Eastern Algarve

Jo’s Monday walk : La Collina Verde to Moncarapacho

I don’t mind to watch a bit of golf on TV, especially if Tiger is in town, but I’ve never had the coordination or a serious desire to get involved in the game.  Portugal is famed for its golf courses and it was inevitable that our paths would cross at some point.  A couple of walking friends have a very nice villa on the small, countrified La Collina Verde course, in the Eastern Algarve.  They very generously provided coffee for all as we gathered to start our walk.  With the Strollers this time, it was a shortish, level walk at a gentle pace.

Skirting the golf course, we passed by pomegranate and orange groves, lush fruit dangling temptation on all sides.  A very obliging local squeezed his cart to one side and posed for the camera, his animal in full regalia.

Hot pink blooms assaulted my senses, while shadows fell across a rusted wheel, and a once-loved cottage trailed its timbers in the dust.

We had soon reached our halfway point, Moncarapacho, for a coffee stop.  It’s not a village that I know well.  My last visit was on a rainy February day, dodging umbrellas to watch the lively Carnival parade.  This time I was very taken with the old square, wedged between a couple of churches and a café or two.  While the others sat and chatted, I couldn’t resist a wander, especially thrilled to find the church door ajar.

We lingered a while, in no hurry to leave a sunny and engaging spot.  The locals gave us curious glances, till eventually someone got us all moving again.  It’s quite a big group and you can saunter at will, exchanging dollops of information with whoever is your neighbour at the time.  They’re a friendly bunch and conversation is always easy.  I count myself lucky to have come across the group in my early days in the Algarve.

The contrast with extremely stylish elegance and the tumbledown never ceases to amaze me.  Moncarapacho is well equipped with both.  A right turn or two and we were back on country lanes.  This is ‘nora’ territory and the wells abound, some still in working order but many just a legacy of times gone by.  Polytunnels seem to proliferate now.  I’m never sure what is being grown, but am simply grateful that this beautiful climate is being used to provide people with a livelihood.

We wended our way back to La Collina Verde.  No golfers in evidence but the clubhouse had been opened to provide us with a splendid lunch.  Should I leave you with a choice of dessert?  Don’t ask me which has more calories.  I haven’t a clue!

You can probably tell, I’m more than content with life just now.  A certain person has hinted that I may grow fat and happy.  With the miles we walk?  Seriously!  Besides which, I’m still running up and downstairs, finding homes for things.  Perhaps some of them should have been left in the UK.  I’ll know better if I ever move again.  Or I’ll buy a bungalow.

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I’m back in business, sharing walks again.  If you have a favourite I’d love to hear about it.  Join me any time, here on Jo’s Monday walk.  You’ll always receive a warm welcome.

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Eunice kept up the walking while I was gone, so here you have a choice of two :

Preston Dock – some history, useless information and curiosities

Radcliffe Tower and Close Park

A whirlwind tour of Spain with Jackie.  Stopping to eat, of course!

Spanish Tapas

Jaspa revels in the cold.  Rather him than me!

Old Town Montreal in the COLD!

I’m seeing a lot of cold water with Drake these days, but it’s very beautiful :

Water can be stiff

Us easterners have to stick together, don’t we Geoff?

Where The East Begins#capitalring#walking

I would never accuse Nadine of cheating!  I’ve ridden that steam train but I simply couldn’t shoulder the backpack :

Men in the hills and bulls in the field; day 5 on the Pennine Way, Haworth to Malham (with a train ride… 6 or 7 miles of walking)

Absolutely on top of the world, with Irene :

Top of a Rainforest

I did pretty much this same walk last week.  It’s a wonder I didn’t meet Becky!

Glorious views abound

And Cathy continues to astound with the most incredible landscapes and stories :

Canyon de Chelly: Antelope House, Mummy Cave and Massacre Cave overlooks

I’m currently walking Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with occasional time off for good behaviour.  Or otherwise!  Have a great week and I’ll see you back here on Monday.

Jo’s Monday walk : Lagar da Mesquita

Better late than never?  It’s still Monday in my part of the world, in my ‘new’ home in the Algarve, and I’ve just about got time to share a short walk with you.  I’m going to be deliberately vague because this walk was about 8 weeks ago, an outing with the Striders, and I was too busy chatting and catching up with everybody to pay much attention to the route.  A common fault when I’m walking in a group.  Our start point was a little way inland from Tavira, at Lagar da Mesquita, on route PR1.

We followed country lanes and narrow tracks out of the village, with the promise that there wouldn’t be too many inclines.  Villas nestle among groves of olives and oranges, some with quirky touches, like the pair of legs protruding from a cement mixer.  One of them is serenaded by a profusion of pink flowers, while everywhere the vines have developed a beautiful rosy hue.

