Jo’s Monday walk

Jo’s Monday walk : Monte Clerigo

If you saw my last post you’ll know that I spent the previous weekend in Aljezur. Wild, west coast beauty, and quite unlike my own gentle Algarve shoreline. An untamed ocean pounding the cliffs. It can take your breath away- literally, sometimes, as the force of the wind hits you. I could never persuade my husband to live here. For him, warmth trumps beauty. But if I can spend time on these cliffs and beaches I’m in a world of my own. Come with me to the windswept beach of Monte Clerigo….

The weekend hadn’t gone entirely to plan, but then, mine seldom do. Part of life’s rich tapestry, you might say. Because we had just one night available I had selected a hotel close to the beaches, and offering breakfast. The night before departure an email advised me that, thanks to Covid-19, breakfasts were not available in May. A quick look at the map assured me that we would find somewhere to eat not too far away, so off we went! In Tavira the temperatures were hovering around 27C. Not so on the refreshing west coast! Pulling my cotton shirt tight around me, I rounded the corner of the hotel to observe the pretty swimming pool. Waves were rolling across the water, in the icy blast! No idling by the pool with that book, for sure. Supper at the local Mexican restaurant was to have been a spicy compensation. The heat of the jalapenos almost lifted me from my seat, but the burrito, sadly, was cold. Outside people huddled in padded jackets, trying to escape the howling wind. And the last straw? The only dessert available was a chocolate banoffee, and I can’t abide mushy banana. Are you feeling sorry for me yet?

We checked out of the hotel early next morning, under a clear blue sky. The small beachside village of Monte Clerigo was a 5 minute drive, and the day began to look up. The wind still battered us, but I gaped in delight at the expanse of beach that went on, and on… Even I wasn’t foolhardy enough to sit on the outside deck of the beachfront restaurant, but my eyes stayed riveted to the view.

Before too long I was dancing along that beach! Well, more truthfully, heading for shelter, bent double, beneath the cliffs. But with the wind behind me, striding back was a joy. Look at that village, nestled into the hillside! The next task, to climb high above it, to the cliff top.

Steep, uneven steps lead up from the beach, around the back of the pretty village houses, and join with a gravel track. Cars and campervans can drive this stretch and there is even limited off road parking, but after a few minutes you reach the cliff path.

The views sweep away, up and down the coast, breathtaking in their beauty. For a moment you forget the breeze, and then it sucks at your clothing and you fight for balance. Far below, the waves crash. The path is sandy, making your legs feel heavy, sinking unsteadily.

The path twists and turns along the cliff, with every now and then a blue and green striped marker, just to ensure you are still on course. Pockets of tiny blue flowers gaze heavenwards, and a mass of yellow something huddles together, hunkered down against the wind. The fleshy roots of Livingstone daisies beam scarlet against the sand.

The rugged bays stretch ahead and behind, and in places there are strips of boardwalk. Erosion is a constant problem on these cliffs. An old watchtower or abandoned dwelling crumbles silently towards the shore.

We had intended to walk as far as Arrifana Beach, but the buffeting winds and our weary legs brought us to a halt a little short of there, for we still had the return journey to make. Every bit as enticing, the low growing shrubs rolling ahead of us.

But still, I was happy to see the end of the trail, and to collapse into the car, warm from our exertions. Homeward bound, we did stop off at Arrifana, just for a swift peak. A surfer’s bay, it was busy, and the hand rails lined with boards and wet suits. A Sunday lunch spot.

I’d like to dedicate this post to my lovely friend, Marie. She was no walker, but she loved the sight and the sound of the sea. I have to smile, or rather wince, at the memory of one stroll we took together, to catch a breath of sea air. I clumsily jammed a finger in her car door, and the stroll became a sit on the boardwalk, head between my knees. A permanent reminder of Marie, as if I needed one. We spent hours together, watching Rafa pull off yet another French Open, and during lockdown a Saturday night Chinese takeaway at hers was a rare treat. She was a kind and gentle soul, with a strong core. Which she needed for these last weeks have been harrowing. Yesterday evening the call came. Suffering is no more, but a very lovely lady is no longer here to share the laughter and tears.

