Isla Canela

Jo’s Monday walk : Over the border

I’m keeping it short this week, rather like my trip to Spain.  In fact, this is a visit I wasn’t planning to share, but sometimes, despite my best intentions, the camera starts clicking of it’s own volition.  Before you know it, I’ve got another Monday walk!

I’ve mentioned several times that on Sundays I generally take part in Todos a Caminhar (Let’s all walk!).  A health initiative, organised by the local council, the walks take part across the Algarve and, once a year, extend across the Guadiana to Ayamonte parish, on the Spanish border.  Last year we went along, on a romp through salt marshes very similar to those in our Algarve.  You might wonder about the point of this.  On my part it was mostly curiosity.  I wanted to see if it differed from the Algarve walks, and I always enjoy walking in new territory.  No such excuse this year, but some friends wanted to go, so we volunteered to give them a lift.

As we neared the sports centre, venue for the walk last year, we remarked on the absence of cars.  Last year they had lined the road.  Worse still, when we parked up in Punta del Moral, the streets were empty.  Puzzled, we listened for the sound of music or some sign of activity.  Slowly it was dawning on us that we might be in the wrong place.  Fortunately a number of others had made the same mistake, including a coachload of prospective walkers.  When they radioed for help, and were obviously redirected, we scurried back to our car and followed.  The venue was not as advertised, but in the nearby resort, Isla Canela.  We arrived just in time to join the throng, and head off through the starting gate.

I assumed we would be heading across the salt marshes on roughly the same trajectory as last year, but no!  We stayed on the footpath, and followed the road back in the direction from which we’d arrived.  A bit of a disappointment, but it did mean a closer look at the Torre Canela.  One of 40 towers, commissioned by Felipe II in the 1500s for the defence of the Andalucian coast, it was reluctantly paid for by a fishing tax on the local community.  The tower is special in that it contains a well at its centre, but the site is closed on Sundays.

Next we were directed around the back of the resort, closed and tired-looking in its winter garb, out to the lengthy promenade.  The almost deserted beach doesn’t have sands as golden as those that surround me in the Algarve, but the palm trees and lace curtains of white broom create a fragrant backdrop.  So beautiful, it’s just one more sign that Spring is rolling along in my part of the world.

Eventually we arrive back in the immaculate marina, the focal point of this rather soulless resort.  Building work continues so there must be a market, but I was happy to cross the water to the real Spain, no less attractive for being a little shabby round the edges.

We chose a restaurant by the waterside to look back on Isla Canela.  Faced with a menu in Spanish we became surprisingly fluent in Portuguese, but the waitress was kind.  And we can ask for dessert in many languages!

We thought the roses a rather romantic touch.  And my triple chocolate mousse was delicious.

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I’m still in a state of wibble regarding future scheduling, but there will be another Jo’s Monday walk next week.  Thank you so much for all your kind thoughts.  It’s not easy to stop when we have so much fun together.  You are great company!

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All’s right in Amanda’s world!

Walking with Kangaroos and Galahs

Isn’t this a lovely name?  We could all do with a bit of this, Alice :

Thankful Square

I was so relieved when I found it was the geese Janet was talking about!

Jo’s Monday Walk…morning light and taking a bath

Just when I’m starting to think warmth, Irene has me shivering again :

Rescue on the Ice

Food and art- 2 subjects dear to Jackie’s heart :

Breaky

Eunice loves street art, too.  Her lovely dog has just died, so please visit.  She might enjoy the company :

Bolton’s street art

If anyone has a spirit of adventure, it’s Mel, but she’s also an appreciator of art :

Art Outside – Getting Out Amongst Walcha’s Sculptures

Drake has a sense of adventure too, and an eye for an interesting shot :

Color hunting

While Cathy takes an intimate look at Italy’s capital :

Rome: Continuing the “heart of Rome” walk past the Spanish Steps & the Trevi Fountain

And Natalie gets up close and personal with a waterfall :

Hiking to Devil’s Cauldron Waterfall

Let’s finish with Jude.  Who wouldn’t want an amble with her?  I’ll get there myself one day!

Hayle: Copperhouse Trail

Have a great week everybody!  This last one has flown.

Jo’s Monday walk : Punta del Moral

I can get a bit obsessive sometimes, so when it was suggested to me that the area around Punta del Moral, in Huelva province, has more than its share of beautiful, white bridal broom right now… well, nothing for it but another trip to Spain!  By one of those strange quirks of fate, Todos a Caminhar were holding an event there this Sunday, which gave me just the excuse I needed.

