Algar Seco

Jo’s Monday walk : Carvoeiro Boxes

In complete contrast to Saturday’s post, I’m sun-dazzled in Carvoeiro today.  Not my favourite place in the Algarve but, after the enormous success of my Street Art in Silves, I made it a mission to visit Carvoeiro for more of the same.  Most of its charm fled with the influx of tourism, but in winter months you might still catch a glimmer.  Just don’t attempt it in high summer!

You can forgive a lot with street art like this, can’t you?  I wandered through the centre, beaming at each new find.

Do you have a favourite yet?  I confess a weakness for the frog.  A handsome prince if ever I saw one.

The background can enhance or distract, the musculature of Ronaldo seeming a little out of place beside that delicate chimney.  But he’s everywhere in Portugal. Sometimes it’s good to see things in context, like this box outside the mosaic shop.  And the lovely azulejo panel of the bay.

Just a morsel of cake.  Not my preferred choice but very nice.  However disparaging I may be about Carvoeiro, there’s a place just along the coast that never fails to delight me, even though commercialism has done its worst.  The awe I felt when I first saw Algar Seco remains.

Fashioned by the raw power of the sea, the convoluted shapes and whorls cast a spell.  A gentle whoosh, or a blast and a roar!  The ocean always keeps you on your toes.  You can follow the boardwalk along the cliff top to take in the views, or descend to peer through the lattice of holes.

The painted electricity boxes were there too.  I hope you enjoyed them.

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I’ve tried to catch up with as many of you as I can.  Please give me a nudge if I’ve missed you.  It’s meltingly hot in the Algarve right now, so I’m glad of those cooler weeks in the UK.  Many thanks for your company and contributions.  Feel free to join me next time here on Jo’s Monday walk.

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Debbie captures the action on the streets of Edinburgh.  What a venue!

Foray into the Fringe

A North Korean history lesson and a stroll by the shore with Albert :

Jipsam Revolutionary Site

A glass of wine or two, and a trilogy, with Drake :

On the top

Down by the corner

Comfort zone

Beautiful gardens to wander in, with Sandra :

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC, Canada

While Irene enjoys a quiet life :

Morning of Peacefulness

Take a Closer Look

And Beatrice shares the natural beauty of Austria, courtesy of Ulli :

Alpine Flora and Fauna in Montafon Valley, Austria

This one from Eunice seems very appropriate this week (and note it’s a sequel)

More of Blackburn’s street art

And Cathy is still walking the Camino, one step at a time :

(Camino day 30) Arcahueja to León

(Camino day 31) Léon to Valverde de la Virgen

I couldn’t resist this walk in Paris.  Please say hello to Yoshimi :

Paris Promenade plantée Coulée verte

Rosemay visits one of my favourite places in Yorkshire :

A Spring Walk round Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

And how could you not enjoy a port or two, in Becky’s convivial company?

Discovering Vila Nova de Gaia

But if none of that pleases you, take a trip with Sheetal.  You won’t regret it!

To Rome, with love 

Hope you’re having a wonderful Bank Holiday in the UK, and wishing you all a great week ahead.  I’m still battling gently with the new phone, but I had some great news yesterday.  My son proposed to his lovely lady, on holiday in Barcelona, and she said ‘si’.  🙂

Jo’s Monday walk : Algar Seco

Algar Seco

Algar Seco

Going back to places isn’t always such a good idea, but in this instance it definitely paid off.  It must be 10 years since I first set foot in Carvoeiro. The location, possessively hugging a small cove, fishing boats pulled up on shore for safety, was always idyllic.  Unfortunately too many people had discovered its charms.  Parking was something of a nightmare, and the overall impression was definitely ‘tacky’.

I’m not one to give up on a place so easily, and I felt I owed it a second chance.  As it happened, it provided the perfect location for my November birthday.  Crowds weren’t an issue and some of the parking problems appeared to have been solved.  The ‘tacky’ aspect is still there, but  the spectacular scenery of the surrounding coast is justifiably a magnet.  ‘High end’ villas and smart restaurants have moved in.  Best of all, a beautiful new boardwalk has been installed along the cliff top east of town, making a walk to Algar Seco pure exhilaration.

