Travel

Jo’s Monday walk : wild about orchids!

We walked with a certain spring in our step last Monday. Although it was a walk we’d done before, it was our first walk outside of our own small patch of the Algarve, and we were almost giddy with freedom. Starting at Fonte Felipe, in the hills above Sáo Romáo, a well marked trail led to many delights. Most exciting of these, wild orchids!

It’s rocky terrain and, even after a damper than usual winter, many of the river beds are dry. It’s amazing what can thrive in these conditions. Bright blue iris unfurl in the sunlight and the fields are studded with buttons of yellow and fragrant lavender. In a patch of green, a poppy sizzles.

The woodland shade nurtures the lively blue of the wild agapanthus. The trail twists and turns, and we breath in the scents of the flowers as we brush past them. Solid slabs of rock have been hewn from the landscape to create boundaries.

Progress is slow as we examine and exclaim at each new sighting. Jewel brights light the deep green shade. The last time we were here it was early Autumn and the paths were strewn with acorns. Spring has brought abundance to these hills. And then we have our first glimpse! Orchids are shy, and nestle beneath companion trees for protection from prying eyes. But finding one almost invariably leads to another.

We linger till we have spotted every last one. I am reluctant to move on, for I know that the orchids will have evaded capture. I can never produce a crisp image of these tiny things, try as I might. But the images are imprinted upon my brain. A treat to be stored for the future. I hurry to catch up my companions, smiling happily at the wonder of my surrounds.

Small white cistus dot the landscape, amid a spiky yellow shrub, not unlike broom. We have to watch our footing as the trail starts to descend, loose rocks being something of a hazard. But this isn’t a walk to rush, for there are surprises around every corner.

We could not decide what this beauty might be, but it stood, alone and proud, as we began our descent. The cork oaks stood sentinel over their beautiful charges, as they have for many long years, and all was right with our world.

I hope there are enough Bright Squares here to satisfy Becky. It’s a bit of a deviation from my bright memories in the Italian Lakes, but I’ll be back there later this week. Meanwhile there are walks to share.

walking logo

Feel free to join in at any time. I’m walking with you once a fortnight, but walks are always gratefully accepted. It doesn’t have to be a Monday. That’s washday, isn’t it?

………………………………………………………………………………………….

What nicer way to start than with a garden tour from Jude?

Easter Monday Magnolia Walk

Wales can be just as beguiling in the company of Drake :

Stone for the roof

Definite signs of Spring where Joanne is taking us :

Easter weekend walk

How about a flying visit to India? Sheetal is such a fun guide :

Make A Wish At The Aeroplane Gurudwara in Punjab, India

It just won’t go away, will it, Rupali?

Fresh snow was served for breakfast

Weekend 118: Mountains are calling

Sarah joins me with a walk I know and love :

Kippers and castles: a walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh

And, by contrast, with a city walk I’d like to experience :

The Square of Religious Tolerance in Sofia

If I ever need an island retreat I will certainly consider this one, Karen! The name is misleading :

A walk around Scotland

The Australian landscape never fails to awe! Follow Mel on another adventure :

Stepping Down, Down, Down into the Gorgeous Fern Tree Gully, Rylstone

I’d like to end the day with a peaceful stroll, with Margaret :

The forgotten pleasure of an evening stroll

Or, even better, a tiptoe with Cady!

Jo’s Monday Walk: Let’s Tip-Toe through the Tulips!

I haven’t forgotten cake. Next time, I promise! Till then, take care, and get out walking when you can.

Bright memories – 4

The backdrop always produces a sigh. You know by now that I’m taking you on a watery journey, back in time, through the lakes of Northern Italy. We’ve traveled south today, along the eastern shore of Lake Garda to Gardone Riviera. A tranquil scene yet, set into the hills behind it, we encountered a strange place. Vittoriale degli Italiani – the shrine of Italian victories and former home of controversial Italian writer, Gabriele D’Annunzio, where a concrete battleship, complete with cannon, fired the imagination of a small boy.

Bright Square

Six word Saturday

A journey to a mythical place

A castle hovers in the sky

Bright memories – 3

A sultry day. Small boy grouses. He’d rather be in the pool, but no- we’re going on an adventure. We walk through the verdant valley. The river flows, silently. And then, suspended in the sky, we see it! Arco in Trentino-Alto. A sight never to be forgotten, it lingers in my memory.

