Travel

Jo’s Monday walk : A Faro interlude

I feel a bit like that White Rabbit today, and if I had a pocket watch I’m sure I’d be consulting it and shaking my head. Whose ever idea was it to make my Monday walks a fortnightly event? Oh- mine! Well, not the brightest idea I ever had, because it’s too easy to forget which Monday my walk is due. If I can’t keep count, how can I expect you to? So, yes, I’m late! Having gleefully published a bevy of greens this morning, I then realised that I had a pressing engagement with my walking friends. I do apologise! But it’s still Monday in my part of the world so, shall we go?

We probably need a word or two of explanation here. Our neighbour and close friend needed to be at Faro hospital one day last week, and we agreed to take her. We are still expected to remain at home, but with certain exceptions and this was a necessary journey. Not sure how long the appointment would take, we set off to wander the streets of Faro, to see what changes had been wrought by the pandemic. All was eerily calm- no blaring traffic horns, and most of the shops closed. Like many a city centre, and especially here in Portugal, the streets are a total melange of architecture. New rubs shoulders with old and care worn, if not completely derelict, while some old and stately residences have been beautifully preserved. Street art has become commonplace.

The railway runs along the front at Faro and just beyond the railway station stands an imposing but not pretty building. A former flour mill, starting in May it’s set to be turned into an apartment block, so I was glad that I had an opportunity to inspect the artwork. Normally I would turn right from the railway, passing the bus station and head towards the marina and old town. The hub of the city, the cafés are usually busy and the shiny red fire engines on standby for duty.

Sturdy walls enclose much of the old town and vendors ply their trade beneath them, selling trips to the barrier islands and to observe birds and dolphins. Across a vast expanse of water lies the airport, and planes normally roar overhead at regular intervals. But not today! All is silent, until the train trundles along the tracks to discharge its pitiful cargo.

The kiosks are shuttered and the former fishermen’s huts stand forlorn. The occasional passerby passes, masked like ourselves, usually with averted gaze. The gaiety has gone from our lives, leaving behind suspicion and mistrust.

A sign of life, and even laughter, comes from a bizarrely painted shop in the city walls, and beyond that, the strange mournful sound of a didgeridoo. I recognise the sound before I see the performer, a young man in a beanie, sitting propped against the wall, playing for himself alone.

We’re happy to return to the hospital, past the empty car park, and pick up our friend. Faro, like many another, no longer feels like the city we love. But finishing on a positive note, life is set to return to the Algarve when current restrictions start to ease after Easter. And in the meantime, I’m sure Sami will be happy to add this to her collection of murals.

Sami’s Colourful World

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A great collection of walks to share this week. Apologies again and I will endeavour to stick to my schedule in future. Always happy if you can join me on Jo’s Monday walk.

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Say hello to Linda? She’s not the only one!

I was late to the party…

I had no idea what Cady had in store when she said ‘come back on Monday’ :

Jo’s Monday Walk: The Cemetery

Backtrackin’

What’s a little rain when the world is this beautiful? Let Sarah be your guide :

Where the Gods descended: Kamikochi

Carol has a wonderful surprise for us this week. And then you meet the kings of the canyon!

On the inside

Where Kings Grow

I was very wrong to think that Alice was taking us to a home for cats!

Oldest Tabby Structure in South Carolina

Meanwhile Cee’s waiting for those tulips to bloom. Not long now!

Jo’s Monday Walk: Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

And Drake’s enjoying the change of season :

Time for change

Joanne was tempted out into the sunshine, and Charlie enjoyed his walk :

Jo’s Monday walk

Janet’s an early riser. See what she found in March!

Monday walk…Marching into Spring

While Lady Lee’s been doing jigsaws in lockdown :

Puzzle number 19 – Asian lanterns

Never too late for a walk! Karen takes a closer look at her surrounds :

My Monday walk, too late all round

Jude’s a busy bee at present. Nowhere she’d rather be than in a beautiful garden :

Meteorological spring

Wishing you all a happy week. Get out walking, if you can? See you soon!

Monday greens

Beside the Rio Giláo, Tavira

Just me, having fun with green. Can’t stay gloomy all the week. Happy Monday! (maybe better if you open the galleries?)

Life in Colour

P.S I just realised, it should be a Monday walk day! Come back later?

Something about the light

Almost every morning I climb the stairs to my roof terrace. I look out over the roof tops and salt marshes to the far horizon and catch my breath. Not from exertion, but the sunlight, glinting on the water, pierces my eyes and my heart. It dazzles me each and every time. There’s something about the quality of the light here. It illuminates my world, casting a spell, and I’m drawn to seek out the heavens, reflected in the water.