A crossroads is signed Desbarato but we carry on, beneath spreading holm oaks and over a carpet mulch of leaves and acorns.  I cannot take my eyes off an ancient cottage, tenderly wrapped around with the softest, creamy pink bougainvillea.  Petals litter the floor like a rag rug, the ornate metal door knob, set into marble, something of a mystery.

We loop back to the start, a little gentle exertion for the inevitable reward.  Short, but sweet, I hope you’ll agree.

So much has happened in the last couple of weeks that I’ve hardly had time to draw breath.  Yet here I find myself, living the dream.  I hope you’ll come along with me.  This is just the beginning.

Thanks to all of you who’ve waited patiently, and for your generous support.  If I’ve missed anybody out, do give me a nudge.  Meantime I’d love you to join me on Jo’s Monday walk. Please read and share the following walks.

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You’d best tackle Debbie’s walk when you’ve got plenty of stamina, but you’ll be encouraged by lots of smiling faces :

A steep climb accompanied by Buddha

Geoff and Dog take to those London streets again :

A Wander Across the Far North #capitalring #walking

Mondays are murals day with Cactus Catz.  I know you’ll enjoy these :

Monday Mural : Trashcan Mural, Downtown Tucson, Arizona

Mural : Joe Pagac’s Harboring  Beauty

Drake shares the warm colours of North Africa :

Not alike, but fascinating

And Jackie goes adventuring in Spain :

Cafe Solo

Wilderness as far as the eye can see, with indefatigable Cathy :

The Blue Mesa Trail at Petrified Forest National Park

The Painted Desert Rim Trail at Petrified Forest National Park

And Miriam is clearly on top of the world!

Walking in Wonderland

While Carol comes up with the most stunning views!

From the Sea to the Sky

Hidden Wonder

Life in a Sussex backwater ?  Many thanks to Mari :

Steyning – A Sussex Town

It’s so nice to be back!  In every sense.  I arrived ‘home’ to Tavira last night.  Today I met a lovely new neighbour, walked on my favourite beach and caught up with friends.  I hope your week is as good as mine promises to be.

Jo’s ‘not a Monday walk’

Hi folks!  Normal service is far from being resumed, but I’m aware of collecting lots of walks which I really ought to share, so here I am today.  Could I perhaps ask that you don’t send me any more links for the moment?  I have family arriving at the weekend and they have first call on my time.  I shall have a sixth birthday to celebrate, Halloween to avoid (my daughter more than makes up for me), and then the weight of numbers will come crashing down on my head.  A big one!

As if that’s not enough, I have a cat to feed.  One that hisses at me. (I do understand, I’m not the patient mistress of the house  🙂  ).  Actually, the mistress explained to me how I should place a doorstop to prevent me being locked out in the garden with said cat.  And then the door blew shut, as she was explaining, and both of us were marooned in the garden.  Life, huh?  Her on tiptoe, looking over the wall for a neighbour.  Balanced on the back of a chair.  “Christina?”  Nothing!  I holler too, but my husband is painting, in blissful ignorance.  Finally a workman a few doors down comes to see what the matter is.  ‘Er, could you open my back door and let us in, please?’  The front door is wide open.  Hopefully I won’t repeat the incident in her absence.

So, what else?  Todos a caminhar, the free walks programme aimed at encouraging a healthy population, has resumed.  On a sunkissed Sunday morning we lined up on the boardwalk at Cabanas, with music to enhance the enthusiastic warm up.  Good for a giggle if you’re an observer.  And then we’re off!  Out of the village on a back lane, past orange and olive groves.  Some of us chattering, some striding out determinedly.  At the halfway point, a bottle of water, an apple and a breakfast bar, thoughtfully provided by the council.  And afterwards, an invitation to lunch with a lovely couple.  Sunday became a celebration of life, as we boated across the narrow channel to the ilha, and strolled on the finest of sand.

I’m still dipping into the archives for today’s photos, but you can keep track of most of my doings on Instagram or Facebook.  It’s much easier to share to them straight from the phone.

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Please read and enjoy these, if you haven’t already.  I won’t be sharing any more for a while.  Many thanks to everybody.

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Seems ages since I shared a walk of Becky’s.  She’s back in Portugal later this week.  Whoop-e-doop!

A palace fit for an English Queen

A glass of wine with Drake?  It would be an honour :

Colors of mood

Rupali shares some wonderful colours too :

Leaves in Autumn

Was September beautiful for you?  It certainly was for Lady Lee :

The Changing Seasons, September

Alastair managed to find his way to my walks.  Please do visit and say hello :

My Walk this Week 127 – Autumn Morning

It’s never boring at Jesh’s place, no matter what she’s up to :

Vacation Busyness

Janaline has seen the world, and there’s nothing like the beauty of Ireland :

Why I walk to explore places like Rathmullen in Ireland

Raspberry heaven with Irene :

Take Your Pick

Someone who’s always living the good life- join Jackie for a slice or two :

Pizza toss 

You butter believe it

Let’s hear it for Cathy!  She’s completed the Camino- loud fanfare!- and still shared some beautiful walks with me.  This is just one of many:

Wupatki Pueblo

I’m back in the UK on 9th November.  I should just make it to a Girl’s Night and then it’ll be crazy while we finish packing and handing over our home.  Catch up with you when I can.  Take care till then!

