beaches

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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Jo’s Monday walk : Fabrica to Cacela Velha

Fabrica, our start point

Fabrica, our start point

If there’s one place in the Algarve that always works its magic on me, it’s Cacela Velha.  I’ve taken you there before on my walks (remember Mind that hole!?) but today we’re taking the boat ride from Fabrica.  In all my Algarve years I’d yet to see the ferry across to the beach operating, but a reference to it in Spanish ‘Conde Nast’ left me determined.  Described as ‘one of the best 15 beaches in the world’, I’ll leave you to judge for yourself.  How many beaches can there be in such a location?

But I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual.  Taking a Cacela Velha turn off from the E125, you will first come to a sign pointing to Fabrica.   This will bring you to a tiny harbour with a couple of very laidback bars and a restaurant.  Out of season it’s a place for fishermen and locals, but on the last day of my holiday in September it was almost bustling.  The tide was out and flipflops or bare feet were the best way to squidge across to the boat.

Leaving the harbour

Leaving the harbour

We scoot out to meet the sea, the boatman deftly following preordained paths through the water.  Running aground would be all too easy.

You have two choices for disembarking- the first stop is opposite to Fabrica.  The second, further along the sand bar, is opposite Cacela Velha. Let’s get out at the first, then we can have a bit of a beach comb before catching the boat back from the second stop.

Looking back at the shoreline

Looking back at the shoreline

And just in case you thought I had the beach to myself...

And just in case you thought I had the beach to myself…

It's a great meeting place for birds

The lagoon is a great meeting place for birds

There's the boatman heading back to base

There’s the boatman heading back to base

Ahead, the open sea

Ahead, the open sea

The sky was very hazy and the sea a milky blue as I wandered with my camera.  What makes this beach special, though, is the view back across the lagoon to the fortress on the headland.  There’s an almost mystical quality, to my mind, in being out there on the lagoon.  The tide was low enough to plodge across to the shore, but the sea creeps in stealthily here and you can be caught out.

The fortress across the bay

The fortress across the bay

A handful of people in the water

A handful of people in the water

The fortress reflected in the salty puddles

The fortress reflected in salty puddles

I carry on beach combing as the tide flows gently back.  Joyful cries and laughter reach me from the family on the sandbar.  The Portuguese families revel in their beautiful surroundings.  And I do, too.

Can you see them on the sandbar?

Can you see the family on the sandbar?

Their boat bobbing in the bay

Their boat, bobbing in the bay

I should explain that this beach stretches all the way back to Tavira.  You can reach it by catching the ferry from Cabanas, and the beach will be much busier nearer to that resort.  A very long beach walk would eventually bring you to this spot.  In the winter months that or swimming across would be the only way to get here.  Or a boat taxi, of course.

In the opposite direction, the beach rolls all the way to Spain, but first you have to cross over a channel.  A boat is a very useful thing to own in this part of the world.  Speaking of which, here comes the ferry.

We leave behind Cacela Velha

We leave Cacela Velha behind

And head back to Fabrica

And head back to Fabrica

The end of our walk?  Well, first we might have a snack at one of the beach bars.  Then I’m going to show you the view from Cacela Velha over to ‘our’ beach, just to give you a sense of place.  It’s only a half hour walk along the road to Cacela Velha or, if the tide’s not too high, you can walk the strip of beach that hugs the cliff.  You’d then have to climb the steps to the village.

Sitting at a Fabrica beach bar

Sitting at a Fabrica beach bar

And there you have it- the view from the fort

And here you have it- the view from the fort!

Across to 'our' beach

Across to ‘our’ beach

And there's even a bench to enjoy the view

And there’s even a bench to enjoy the view

Thanks for humoring me with this boat ride and saunter along the sands.  My earlier walk gives you a land-based version, if you’re not a lover of boats.  In either case, the views won’t disappoint.  In the world’s top 15?  I think there’d be strong competition. But I enjoyed it very much, and I hope you did too.

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Thank you very much for all your support, and lovely comments.  I have a fine time walking with you every week.  If you’d like to join me, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page or just a click on the logo above.  Next comes the good bit.  Put the kettle on and get ready for a good read!

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Humble apologies are due!  I forgot to include this walk last week, so please rush over there first :

Urban Walk 2- Toronto Cityscape

Totally opposite in every way- beach shots to die for with Anabel!

Faraid Head

You can walk, or take the train.  Either way, you’re bound to love the views!

A Walk in the Cinque Terre

Amy’s world is beautiful!  Have you noticed?

Monday Walk : Architecture Walk, Austin, part 4

I’ve heard so many good things about Berlin.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

Day 1- Dublin to Germany

A trip back in time with Drake this week?  Any trip with Drake is good!

