Eastern Algarve

Lazy Poet’s Thursday Haiku

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An old, fisherman’s table

Rusted now and all forlorn

‘Gainst the shimmering

Stealing my title from Gilly this morning, but I know she won’t mind.  I’m just sharing a last few soothing Algarve images before I return to the real world.  If you’ve never met Gilly, you’re in for a treat.  Go and say hello!

Six word Saturday

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The Algarve produces some beautiful shadows.

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img_5931Just wandering, as I like to do, in the Eastern Algarve, I found myself chasing shadows in the area of Lota.  The combination of lagoon, beach and boardwalk is an enticing one.  I loved the delicacy of the shell patterns, and a chance find- a sea urchin.

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The Weekly Photo Challenge has confused me a little by moving to a Wednesday.  But I didn’t let it cast a Shadow on my week.  Well, perhaps one or two!  A little like the six words that I like to share with you here on a Saturday.

Apologies in advance to those of you who walk with me on Mondays.  Next week there will be no blue sky.  Have a great weekend!

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Jo’s Monday walk : Legends of Marim

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I’m turning the tables on Becky this morning and putting my own slant on one of her walks. Exploring the delightful Legends Way will supply all the details you need, so I can quite simply enjoy myself.

The Algarve abounds in legends.  In Olhão they have been brought to life in sculpture.  The stories are a little naive, but no less lovable for that. Alina and Abdala, above, are star-crossed lovers in the traditional sense, and I love the way that her hair flows around him.

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I started my wanderings (with Becky, I might add, but more of that later) at the beginning of Caminho das Lendas, or Legend’s Way.  I paid due attention to the maps but, inevitably, then followed my nose.  The little chap above was one of my favourites.  So poised and graceful in the way that young boys have, with a ball at their feet.

Beware who you invite into your game though.  He might just bewitch and spirit you away!  It’s such a ‘lived in’ looking place, Olhão!  The ravages of time have certainly got to some of it but you could be kind and describe it as full of character.

I really don’t much care for the Boy with Big Black Eyes, so I couldn’t resist having a little fun with him.  I thought I looked my best all wobbly, but he doesn’t look very amused, does he? Distinctly bad-tempered, in fact!

The next character struck me as rather sorrowful, but who wouldn’t be, if swallowed by a whale? The wonder of it is that Arraul survived!  But I’m glad that he did as he allegedly created the sand barriers that protect the Algarve to this day.

There’s one other character you ought to meet, but I was feeling rather wilful and the boats moored in the marina were demanding my attention.

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Bom Sucesso, the caravel that sailed the Atlantic to Brazil, always draws my admiration.  I usually meet Becky close by here, her husband Robert having cast a discerning eye over the day’s catch in the fish market.  Both are lovers of fish and they had a treat in store for me.  I’d been hearing about Vai e Volta and was keen to try out this ‘all you can eat’ fish restaurant.

For just 10 euros, the fish kept on arriving!  I sampled salmon, sea bass, sardines, and tuna among others.  It all depends what the boats bring in that day.  In addition there was delicious cornbread, salad, potatoes and a tasty dip.  What more can you want?  Simply amazing for the price!  And don’t forget to ask for the sweet menu, especially if you like carobs and figs.  I would show you, but I was so full that I was sharing mine with the other half.  I daren’t stop to take the photo, else it disappeared!  I’ve given you the link to their Facebook page to help you find your way there.  Not everybody is lucky enough to go with Becky!

I almost forgot to mention Floripes, a voluptuous lady in white who was stranded far from her Moorish home.

That’s it for legends, and back to boats!  I never can resist them for very long.

The sun was starting to set and it was time to leave.  In writing this I had cause to look back at O is for Olhão and remember what a very interesting maritime history this Eastern Algarve town has.  It’s well worth a visit.

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Legend of Marim

Lovers entwined in metal

Lost to the river

Feeling quite poetic.  Must be time to put that kettle on and read a few posts!

Thank you so much for keeping me company on my rambles.  It is very much appreciated.  I’d love you to join me with a walk of your own and it’s very easy to do so.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Please find some time to visit these walks.  You won’t regret it!

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I’m always thrilled when a great photographer joins my walks!  Thank you, Tobias!

Dunes

That bit of blue makes all the difference, and it’s beautiful where Eunice lives :

A walk up to Crow Castle

Lady Lee keeps on coming up with places on my list of dream destinations :

Ten Things in Sicily

A friendly chat in Dollar and a money mushroom.  That’s what I call value, Anabel :

Dollar Glen

What’s that about diamonds and best friends?  Sadly, Woolly can’t afford these!

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Jackie doesn’t think money matters in Vegas.  It costs nothing to look, after all!

