Algarve

Six word Saturday

They  will never hold the rain!

Not that there’s much need for them round here, but they do work well for Becky’s Lines and Squares.  She’s playing with Pooh Bear today, and Debbie’s riding around on a bus, in Six Words, of course.  Why not join them?  And have a great Saturday!

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Jo’s Monday walk : Ferragudo

An artist could rarely want for inspiration in Ferragudo.  Nestled in the mouth of the River Arade, blinking sleepily across at booming Portimáo, the village almost restores your faith in the Algarve that was.  I had come for a very special boat trip, but first I need to set the scene.

A more painterly sky I have never seen, gossamer white clouds drifting lazily out to sea.  As you wander into town, it’s hard to avoid the evidence of artists at work.  The fisherfolk cast their nets, fore and aft, and count their catch.

A tidy tangle of lobster pots adorn the quayside, as lobster pots ought.  Cobbled and petal carpeted streets creep upwards from the bombeiros, the fire brigade rarely essential in such a watery realm.

A castle on a beach!  Who’d have thought it?  A romantic image juxtaposed with modern marina on the far shore.  Newly laid stone walls, protecting the villas of today with remnants of yesterday.

Slow steps leading upwards to the church and a sublime outlook.  Narrow alleys to follow, back down to shore and sea.

Lying in wait on the harbourside, more industry.  A little gossip.  A snooze.  A shy maiden.

Azulejos tell life as it was, and never will be again, but life goes steadily on here in Ferragudo.  Gently, thoughtfully, without haste.

Back on the quayside all is calm, but fisherfolk are always busy.

The sun sets as they scull homewards, one last gaze sweeping the bay, ensuring all is well.

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I hope you enjoyed sharing Ferragudo and the Arade estuary with me.  I do believe it’s a special place.  And now it’s time to share some of your walks.  Many thanks for keeping me company here on Jo’s Monday walk

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Still wandering happily in Dublin, with Eunice :

Another day in Dublin – Part 2

Lady Lee takes one last look at Japan :

Dotonbori

What’s Jackie got for us this week?

Food stand

Oops, missed Joe last week!

Jo’s Monday Walk – I call it the Super Walk

Street art is best when it makes you think, like this from Ulli :

Artbase Festival 2019 – Murals in Rural Ruins

Drake rarely abandons me :

Abandoned stories

And I try to keep track of Denzil, whenever I can :

16km hike around Orp-Jauche

While Cathy Caminos on :

(Camino day 37) Ponferrada to Cacabelos

And Carol explores a little of Western Australia.  Pop in for scones, why don’t you?

Outback History

That’s it from me for now.  Life continues to be hectic, in a good way.  More visitors arrived last night so we’ll be exploring the Algarve together.  I’ll catch up with you all when I can.  Stay well and be happy!

Rio Arade, A special place

Relaxed and comfortable at the helm of his small fishing vessel, Luis has found his special place in the world.  All of his working life, a fisherman, he was saddened at the sight of an elderly friend’s boat, abandoned by the water in Ferragudo, because he could no longer sail it.  With great reluctance the friend sold his boat to Luis, assured that it would be far better to see her proud on the water than slowly decaying.  She was lovingly restored and refurbished, so that Luis could sail her on these waters he so loves, and share with us his delight in this special place.

Many times I have crossed over the waters of the Arade estuary, either on the motorway or, more excitingly, over the gracefully arched bridge that spans it, low to the water.  When the tide is out bare mud flats stretch all around, but when the tide swells and surges up the river, it is pure joy to be carried along with it.

Leaving the harbour, Luis takes us across to the other side of the estuary and begins to share the history of the local fishing industry.  We look up at the baskets on the quay, where fisherman used to haul the catch by hand.  The chimneys dotted around the landscape are remnants of sardine factories long since abandoned.  We pass by Portimáo’s proud waterfront and head for a sequence of bridges.  Luis takes great care when sailing beneath them not to catch the lines of the fishermen above, and then we are racing across the water towards the next bridge.

I look upwards, excited to finally sail beneath this beauty.  And then we are beyond the bridges, gently bobbing on calm waters as we round a curve into open countryside.  Luis stills the boat beneath a rocky crag where wives used to gather, gazing seawards to pray for the safe return of their fishermen.  The spot was consecrated as a chapel in the rocks by a bishop.  In winter these waters are not so benevolent.