Yesterday, nowadays

And now for something completely different.  Many thanks, Elena!

Renaissance Fair in Las Vegas

You wouldn’t get this level of activity on a UK beach ever, I don’t think!  Lazy, aren’t we, Pauline?

Early Morning Beach Activities

Ruth has a totally fascinating tour for us this week.  One not to miss :

Port Arthur Convict Settlement

The highlight of Geoff’s post for me is Wimbledon Park tube station.  A blast from my youth!

Capital Ring- Earlsfield to Richmond

Jude always shares beautiful walks but she has really blown me away with this contribution!

A Walk on a Wild Ridge

If you really want to test your fitness levels, this could be the place :

A Tale of Two Peaks- Part 2

Once in a while I find something a bit different.  For the foodies among you- say ‘hi’ to Ishita :

Iva’s Yummy Ljubljananjam Food Walk

Talking about unusual, thanks for these ‘wild’ animals in the city, Becky!

Panthers in Pittsburgh

I haven’t had a stroll with my friend Esther for a while.  Sing along, won’t you?

Walk- Down the Canyon

The title of this next post could really have described mine, but they couldn’t be more different!

Walking, Sailing, Walking, Wading

And you can always rely on Gilly to find the beauty in life :

A Green Circle Walk

Or maybe a stroll in sunny Munich will suit?  Thanks, Rosemay!

Nymphenburg The Summer Palace

Lastly, Denzil does his very best to give us a smile on a grey day :

Grey day in Grez-Doiceau

Lots this week, aren’t there?  I do hope you can find the time to visit, and many thanks to all of you for keeping me such good company.  I have one more Algarve walk in reserve, but next week I’m going to hurl myself into an English Autumn, before it passes me by.  I’d love for you to join me. Have a great week, won’t you?

All at sea

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All at sea!

Wipeout!

Wipeout!

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Licking and licking,

With a greedy salted tongue.

Restrained by the tide

Adrift

Adrift

A starfish, rooted out of its home

Uprooted from home

A battle for survival

Battling for survival

Learning new skills

Learning new skills

And mastering them

And mastering them

Boys, ready for action

Poised, ready for action

Ships that pass...

Ships that pass…

I’m not sure quite where this wistful post came from.  It started life as a tribute to Lazy Poet’s Thursday Haiku and somehow morphed. Just me, rambling on Algarve beaches.  But this week, Gilly has the most beautiful Tanka.  Do go and see.

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Vila Nova de Milfontes

Looking down from the castelo at Vila Nova de Milfontes

Looking down from the castelo of Vila Nova de Milfontes

I don’t know what it is about castles and beaches but they seem to me a very pleasing combination.  And the one above, in the Alentejo, isn’t the only one I found.  But we have to start somewhere so today I thought I’d take you over the Algarve border, and on up the western coastline of Portugal.  I have been to this area before but never so far as Vila Nova de Milfontes.

Situated at the mouth of the River Mira, the presence of the castle tells you that it was not always so peaceful here. Forte de São Clemente still has a drawbridge.  Dating back to 1485, the town had a key defensive role to play, and the wide estuary provided a safe harbour.  Today it’s not pirates we have to fear so much as tourists.  The town is part of the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina national park, which stretches all the way down the coast and into the Algarve.  As such it enjoys a good measure of protection, and development is largely low rise.

Not for nothing is this known as the windy coast, and in my short visit it was highly apparent that this could be a cool spot. (the wind sometimes whistled in the corners of my hotel)  But I also experienced some lovely sunshine, so let’s take a wander through the town.

We'll start here in the shade of the castle

We’ll start here in the shade of the castle

There’s a tiny square,  Praça da Barbacã, very atmospheric at night, which looks down on the ferry point.  A rather strange sculpture has pride of place.  It pays tribute to the role played locally in aviation between Portugal and Macau in the Far East.

This is the nicest part of town, as you wander gently uphill through a mix of older houses and new.  There’s a small, simple church and a few gift shops.  What appears to be a tiny cafe turns out to be a 3 storey Tardis, serving food to half the town, myself included!  I meander along, past ochre and immaculate blue and white, letting my eye drift, as it does.

But wait!  There are surprises in store.

I thought that there must be some kind of scarecrow festival going on, but this was the only evidence I found.  Just one ‘spooky’ street, with an interesting shop or two for delving.

Or a seahorse with attitude?

Maybe a seahorse with attitude?

This looks like a good place to stay

And on the street corner, a good-looking place to stay

Pausing, I look down to the right and catch a glimpse of water.  Like a magnet, I’m drawn.