Somewhere that I can lose myself for a little while, hiding from a reality I’m powerless to change. Where sky meets sea is my escape. A lightening of heart, even when the spirit is low. The light changes with the hour, brilliant at midday and softer as the afternoon fades.

Some of these places are denied to me right now, but I know that they’re there, quietly waiting.

Thanks, Amy, for sharing your beautiful light.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138 – Natural Light

Green with envy?

My Hula girls, luxuriating in green

Green is the backdrop to our world, right now, here in the Algarve. Winter rains have refreshed and revitalised the land and filled the reservoirs. It’s a joyful sight because our summer heat can be fierce, and by September everywhere looks parched.

It’s Monday wash day again, but I’m living Life in Colour with Jude. Have a good week!

Six word Saturday

More Spring sightings join the dance

The Floral Dance, of course! Debbie is being mysterious on Six Word Saturday. Why not join her? Have a happy weekend!

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Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word

Guarding, or groundless? I think probably both. This handsome chap lives in a back street behind the salt processing factory. I’m sure he’d like to leap clear of that fence and gallop away. I thought Paula might like him, even though I’m a little late..

Thursday’s Special: Pick A Word-February 2021

Jo’s Monday walk : a floral dance

You may remember last fortnight I had a mild flirtation with the trees here in the Algarve. I enjoyed it so much that I thought I might get a little closer to the ground this week. Across northern Europe, Spring is beginning to bloom. Here it is already well established. Shall we dance?

Life may have its limits for us humans right now, but nature doesn’t seem to have noticed. Colourful blooms burst forth with exuberance, and we can only try and replicate the joy of their dance. Remember Terry Wogan’s terrible Floral Dance? He was never without a smile.

Bees buzz and twirl in partnership with the wild flowers that carpet the land. Yellow seems to predominate in amongst the luxuriant green, with here and there a spike of deep lilac or a smudge of blue. The dance can lead us up to the hills or out towards the sea, dipping to stroke and admire, filling our senses. The white broom shivers seductively in the hint of breeze, its days already numbered.

Filled with the serenity the sea can always bring me, I turn my steps inland. Here the cistus are flirting with the hills, dancing in wild abandon.

Much water has flowed down these hills this winter, and the gurgle of a stream we sometimes cross has become a clamouring torrent.

Time to turn our steps for home, but the dance is not yet done. Almost on my doorstep, the blooms still court my attention.

The softness of an Algarve Spring is all around me. A world full of softness and abundance. I hope that Ann-Christine approves.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137 – Soft

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Walks proliferate this week. I noted in my Reader this morning that there are a couple of others and I’ll include them next time. Please try and visit each other. I’ll be back in two weeks. Join me next time on Jo’s Monday walk.

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A volcanic lagoon seems like a great destination to me. Thanks, Graham!

A walk around Kiholo Bay

Fancy a bit of a climb? Carol will make it worth the effort, and fill you full of wonder :

Don’t Count, Just Go Up!

Where There is Water

Marsha and Vince are enjoying territory new to them :

#Prescott Walk 5: Peavine Trail

Prescott Walk #6 Willow Lake Trail

Drake is a man who loves an adventure in the snow :

Snowy walk

While Lady Lee simply loves snow!

February Love Me 14

Did you ever see such icicles? Wrap up warm, Rupali!

Weekend 115: Let’s walk together – A glimpse of real life

I think it’s warming up a little where Yvette is!

Walk with Jo and Thoreau Quote: Deal with brute nature. Be cold, hungry and weary.

The stuff of my dreams, with Gilda :

Hiking the Rugged Cinque Terre Coastline

Scaling the heights with Sheetal was ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. Truly!

Story of my Spirited Hike to Daulatabad Fort

Much easier but less thrilling, unless you play with the Bunsen Burner, a low level walk with Denzil :

The Eikelberg Walk in Gelrode

English villages are easy on the eye. There’s usually a pub and a church. Join Shazza in Lancashire :

Bolton-by-Bowland walk

And it’s always easier reading a book than walking, but Mel likes to do both :

The Highs and Lows of the South West Coast Path, GB

Love a stroll in a city by the water, just looking at life? So do I, and so does my friend Cady :

Just Strollin’ in Oslo

Twelve years ago I spent a special birthday on Madeira. Lovely memories rekindled for me by Becky :

A hiking adventure in Funchal

That’s all for now. Feel free to join me any time with a walk of your own. Take good care, and have a happy March!

Gathering lemons

My very own! Lemon singular, though the tree promises more.

Bottled gas is often used in Portugal. It was a number of years before our street went over to mains. Till then the gas bottle sat on the doorstep.

Santa Luzia, where I’ve whiled away many an hour. Also on the Algarve Cycle Trail, strewn in places with beautiful osteospernum.

Life in Colour– with Jude. Mostly yellow!