thing.  It does no good to say, as both children have, ‘but you’re safer there’.  It may well be true.  There is far less density of population here, and steps were taken in good time to help prevent the spread of infection.  But I didn’t come here for safety.  Far from it!  And I definitely didn’t come here to isolate myself from my family.  The dream included happy times shared with them, in this lovely place.  Was I greedy?  Wanting too much?  You can’t have it all, never was truer.

The clock ticks on and there is no real comfort in sight.  Flights can be, have been, booked, but there is no certainty that they will operate.  And what of the quarantine measures that may be applied?  Which employer is going to say ‘go, have a good time, and take an extra 2 weeks when you come back to self isolate’?  If there is still a job available.

The pragmatic view.  All things must pass?  But in the meantime I feel like I have betrayed my children.  Deliberately distanced myself when help, both physical and emotional, might be needed.  Hoodwinked, both them and me.  Overreacting?  Maybe so, but that expression ‘a heavy heart’- I know just how it feels.  Gradually things are starting to normalise here, and I can’t deny spontaneous joy at walking on beaches again, and meeting with friends.  But the future feels precarious, in a way it never did, ‘before’.

Jo’s Monday walk : Beyond the hill

Often when I’m walking, or we’re driving, I’ll have those ‘wonder where that goes?’ moments.  Sometimes I never find out.  A week or two ago the other half gave in to one of my impulses, and lived to regret it!  We were walking in the back lanes, here in the Algarve, not far from our home.  Close to the pretty Ermida de Nossa Senhora de Saude, that you saw last week, a rust brown dirt track leads up and over a hill.  Well… what are we waiting for?  I need to know where it goes.

I’ve discovered an affinity with clouds.  Not those solid grey things, that blanket out the sun and planes have to carve their way through, but the soft-edged wisps that drift into the distance.  I love to watch them float over a hill, or sail out to sea.  More interesting than seamless blue sky.

Something else that fascinates- the rock formations with their crumpled, lived-in faces and wrinkly frowns.  And often a thatch of green clinging to the tops.  Here and there the skeleton of a tree, once ravaged by fire, still clings to life.

The motorway interrupts the scenery for a few brief moments, empty as it often was, even before the virus, and I get my bearings.  The trail heads north to meet up with a few inland villages.  As always, there’s a ruin at the crest of the hill.

With a magnificent view to the distant sea.  The trail undulates gently, a carpet of wild flowers on either side.  Can you see the bee hives down below?  You would think that with all that nectar they’d be contented, happy creatures, but that was not the case.

Suddenly my husband gave a cry.  He’d been stung on the lip.  The creature was in angry mood and a few minutes later he’d been stung again, on the back of the head.  A dark cloud threatened our morning.

I was lucky.  I wasn’t the victim.  For a while we walked very cautiously, but then the beauty of the surrounds, and a sign pointing the way home, lifted my spirits.  A conical house, all alone, would make a perfect sanctuary.

Before long we were walking beneath the motorway and back down the Fonte Salgada road, into Tavira.  Kettle on for a well-earned cuppa.

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Time to share a few more walks.  Thanks to all of you for keeping them coming!

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I love it when I meet someone else who loves our great outdoors.  Meet Donna!

Huckaby Trail – Sedona

Janet has something rather delightful to share this week.  Well, two somethings, really!

Jo’s morning walk…bathing beauty

While Natalie shares the beauty of a very wise tree :

Life and Advice From a Tree

Blossom and peaceful scenes on Debbie’s home patch too :

Wandering around St. Albans

And you can always enjoy a good gallivant with Anabel :

Burnmouth to Eyemouth

Or a jaunt round Lancashire with Eunice :

Spring comes to the Jumbles

Even a smile or two with Drake :

The guardian dog is a bird

Cee has joined us again this week.  How did she know I love figs?

