Dadirridreaming

Jo’s Monday walk : Fortaleza de Sagres

The Wind Compass in Sagres fort

The Wind Compass, inside the fort at Sagres

When we started our epic journey, I had the west coast of the Algarve firmly in mind.  Known for its cooling breezes on warmer days and its wild stretches of Atlantic facing beach, I planned a visit to the Costa Vicentina.  Unfortunately, by the time we had completed last Monday’s walk at the Barragem de Bravura and our sojourn at Figueira beach, it was already mid afternoon.

The uppermost thing in our minds was a drink.  Water, wine, orange juice- almost anything would have done by this stage!  So, what did I end up with?  A tin of Sagres, the locally brewed beer.  I am not, by nature, a beer or lager drinker, but the popping of the can was bliss to my ears. Parking the car on the clifftop at Sagres, we almost ran downhill to the nearest kiosk.  Michael selected his favourite, Fanta orange, and sat, staring vacantly at yet another beach.

The town beach at Sagres, with the Fortaleza in the distance

Mareta, the town beach at Sagres, with the Fortaleza in the distance

I had planned to call at Sagres on my way back from the Costa Vicentina.  The last time I had been, it was a chilly, overcast day, early in the year.  Not today!

The town has an interesting history and is closely linked to Henry the Navigator, who set up a nautical school locally.  He helped to finance the Portuguese voyages of discovery, and by the time of his death, in 1460, landings had already been made at Sierra Leone in Africa.  An amazing achievement for the tiny caravels!  The Sagres link above takes you to Wikipedia, for some details.

Having got a second wind, it was time to stroll through the town and along the Rua de Fortaleza, the approach to the mighty fortress.  Of course, Michael wanted to know why we couldn’t just have parked in the enormous parking bays beside the fort.  Where’s the drama in that?

The Rose Compass

The Rose Compass, or sundial

Inside the simple church

Inside the simple church

The purpose of the Rose Compass is a little uncertain.  It may well have been a navigational aid, or just a sundial.  The setting is undeniably powerful.  Soaring cliffs drop away on either side of you, as you gaze out at the open sea.

Work on the huge battlements is ongoing, and not entirely sympathetic, but I found myself moved my the place.  A path leads out around the headland, with majestic views.

The shoreline crumbles beneath you

The shoreline crumbles beneath you

The canon still poised, ready!

With canon still poised, ready!

In the far distance, Cabo S. Vicente lighthouse- the most westerly spot in Europe

Far distant Cabo S. Vicente lighthouse- the most westerly spot in Europe

The beacon, closer to hand

The beacon, closer to hand

Yellow polka dots strewn among the plummy aliums

Yellow polka dots mingle with the plumy aliums

The view back to Mareta, and beyond

The view back to Mareta beach

The feet were tiring as we headed back through the hefty tunnel entrance.  Tiny Praca da Republica, the main square, has a choice of restaurants with outdoor tables.  ‘A Cabana’ suited us nicely.  I imagined it would be a lively spot on an evening but it was time for the drive home.  It had been quite a day! walking logo

Even as I was taking this walk, I just knew it had to be one of my Jo’s Monday walks.  What I could never have imagined is what took place last week.  On Sunday, 30th June, I received a walk from Christine at Dadirridreaming, back in Australia after a wonderful European holiday.  She and Stuart had taken the walk up Glastonbury Tor one rainy day on their visit to England.   We joked about the weather!

In this virtual world of ours, it’s easy to miss comments sometimes.  Christine’s last comment to me, on 1st July, I didn’t spot.  She was advising me that I should link my walking logo to my Jo’s Monday walk page, as she had done.  I have, Christine.  I have!  How very typical of this dearly loved woman, and I’m in tears again as I share this with you.

http://dadirridreaming.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/glastonbury-tor/

It’s hard to follow that, isn’t it?  But when you have some time, please return here and share the walks of my other contributors last week.  There are some very fine ones.

Drake takes us to beautiful Berchtesgarten  :

http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/on-the-edge-of-the-bavarian-alps/

It was wonderful to have been joined this week by Laura.  And only 3 weeks after back surgery, that’s impressive!  : http://telltaletherapy.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/walkabout-1-st-margarets-to-rye-house-circular/

Jude took me down Memory Lane with a glorious evening stroll around Derwentwater  : http://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/a-lakeside-evening-stroll/

You will certainly not have ‘the blues’ when you see Elisa’s post!  It made my heart skip  : http://elisaruland.com/2014/06/29/hiking-shorts-the-pacific-blues/

A friend you may not know, Kat, has introduced me to beauty and thrills in Corsica.  It’s one not to miss  : http://www.thecorsicablog.co.uk/2012/09/hiking-la-restonica/

And last, but never least, Yvette has gone on a Summer break, but not without leaving me a great post : http://priorhouse.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/walking-in-rva-street-portraits-3/

It’s been an emotional week, hasn’t it?  I’m off out walking very soon but will catch up with you all this evening.  Have a good week my friends.