The boardwalk, heading towards Carvoeira

The boardwalk, heading towards Carvoeiro

Magnificent, isn’t it?  I was totally unprepared for the sight, but so often it seems to me that the Algarve ‘gets it right’.  The cliff tops are subject to erosion and the boardwalk helps to protect them from the curious, while enabling safe and easy access to their dramatic beauty.

You can see the frailty of the rocks

You can see the frailty of the rocks

Algar Seco is the name given to a rock formation carved into the cliffs by erosion and the action of the waves.  Steps lead down into a natural amphitheatre, where the fit and sure-footed can view at close quarters how the sea seductively sculpts the shore.

I am not known for my affinity with goats, and wearing smart sandals was perhaps a mistake.  A squidgy yellow puddle wasn’t exactly what they were designed for, but they survived.  Wet wipes are a wonderful invention, aren’t they?

The scenery was worth it!

I thought the scenery was worth it!

Especially from inside the caves

Especially from inside the caves

Amazing to be so close to nature

Amazing to be so close to nature

Even if a little scary

Safer on the boardwalk!

But much safer up on the boardwalk!

Now let’s follow the boardwalk towards Carvoeiro.  It isn’t very far and the views will keep you enthralled.  There are benches set in at intervals if you want to simply sit and feast your eyes. Looking back you have the beach of Marinha, with Benagil’s tiny cove beyond.  Ahead , an extravaganza of coast!  Soon you arrive at Capela da Nossa Senhora da Encarnacao’s so pretty chapel.

The church square

The church square

With a pretty roof

With a pretty roof

Affording calm views to sea

Affording calm views to sea

Beyond this, the road starts to dip into the cove which is Praia da Carvoeiro. The sea wall is planted with hardy flowers but the chances are you won’t be able to take your eyes off the bay.

Determined to bloom in the salt air

Determined to bloom in the salt air!

Just a hint at the beach below you

Just a hint at the beach below you

Invariably there will be a couple of boats, drawn up well away from the clutches of the sea.  And a burst of colour in the houses at shoreline.

Happy to be stranded!

Happy to be stranded!

How about this for 'beachfront'?

How about this for ‘beachfront’?

But you know that what will always lure me on is the thrash of the waves on the shore.  I cannot wait to get close!  Just a quick paddle!

Too close, sometimes!

Too close, sometimes!

But water like this is hard to resist!

But water like this is hard to resist!

After a play on the beach (yes, the wet bum incident, but the camera was safe!) and a few more shell shots, I opted to climb Rua da Paraiso.  I just had to see what ‘Paradise Beach’ offered.  The views down into the bay are equally lovely and you can complete a circuit which brings you back into the centre.  There are only two main streets, side by side, leading to the beach (and away, if you’re a driver).  Algar Seco is clearly signed, along the coast road and within the town, if you have left your car at the eastern end, as we did.

Thank you all for your patience.  I’ve struggled mightily this weekend but, in the week ahead, hope to get ‘back on track’.  As always I have some wonderful shares for you, so let’s get that kettle on and go armchair walking!

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First we’re off to Otatara Beach in New Zealand, with Jill  :

All Soul’s Day wander at Otatara PA

Then flying straight on to the States and the Hudson River :

Fort Lee Historic Park

A truly delightful Halloween walk next, with Colline.  I found some little ‘trick or treaters’ in the Algarve too.  Must show you sometime!

A Halloween Walk

Lamb burger anybody?  Then you can walk it off, with Yvette  :

Burger, Bach and a walk

Lovely Noe showed me another little piece of village life in South Sulawesi.  Don’t miss it!

The old village of Bitombang

Tobias is here from Hamburg!  A place I know little of, and am enjoying through his eyes  :

The steep approach to Baumwall

Of course, there’d be no Monday walk without Drake!  He always manages to stir nostalgia in me  :

Whistle down the Wind

And when there’s a walk from Tish Farrell, you know you’re in for a treat  :

Rambling Tales, My Little Pony, windmills, Olympian dreams

If Pauline ever invites you for a walk in her garden, say ‘yes’ immediately.  It’s fabulous!  :

Come walk with me in the garden

Nurturing and looking after swans sounds like a grand job, doesn’t it?  Sherri is at a swannery this week  :

A walk with swans

No Jude, you might have noticed?  She has her hands full of grandson in Australia.  Happy days!  I owe so many thanks to my contributors.  You have made my Mondays very special.  I hope I haven’t missed anybody this week?  Happy walking!