And then Luis gently steers the boat to where the waters divide, and we enter the channel which will take us to our destination, Silves.

Slowly we approach the city, former capital of the Algarve, and visible from afar across this flat stretch of countryside.  When the tide is out the water here is very low and it’s a paradise for birdlife.  We watch, spellbound, for heron, soaring off across the water and storks circling overhead.  One day we must return to hike the riverside trail.  For now we are hugely entertained by Luis and his knowledge and humour.  He waves gaily to passing craft, seeming to be on first name terms with all who sail here, from solar powered boat to the owners of a tiny marina/restaurant.

The clouds have gathered and I’m grateful for a brief respite from the sun as we glide towards Silves.  A shower was forecast, but we seem to have dodged it.  Two large Viking style boats are moored at the quay, leaving little space for Luis, but he good-naturedly nudges his boat alongside.

We step ashore with an hour and a half to stretch our legs.  Time enough for a stroll through the riverside park and across the river to look back on this magnificent, ancient city.  Coffee and cake, perhaps?

Back on board, we retrace our journey, pausing to examine a tidal mill and the caves beyond, and a former sardine factory, now a smart hotel.

The sun is low in the sky as we reach the bridges, again carefully avoiding fisher folk suspended above.  Luis explains that the arched bridge is designed to look like a fish, the eyes glowing brightly when floodlit at night.

Soon we are approaching Luis’ beloved home, riding high above the water.  I’ve grown to love this place too.  The beauty of this stretch of water, with its many moods and tidal changes speaks to me.  You can only sail this route when the tide is right, but there are other trips you can take with Ferragudo Boat Trips.

So, when Tina asked me to Pick a place, special to me, I had no hesitation.  Join me on Monday and we’ll do a walking tour of Ferragudo.

Jo’s Monday walk : Alvor & the Estuary

In the 15 years that I’ve been coming to the Algarve, Alvor has grown and grown.  Given its situation, tucked into an estuary on the far side of busy Portimáo, and with lovely Lagos at the curve of the bay, it was inevitable.  It’s one of those fishing villages I used to love to nosey around.  One of the huge attractions of recent years has been the addition of a boardwalk, which takes you far out into the estuary.  So, I’m delving back into my summer memories, to give you a lovely simple stroll this week.

It didn’t start quite that way for me, because I was joining the end of season rally with Todos a Caminhar, along with a couple of hundred others.  Off we all romped, through the village, to the bemusement of quiet Sunday morning folk.  Up and around the back of the ever expanding hotels and apartments, until I stopped for a breather and to admire the cliff top view.

People were just beginning to awaken to a lazy breakfast by the pool as I descended to the boardwalk.  Save for young families and those determined to get a good spot on the beach, as near to the sea as possible.

It’s a good place to walk off breakfast, and if you continue along the coast you will earn your reward.  I just managed to catch some last blooms.

An ideal subject for Becky’s October Squares?  I hope you have your lines ready for tomorrow, but don’t forget to square them!

You can loop back towards the village from several points along the boardwalk, casting envious looks across the water.  Not everyone can afford a mansion, but anyone can eat cake!  Someone I know insists that pavlova contributes to his ‘5 a day’.  Who’s arguing?

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Short and sweet this week!  I have company from England for the next few weeks, but I still have things I want to share, so I’ll do my best to continue.  Give me a nudge if I miss you?  Here, or over at Jo’s Monday walk.

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A walk I simply had to include!  Cheryl shows us how very beautiful is Korea (you need a head for heights) :

Hiking Ulsanbawi Rock on Chuseok

And Lady Lee treats us to more of Japan :

Miyajima

While Debbie takes me to familiar and much-loved territory :

Promenade from King’s Cross to Paddington

Jackie continues her pursuit of food, drink and a little art :

Rise and Shine

Drake shares countryside and city.  Take your choice :

Surrounded by nature

Attention-competition

While Eunice explores another well-known city :

A day in Dublin(1)

And Cathy stays on track, with castles in Spain :

(Camino day 36) El Acebo to Ponferrada

Bye for now!  Take care of each other till the next time.

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’.  🙂