Jo’s Monday Walk – Arneson Garden in Canby, Oregon

Only for the more intrepid amongst you, but you’ll certainly enjoy looking over Kelly’s shoulder :

Revisiting Nepal, Part 4

And touring some of the world’s most beautiful artworks, with Cathy :

The Uffizi in Florence, Italy

It’s 18th May.  Another landmark in restoring life to ‘normal’.  Today restaurants are allowed to open, with 50% capacity and other restrictions that will make the dining out experience far less carefree than it once was.  There are no tourists so we must continue to try and support them.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Meanwhile, have a good week and many thanks for your company.

 

Six word Saturday

Being here makes my heart happy

I’m sure you can see why.  Access to the beaches in Portugal has been restored, with a few restrictions.  Happiness beckons!  Enjoy your Saturday, and don’t forget to share Six Words with Debbie.

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A flawed invitation!

There can be few nicer hostesses than Su, so when she offers Tea time in the blogosphere it’s hard to refuse.  I’ll be a little more restrained this time, because I was definitely over the top last month.  I’m a big fan of carob and orange cake, nor do I mind the odd custard donut.  Perhaps you’d like to join me?  Oh, how very rude!  I seem to’ve started without you….  I’ll get it right next month- I promise!

Jo’s Monday walk : The long way to the River

My current walks from home can be repetitious, but there are many ways to add variety.  Let’s see how much you recognise as we wander through a few lanes and back along the river.  We’ve looked over this wall together, though I don’t remember the horses.  And how about that rock, shaped like a bottle-nosed dolphin?  I very nearly missed the cairn, nestling among the boulders.

My husband is an avid litter picker, a practise I find tedious, though sadly necessary, so I have developed a keen eye for distracting details.  Passing motorists must wonder what I’m staring at, while he scours the roadsides.  A minute flower, shy in grassy surrounds, or a fragile cluster of froth, swaying to tantalise with the slightest puff of breeze.  A straying guinea fowl.  Though two’s company.  If I’m really lucky, a butterfly to follow, hopefully, as it flits from nectar to nectar.

I develop new enthusiasms as the season ticks over, forsaking poppies reluctantly, but delighted by thistles and their many lilac hues.  Morning glory has such a pretty name.  Solagnum, not so much.  Small, pure white cistus, I love, and the ever faithful rose.

At the Ermida da Nossa Senhora de Saude we carry on towards the river.  In the bright sunlight I imagine the spikey agave leaves as a dinosaur, stalking its prey.  Suddenly a shower hits, and we scamper for the scant shelter.

Minutes later the sun is beaming again, and it’s on down the road to Tavira, the wildflowers making cheerful company.

But it’s not all as pretty as a picture.  Beneath the railway bridge, graffiti lurks.

And then you’re welcomed by the riverside walk, with its feast of flowers, and a view I’ve come to love.

Increasingly Tavira has become a tourist town.  It’s easy to see why, but I have to admit to preferring it without them, so this little sojourn has its advantages.  I can’t help smiling with pride, though, when someone stands by ‘my’ river, admiring.

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Time to share some of your walks.  Many thanks for continuing to walk with me.  I love your company!

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Leading off with Debbie, and a place that I know rather well :

Walking the banks of the Rio Tejo

Cheryl shows us a little more of enchanting South Korea :

A Walk in Daewangam Park & Ilsan Beach

It comes in all shapes and sizes.  Drake shares his from Denmark :

Spring variations

And Colline from her home in Montreal

An Array of Spring Flowers

While the woods are greening up nicely for Margaret :

One More Walk in the Woods

And Jude swirls us into a lesson on beautiful Bluebells :

Wild landscapes

Karen shows us a seriously empty Sydney!

Familiar but strange

And Janet takes us on a postcard walk  🙂  :

Monday walk…Le Grand Ballon

Denzil is as informative as ever.  He’s my Belgium expert :

How to walk or cycle the Promenade Verte in Brussels

Always worth climbing a hill for a glimpse of water.  Thanks, Irene!

Up to the Top

And Sandra is so glad to be back!

#Hike Deprivation

It’s always worth following Cathy, to see what colourful thing her eye has found this time :

A day in the Marrakech Medina

I’ll have another walk for you next week, and then we’ll see how it goes.  Around the world we are starting to look beyond the grip of this virus.  I look forward to a day when we can walk without restraint.  Till then, stay safe!