Looking back you can see the road bridge spanning the River Mira which brings you into town, but ahead the estuary opens out. Locals race against the tide to winkle out errant shellfish. Beneath my feet, a shelf of lavishly coloured rock.

Gazing out to sea

Gazing out to sea

And here's the ferry point. It's lunch hour!

And here’s the ferry point, at lunch hour

A group of backpackers sit in the shade.  I wonder where they’re off to next.  It feels like a transient place, and I know that there are beaches aplenty, just waiting.

Time to mount the steps back to the castelo

Time to mount the steps back to the castelo- not too arduous!

And this is your reward!

And here you have your reward!

I hope you enjoyed our morning amble.  That fresh sea air always does me a power of good.  The resort has probably stayed so peaceful because it’s quite a distance from the nearest airport, Lisbon, and you would probably need to drive there.

Time to share some walks.  Got the kettle on?

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Some of these folks have had a long wait to be included this week, so apologies if you’ve already been there.  Please do visit them if you haven’t.  If you’d like to join in, details can be found on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo.  You’ll be very welcome.

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Let’s start the ball rolling with Bratislava.  Wouldn’t I love to accompany Debbie there?  This is SO pretty!

No Feeling Blue Here

Blue skies in the Shetlands for Anabel.  Lucky, or what?

Jarlshof to Sumburgh Head

Car boot sale anyone?  Actually Violet’s calling it a Farmer’s Market :

To market, to market

Random but very enjoyable rambles with Jackie and Frida Kahlo :

Monday’s Walk

Fairmont Banff Springs!  Sadly this luxury is not for me, but just look at Amy’s photos!

Monday Walk : Castle in the Wilderness (2)

Drake pays a wonderful tribute to ‘strong women’ :

The shades of Joan of Arc

And, in my absence, he took a little walk with the Beatles!

Nowhere walk

While Jaspa takes us strolling ‘down South America way’ :

The Streets of Santiago, Chile

Jill takes us for a fun wander (and I think there’s street art too)

Auckland City on a good day

What do Errol Flynn and Hobart have in common?  Find out with Ruth!

A walk around Battery Point

Fascination and excitement from the Southern hemisphere!  You’ll find it with Laia :

Rotorua: Maori culture and geothermal activity

And please welcome another ‘fit person’ to my walks.  You may have difficulty keeping up!

Memories of Ireland: Mount Brandon

Jude has excelled herself in my absence, with 3 new walks!  The most recent one unfortunately ended with a limp.

Garden Portrait : RHS Wisley part 1

Garden Portrait : RHS Wisley part 2

A painful memory or two here from Jude- suffering for her art!

Garden Portrait : Painshill Park

Unfortunately I won’t be walk leading next Monday as I’ll still be recovering from a Polish wedding.  I’m only gone a few days and hope to be back on track after that.  Seriously!  Meantime you might like to keep an eye on those lovely lasses at Monday Escapes.  Take care, and enjoy your walking!

 

 

Six word Saturday

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Hello, and how are you all?

The 'tents' return to Tavira

The ‘tents’ return to Tavira

What a fortnight, but what to select to show you what I’ve been up to?  In brief, of course.  More by luck than planning, the Mediterranean Diet Fair took place whilst I was in Tavira, which accounts for those little white tents and the variety of goodies within. It marked the end of an extremely hot Summer, in which the evenings were soothed by riverside entertainment.

The floodlit castle walls took on a magic of their own

The floodlit castle walls took on a magic of their own

And the churches opened their doors to show everyone the beauty inside

And the churches opened their doors to show everyone the beauty inside

Including the incomparable beauty of the Misericordia Church

Including the incomparable beauty of the Misericordia Church

With its wonderful azulejo panels

With its wonderful azulejo panels

The days were spent mostly wandering beaches.  I discovered a new obsession with buoys.  And I continued my exploration along the west coast of Portugal, up into the beautiful Alentejo.

Zambueira do Mar in the Alentejo

Zambueira do Mar in the Alentejo

Then there was the excitement that was the Medieval Fair at Castro Marim, with both castelo and mighty fortress an arena for combat, and an array of stalls and distractions.  Plus an evening of sand sculptures at FIESA.

Adding colour to Beethoven at FIESA

Adding colour to Beethoven at FIESA

I even managed to combine Morning Glory for Gilly with a hint of metal bench for Jude!  Yes, it was a fine holiday, and there are many tales to tell.  Gilly is going to the Algarve soon herself, and Jude always extends a warm welcome, so pop in and say ‘hi’ to them both.

A bench at Cacela Velha

A bench at Cacela Velha

I have to decide where to take you walking on Monday, and then I have a wedding in Poland, so I’ll miss Six word Saturday again next week.  I hope you’ve all had a great Summer, and if you’d like to share it with Cate I’m sure she’d be pleased.  See you soon!