I’ve introduced you to Todos a Caminhar before.  It’s an initiative to keep people healthy by getting them out walking.  Each Sunday at 10 they meet at a different venue, and on this particular weekend it was a coordinated effort with the council in Ayamonte, across the Guadiana in Spain.  Coachloads converged on Punta del Moral from around the Algarve, and the locals came too.  There are always a few characters at these things, and the gentleman with the strange horn amused himself, and the crowd, with a spinning top and a hoop.

There was a great feeling of camaraderie, free drinks and even a small cake- don’t tell!  People lined up in semi-organised fashion after a bit of a warm up and, with a minimum of jostling, we were away.  Soon the crowd thinned out as people found their own walking pace.  There were 3 different walk lengths, from 4.7 to 10.5km, to cater for all abilities.

It’s a very watery world, out there on the salt flats.  A lazy amalgam of river and sea.  Much of the heather looks like scrub with the tide out, especially at this time of year.  In summer it glows a beautiful lilac, but it’s too hot then to walk in this open terrain.  The river wanders wilfully, twisting and turning, often sluggish as the tide nudges in and, just occasionally, gushing and frothing with enthusiasm.

Our path takes us close to Ayamonte, clearly visible across the channel, and then turns its back to head for the ocean.  A lone fisherman searches for shellfish to eke out the diet while, beyond him, the fancy resort of Isla Canela fills the horizon with empty apartments.

In the opposite direction, the lighthouse at Isla Cristina commands attention, blinking in bright sunlight.  Around we go again, pausing only to glug a little water, and admire a cluster of cistus, who seem to be a long way from home.

The broom are not so prevalent here, but thronged the road in welcome as we approached, and are there to nod goodbye.  Before we left I persuaded the other half to take a final look at Isla Canela.  We once considered buying there, but are very glad we didn’t.

For a boat lover like me, the marina is a magnet, but there’s no heart to the place.  I’m consoled by a single, shocking pink Livingstone daisy- old friends of mine.  And, on the very edge of the resort, stop briefly by Ermita de Nuestra Senhora de Carmen.  I’d narrowly missed opening time- 11.30-1.30 on Sundays, but if I’m ever around on 16th July, I might get to see Our Lady carried to the estuary.

After all that walking, you wouldn’t begrudge a little something sweet, would you?  And packed full of healthy fruit!

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Spoilt for choice again this week!  There’s a bumper bundle of walks- please do visit as many as you can.  And feel free to join me here on Jo’s Monday walk with one of your own.  I’ll try and make you welcome.

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Debs didn’t have enough energy to haul us right up the hill.  I would never suggest she should eat more cake!

Burials in Old Calton Cemetery

Janet seems to be feeling a touch prickly :

Monday walk…This yard looks sharp!

Not an easy one to spell, but this looks like a beautiful place, Natalie!

Day Trip to Chichicastenango

Fishy stories with Jackie  🙂

Noche El Pescador

If I was looking for an idyllic place to live, I could well be tempted by Alice :

Wilson Village

I seem to be traveling backwards with Carol!

Welcome to 1867

And Geoff revives some of my memories, as well as his own :

Walking With The Wind At My Back : Part Four

I normally expect Karen to take me walking in Australia, but this one fooled me!

Stratford Walk 1: the lake

Gunta takes us down among the Redwoods- a stunning sequence!

A walk among giants

Irene assures me that the deer and squirrels are coping well :

Left Behind in the Snow

But I couldn’t stop shivering when I read this one!  🙂

Place – Walking the Flip Side

Glad to see things are improving down Lisa’s way!

Walking in Blue Skies in February

And Margaret has completely shrugged off the snow, and found a robin :

A winter walk: footprints, snowy sheep- and just one robin

While Sandra had me peering out of the window in delight!

#Snow Days #Saturday Snapshot & Monday Walk

No such problems in ‘la belle France’, with Tobias :

Chateau La Coste

I love the rugged tree roots in this one!  Come and paddle with Amanda!

Monday walk – Boreen Point Foreshore

I’m really lucky this week, because Becky has completed the other half of my Furnazhinas walk for me.  Thanks, darlin  🙂

A glorious walk through Geologic Time

And Cathy is sharing more of her Camino experience.  Another one not to miss, but do beware of the bulls!

(Camino: day 5) a rest day in Pamplona

That’s it for another week.  Hope it’s a good one!  Take care of yourselves, and I’ll see you next time.  No Spain, but maybe chocolate?