Six word Saturday

6ws-participating-in-banner

Saying goodbye to a dear friend

My lovely friend, Christine

My lovely friend, Christine

Many times I have used Six word Saturday to convey a message.  My ‘six words’ are often smiled at indulgently.  Poetic license, I call it!  This week, there have been more tears than smiles.  The image of Christine smiling among the lotus plants is one that I hope to remember (and thanks Madhu for reminding me).

The news of her sudden death has reverberated across the blogging world, and made us reach out to one another and ‘hold hands’. It’s a lovely legacy, isn’t it?

I wanted to share with you Stuart’s comment on my tribute to Christine earlier this week.

Hello,

This is Stuart.

One day I may be able to tell all about our last amazing day.
I have just spoken with one of our beautiful yoga friends and blasted her with all the details. She said ‘That was a conscious death’.
I can’t quite grasp that yet but maybe someday.

The funeral is next Wednesday at 11 30 our time (at Broulee Chapel and Crematorium).
I have got a plain casket that I am going to paint with red lotuses.

Thank you her beloved blogging friends.
Maybe there is some way we can include you.
One of our clever sons will know.

Toby (middle son) has researched how you can get access to the book which has the first 4 months of her blog in it. She spent a month redoing all the images and text. it is pretty special.
It will appear either on her blog or facebook or both I think.

Thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers, and heartfelt messages.
It really really helps
Love to you all

Stuart

What a lovely family they are, aren’t they?  I had hoped to be online and thinking about Christine at the time of the funeral.  Sadly I miscalculated the time and it will be 2.30 Wednesday morning in the UK, so that may not be feasible.

Have a beautiful weekend, my friends.  I will be spending time with all of you.  And Cate, of course, at Show My Face.

 

6wsButton

A walk for Christine

Christine and Stuart, happy on their holidays

Christine and Stuart, happy on their holidays

Like many of you, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach, reading Stuart’s brave post this morning.  His lovely wife, Christine, ended their 45 years together in his arms.  Tears are not far away but I need to write this post.  Losing a friend is terrible, but losing a partner, thankfully, is unimaginable till it happens to you.

I know that Christine would want us to celebrate her life, and I’m doing that in the only way I know how.  This morning I took a walk in our English countryside, with Christine looking over my shoulder.  So often she has done just that, here on my blog.  She loved the beauty of nature.

The sheep were indulging their usual antics

The sheep were indulging their usual antics

And against a garden wall, the sweetpeas were climbing

And against a garden wall, the sweet peas were climbing

Following the footpath out of the village

I followed the footpath out of the village

And down the lane, peering in the hedgerows

And down the lane, peering in the hedgerows

For beauties such as this

For little beauties such as this

And this

And this

And gossamer drifts, like these

And gossamer drifts, like these

The elderflowers have been prolific this year

The elder flowers have been prolific this year

There's a farmyard smell or two

There’s a farmyard smell or two

It's not all beauty when you look over the farmer's wall!

And it’s not always pretty when you look over the farmer’s wall

But there's beauty enough if you look for it

But there’s beauty enough if you look for it

And, like Christine, I always do

And, like Christine, I always do

The insects always seem to find it, too

The insects always seem to find it, too

It comes in all shapes and sizes

It comes in all shapes and sizes

And not always easy to capture

And is not always so easy to capture

However could I have imagined, when I woke up this morning, that I’d be writing this post?  Was it only Monday we last exchanged greetings and she left me a link to Glastonbury Tor?  I can only be thankful for her friendship, and regret that we missed each other by just a day on her recent holiday.  I’m so glad that she had that happy time.

Such a wealth of memories Stuart has to look back on.  I know him very little, and of his drawings, only through Christine.  But what a thoughtful and amazing partner to have said goodbye, on her behalf, as he did this morning.  My thoughts are with him and the family she so loved.  She was a warm and caring person, who touched my life and that of many others.  Whenever I take this English walk now, I know who I’ll be thinking of.

Just one last English rose, for Christine

Just one last English rose, for Christine