Six Word Saturday

6wsButton

Bright memories – 2

I don’t want to square this, though I could pretend it’s pink. I’m wandering back in time to Torbole, in the north of Lake Garda, and just around the shoreline from my previous image. It looks flat calm. and tailor-made for an icecream, sitting on one of those benches with a view. I’m sure we did! It was one way to keep a small boy still for a while, as we gazed at the splendour of mountain scenery. But in the afternoons a fierce wind would blow, stirring that calm to a frenzy, and the windsurfers would take to the water in droves. Remembering it still hurts my eyes, with the glare of the sun on the waves.

There will be more. It’s one from a box of photos I scanned before leaving the UK, more than 2 years ago now.

Bright memories

For some time I’ve been thinking about a wander down Memory Lane with you, but then yesterday I was searching the chaos of my past life. I didn’t find the pink palace at Estoi that I was looking for, but I was transported back in time to a place that I love. I’m sure many of you will recognise it. The magical light on the water and the allure of the backdrop of mountains.

The photo is not mine, and I have manipulated it to fit with Becky’s Squares but I’m sure he will still be pleased to see it. A pink house for Jude, or is it terracotta? Do you know where it is?

Jo’s Monday walk : Azulejos rule!

Walk down any street in the old part of Tavira and you’re bound to meet with a few azulejos. These beautiful tiles have a purpose in life, as well as looking highly decorative. Their function is to maintain temperature inside a building, very useful in keeping houses cool in summer heat and not too cold in the winter. I’ve never lived inside a building clad in azulejos, more’s the pity, so I can’t verify how well they work, but I’d be happy to give it a try. Trouble is, I’d want to be on the outside to admire them. You have to admit, they’re worth a second look.

Translating from the Arabic as ‘small polished stone’, the majority of azulejos are blue and white, and the shapes are a geometric representation of flowers and leaves. When you come upon a burst of colour, often edging a door or a window, it’s a thing of joy.

Wander with me through a street or two. Don’t for a moment imagine that the tiles will all be pristine and immaculate. These homes have seen life, though some are sadly neglected and still others are unoccupied.

Glazed tiles were originally invented in Egypt, but Portugal has a long history of decorating houses in this way. If you’re ever in Lisbon, the Tile Museum is a wonderful place to spend a few hours. More locally you simply have to look around you.

Modern houses often adopt a tile panel in deference to this lovely style. They are a beautiful way to enhance an outdoor space or terrace.

Let’s face it- I simply love showing off my town, even when the images are less than perfect, like this church. Not only is it a particular favourite, but it’s my Last on the Card for the month of March, for Brian. In fact, I’m going overboard on the challenges today. You might have noticed that there are many BrightSquares for Becky, and I’m sure that Ann-Christine won’t mind if I add this to her Lens-Artists selection of delights, You Pick It!

walking logo

It’s been a difficult Easter for me, in more ways than one, but I’m adopting a spirit of ‘the show must go on’, and I have some lovely walks to share. Join me any time here on Jo’s Monday walk. I’ll try and make you welcome.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Sarah’s walk is pure nostalgia for me, and very beautiful :

The Lewis Burn inlet walk at Kielder Water

Janet loves her new desert home, and it’s very easy to see why!

That bloomin’ desert!

Can you believe that snow still lingers in some places? Rupali doesn’t seem to mind :

Weekend 117 : Back to Hiking

Standing stones make a great focus on this easy ramble with Emma :

Dunsfold to Cranleigh/ 9.75m Circular & Modern Day Druids

You couldn’t get anything more different than the street art that Eunice loves :

Manchester street art 2021 (2)

Meanwhile Drake watches another day come and go :

Another start and ending

Sheltered waters is a lovely place name. Join Suzanne there!

Weekend Walk – Kulim Park, Tauranga

Winding up a fabulous series with Carol :

All the Way to the End

The Last Walk

You can’t fault Denzil on his enthusiasm for Belgium :

Enjoy a day hiking on the Kalmthout Heath

Or Rosemay on her love for Western Australia. Tricky spellings aren’t they?

Autumn Walk around Lake Leschenaultia

That’s it from me! See you next time. Have a good week!

Six word Saturday

Let me brighten up your day?

Hopefully those chairs will be unstacked and good to go on Monday. It’s been a long haul, but we’re ready! I’m celebrating 400 Six Word Saturdays today, with the help of a few BrightSquares. Wishing you all a happy Easter weekend!

6wsButton

Bright and breezy

“Always look on the bright side of life…” Not always so easy to do, but I find it easier when our beaches are open. Happy and sandboy come to mind. Wishing you an Easter filled with hope and optimism. Oh, yes- and chocolate!

Becky’s playing with squares again. She’d love you to join her. The theme is BrightSquare.