Trippin’ the Light Fantastic

On the other hand, safaris don’t come cheap.  But just look at what Geoff got for his money!

A Time in Africa- Part two

It’s always an artistic look at life with Jesh :

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People will keep showing me fabulous places I’ve never been!  Thanks, BiTi  🙂

A visit to Beziers

Part of Hanna’s personal history, I loved this walk with her :

Vikings, The Sea Stallion from Glendalough and Roskilde Cathedral

My friend Drake knows a thing or two about Vikings, past and present :

Misty back to the past

I always like to share pretty places, and Rosemay seldom lets me down :

Strolling Round the streets of Potsdam

Splendid isolation with Paula, another very special photographer :

Walk into Solitude

And just in case you didn’t follow the link earlier on, here’s lovely Becky!

On the other side of the river

I think I’ll be back to grey skies and an English walk next week.  You’ve been warned!  Have yourselves a great week.

 

The Church of São Francisco

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Tavira, in the Eastern Algarve, has a reputation for restoring her many churches.  In the years I have been visiting I have marvelled at some of the changes wrought.  Still it is a thrill to turn a corner and find another, ripe for renovation.  If you look closely at the gallery below, you will see what I mean.  Exposed bare plaster scars the walls and alcoves.

Previously I had only been into the gardens, the church being always locked.  Just occasionally the gardens would be padlocked too, and I’d feel a sense of deprivation.  A quiet bench, the overgrown trees dappling patterns onto ruined walls, somehow they provide a warm and soothing space.

Still, it was a revelation to venture inside this church.  First appearances can be deceptive.  A curtain veiled the entrance to a side chapel.  Stepping through a little cautiously, I was utterly unprepared for the figures that greeted me there.

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The Church of São Francisco has met with it’s share of disasters.  Since construction in 1272 it has suffered 2 earthquakes (in 1722 and 1755), a landslide in 1843 and a fire in 1881.  Perhaps it’s time it had a little luck.  Should you find yourself in Tavira and the church happens to be open, please deposit a few coins in the collection box.  It may help speed the recovery.

This might not be what Paula had in mind for Traces of the Past this week, but it’s an opportunity to share with you Thursday’s Special.

 

Barco Casa – the Boat House

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It was purely by chance that I discovered Barco Casa, the Boat House.  A neighbour gave me her copy of the ‘East Algarve Magazine’ and there on the front cover was my ideal of simple perfection on the water.  I read the article, wreathed in smiles, and knew I had to follow it up.  The Boat House is moored off the shoreline of Fuseta, in the unspoilt Eastern Algarve.  The natural park, the Ria Formosa, surrounds the Algarve’s capital, Faro.  It was a simple matter to arrange a viewing.

Tiago met me on the quayside and, with building excitement, I was ferried out into the lagoon.  He patiently and thoroughly answered all my questions as he skippered the boat.  This innovative project is a dream fulfilled for local architect Ricardo Badalo.  He and his team at Passeios Ria Formosa have created a sustainable, eco-friendly, high quality home on the water.  The surroundings are sublime, with a 360 degree view on this natural marine world.

Take a look at the promotional photo gallery.  Imagine waking to watch the sun creep towards you across the water, and sunsets sitting on the sun deck, cradling your glass of wine.  Perfect peace and calm, and a retreat from the clamouring world.  A breakfast of fresh local fruits and pastries and the day is your own.  Take the rowing boat across to the ilha and laze or swim. Snorkeling equipment is provided, for these waters are rich in sea life.  A water taxi can take you ashore, if you want to venture further afield.

The Ria Formosa has been a protected natural park since 1987, with the aim of preserving the lagoon system.  There is a huge diversity of flora and fauna, including the largest community of seahorses in the world.  The area comprises 5 barrier islands and 2 peninsulas, the salt marsh and lagoon areas connected with a dense network of water channels.  It has to be seen to be believed, and I’ve yet to discover a better way to observe it than from the Barco Casa.

You can make this a purely self catering experience, or opt to employ the services of a trained chef to add that touch of luxury. Tiago, who is passionate about the project, was formerly a chef in Lisbon, and can provide everything from oysters and champagne on the beach to a  simple barbecue, with freshly caught fish.

Be as active or as lazy as you feel inclined.  Ricardo has a keen interest in bird watching and marine biology and the company provide a full range of related tours.  I’ve started to daydream about my romantic getaway.  Maybe you will too.

I’m not given to writing promotional posts.  This is my personal space and I like to keep it that way.  But if I find something that excites me, it’s only natural to share, isn’t it?  Further details can be found on the website http://www.passeios-ria-formosa.com.