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Six word Saturday

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Benches at the beach- for Jude

What's not to like?

Quite tropical looking, isn’t it?

I’m well aware that I haven’t taken you to the Algarve for a while.  Don’t worry!  The photos are there, in a folder.  A little laid back time on the beach would be lovely, wouldn’t it?

Today is just a glimpse.  I seem to have caught the Bench bug, and it’s all thanks to my friend, Jude.  May is her month for benches at the beach.  With just one day of May to go, I thought I should post these.  Jude will be happy as a sand boy, because right now she’s playing on Cornish beaches.  Do pay her a visit.  Maybe you have a bench for next month’s challenge?

This morning I have a little sunshine, too.  Got to make the most of it, before Sunday whisks it away!  Wishing you a happy weekend, and please don’t forget to share your six words with Cate.

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Jo’s Monday walk : Falesia beach

Falesia Beach has its share of plant life

Reach for the skies!

Back to the beach this week!  Well, we are in the Algarve, aren’t we?  It would be rude not to.

Falesia Beach is quite central to the Algarve and runs from Vilamoura, with its huge array of yachts, to Olhos d’Agua, a smaller resort on the run up to Albufeira.  It won’t really require me to say much, as the photos pretty much speak for themselves.  I should warn you though that if you intend to do much of the clifftop you will require the agility of a mountain goat.  But we can worry about that part later, or simply stay on the beach.

There is ample parking at the western end of Vilamoura, beyond the enormous marina.  At the eastern end of the resort, hotels back on to the shoreline, but to the west the red cliffs begin a steady ascent.  A bridge carries you from the car park across a canal and onto the boardwalk. From here you can see for miles.

A path runs along the back of the beach

A path runs along the back of the beach

Aloe Vera grow freely too

Aloe Vera grow freely

I am mesmerised by the shapes and colours

I am mesmerised by the shapes and colours

At intervals there are steps up to the cliffs

At intervals there are steps up to the cliffs

Those leggy trees that I love poke through the grasses

Those leggy trees that I love poke through the grasses

And the cliffs grow ever steeper

And the cliffs grow ever steeper

Can you see anyone on the tops?

Can you see anyone on the tops?

From time to time a couple of people will appear up there, peer down and then disappear from sight.  I’m quite keen to follow some of the cliff top trail, but I know that it is a little rugged in places. (I once attempted part of it in flipflops- not a good idea!)

There are lots of ups and downs

There are lots of ups and downs!

You might have been wondering about the beach?  I’m sorry!  I do tend to get engrossed in the patterns on the cliff face.

Here it is!

Here it is!

Often the blue skies are deceptive but this particular Winter’s day in the Algarve was balmy. Before climbing up the cliff, I sat for a while, just absorbing the sun’s rays.

A sheltered spot to relax

A sheltered spot to relax

Directly from the beach a flight of not very steep steps led up to a hotel complex, nestled among pines.  From here it was easy to head back towards Vilamoura, along the cliff top.

You may remember my saying that the cliffs were fit only for goats.  There are some stretches that are fairly level and you can choose to descend to the beach if the going gets too rough. A couple of flights of steps lead down.

Just one last look!

Just one last look!

And then it’s safely back to earth.  I hope you agree it was worth a little bit of climbing for those views.  And when you get back to Vilamoura there are plenty of places to eat and relax.

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I’d love it if you could join me with a walk of your own.  It can be long, short, or in between- I really don’t mind.  For details just click on my logo, or go to my Jo’s Monday walk page. It’s time to say a big thank you to my contributors again this week.  Let’s put the kettle on, sit back and enjoy!

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The last of Jude’s Australian walks.  Oh NO!

Oasis in the Suburbs

A trip to the loo, with Esther?  And a poem to make you smile :

A walk in the dark

A tour of Old Montreal, for history and culture lovers.  Thanks, Ana!

Walking tour of Old Montreal

Or an eating frenzy in Vegas with drums and Boba tea?

Chinese New Year at China Town in Las Vegas

These salt fields look very like those in the Algarve, but Kampot is totally different :

Kampot : Colonial town and salt fields

Back to Suffolk with Geoff now.  Hope you don’t mind a drop of rain?

Wet, wet, wet- You’ll never walk alone part 2

A little damp on the streets of Strasbourg too, but we can take the trolley!

Walk right In

And finally, Pauline (and Jack) take us to a pretty rural village :

March 1st and a walk through Tyalgum

You can’t beat that for variety, can you?  So glad you could join me.  I hope you have a happy week and some great walks.  You might need to wrap up warm!