Starting over

Did you notice the John Lennon title link to my last post?  I’m thinking it’s probably easier to write here than to try to keep up with each of you individually, lovely as you all are.  Yes, I wanted to come back with a brand new blog, full of the pure exuberance of life and the beauty of the Algarve, but it’s not practical at the moment, for a variety of reasons.  So, simply an update.

You know those Indian Summers we sometimes talk about in the UK?  We’ve definitely been experiencing one here in the Algarve.  Temperatures have just started to dip a little, which is good news for my walking friends.  The first Striders walk of the season, on 2nd October, was kept to a miserly 10km in the Algarvian hills, but nobody was sorry when the walk was over.  A long table was set up beneath an awning but, by the time we’d finished eating, the sun was avidly gobbling up the shade.  It was time to down the wine and move on.  But not before coffee and cake, of course.

The Strollers walk on the following Friday fared a little better.  We were near the salt marshes, with a hint of a breeze now and again.  A different mix of people, some of whom we hadn’t seen in a long while, and another wonderful accompaniment of hugs, smiles and traded stories.  Does it feel different now that we’re to become a permanent part of the community?  Not yet, but I have noticed subtle differences.  At one time I couldn’t bear to be out of the sun, and would feel myself twitching if I was in the shade a fraction longer than was absolutely necessary.  Now that sunshine has more or less become a constant, I can seek shade with equanimity.  Maybe Winter will change that, but for now we find ourselves adopting the Portuguese custom of pulling down the blinds in our house to keep out excessive heat.

Our third walk included a train ride with a ticket collector who was greatly amused by 27 Brits, smiling and brandishing passports at him at 8.30 in the morning.  Our discounted fare was 80 cents for the 10km, two stops, ride.  We then walked back, a loop of town, pine forest, beach and countryside totalling 14km, all on the flat.  More reunions and friendships renewed, and lots more hugs and smiles.  We are all so appreciative of what we have here.  Not just the wonderful climate, but the lasting warmth of companionship.  Few of us have been unscathed by anxiety or illness, but a sympathetic shoulder is never hard to find.

Since coming here, I’ve cast a fresh look around our home.  Aside from outstanding DIY (phew, Mick’s department!) there are a few issues about storage and how we use the space we have.  Cupboards and wardrobes have been given a stern looking at.  We’ve joined the local library and a small army of English language books will be making their way to a new and worthwhile home.  An antique television set, weighing a ton but producing not a single programme, in any language, has made it’s way to the refuse collection, located down an exceedingly pretty back lane.

The negatives?  Knee deep in photo albums prior to departure, I forgot a couple of things I normally regard as essential to my Algarve life.  The cable to download photos from my camera and my memory stick, so I’ve had to improvise for photos.  And my diary!  Unheard of, this last, so I’ve taken to recording events online on the notepad.  Not entirely satisfactory.  🙂  Still to do?  Partly due to a wretched cough I’ve not yet joined an exercise class, nor a language class, but I will!

You’d laugh!  As I finish writing this, rain is bouncing off the table on the patio.  But I’m smiling indulgently and enjoying the sound.  Good thing we finished that painting!  And tomorrow is set to be dry for another walk.  Have a great weekend, and I’ll catch up with you when I can.  Our Internet is feeble, but we’ll fix that too.

Six word Saturday

The culmination of a lovely week!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks but I’m back, just in time to join in with the very last of Becky’s Square Roofs.  I thought I’d share a few roofs that she might be familiar with.  Above is the roof top bar at the Maria Nova Hotel in Tavira.     

The captions might be helpful, or maybe not.  Almost all are in Tavira.  The other I have observed fondly for years.

I had a wonderful time and then, to cap it all off, I met Andrew Petcher yesterday.  Right here in Hartlepool marina.  How very strange is life?  Debbie’s Six Words this week are very appropriate.  I hope you’ll join us all and have a great weekend.

Six word Saturday

Random images remind me of ‘home’

In the midst of packing, and abysmal English weather, I pause to look back at what I have to look forward to.  One of these images might get me into trouble when I return.  My very last day, when the dry river beds weren’t, but the company was good.

I hope Spring has sprung for you.  Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!  Let’s get straight to the point with Debbie and her Six Words.

Escaping the rain

Time to kick back and have a little fun in my life.  I don’t know about you but I’m tired of all this rain.  And I haven’t shared with Paula in the longest time.  I really loved the elegant lady in her Black & White Sunday, After and Before.  I thought I’d share my husband.  Discreetly, of course.

He always complains that I only ever show his back in my photos.  Perhaps he’ll like this better?