Marie Teresa Brannan – 3.8.54 – 30.5.21 R.I.P. You will be sorely missed. My love and thoughts are with your family.

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This was a hard post to finish, but thank you all for sharing it with me. As previously announced, I will be taking a break from blogging. It’s long overdue, and the hot summer days will often find me beside a beach. One last share before I go.

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Come and have a look around Melbourne, with Teresa :

Going Around the City

Munsiyari- what does that mean to you? For me it’s a very beautiful place :

A Morning’s walk

And there’s no doubt that Rupali knows beauty when she sees it :

A walk in the garden: chasing colours – blue and green

Woodland, canal, a chirpy robin… Drake has it all, but those cows are watching you!

If not, so be happy

If it’s adventure you’re wanting, Sarah’s your girl!

A walk on Sausage Island: It’s all about the Elephants

As Mel points out, many Australian place names are unappealing, but never let that stop you walking with her :

Dawdling, Daydreaming and Dillydallying at The Drip, Mudgee

A simple walk, in lovely company! Join Manja and Bestia :

New trail

Marsha has been a source of inspiration, and not a little fun, since the day I met her!

#WQWWC #26: Hope we can make it up Thumb Butte Trail

And Rosemay has been a constant friend. Join her in this adventure :

Exploring Denali National Park – Part 1 (Looking out for Bears, Wolves and Lynxes)

Last, but not least, Carol brings you sensational views :

San Francisco Views

Take care of each other, and get out walking when you can. This morning I will be walking with friends, who all knew Marie. Part of the walk will be on the beach, and afterwards we’ll lunch at a restaurant she loved, and raise a glass. As her son said to me last night, ‘remember the good times’.

Jo’s Monday walk : Step back in time in Aljezur

I thought I’d told you about Aljezur? It’s a place that’s indelibly printed on my memory because on my last visit, albeit a good few years ago, my left flipflop disintegrated as I trod the narrow winding streets up to the castle. Now you might say this was my own silly fault for wearing inadequate footwear. To be fair we were heading for a beach, but I never can resist a castle on a hilltop. I’d persuaded my husband to drive up the cobbled hairpin bends so we could have a swift look. He wasn’t best pleased, but there’s a limit to how far you can limp over rough ground. Our visit was curtailed in search of a flipflop shop, so my memories of Aljezur are fleeting. Let’s just say it didn’t make a huge impression.

Roll the clock forward a few years and I’m back. Not going to the castle. Been there, done that! But I can’t help noting a few changes. A new pedestrian bridge over the river, so you no longer have to put your faith in haphazard motorists, and an updated square. But still an overwhelming feeling of stepping back in time. Where else are you going to see a mule pulling a plough, on the very edge of town?

It was hard not to stand and stare at this anachronism, but we crossed over the river on the new bridge. An entwined sculpture looked back at my favourite building, an inviting bottle green and white construction, side by side with the mercaria (market). Now, where to eat? The café Mioto had a trendy vibe, but a very inviting terrace, overlooking the river and the fields beyond. And very nice food too.

Deciding to defer cake till later, we set off on a gentle explore. I had hoped to follow the river out to the sea, but in the heart of town it meandered serenely under the bridges. I gazed a while at the ducks as they disappeared beneath a bridge and popped out again on the other side. They can play this game all day long.

Even here, street art has a role to play, the modern football stadium in stark contrast with the azulejo panel, depicting the town as it once was.

Show me the small Portuguese boy who doesn’t like to kick a football. The older ones love to ride their bikes noisily through town, tooting and waving as they go. Modern day pirates, for back in time their Moroccan ancestors may well have descended on the town, leaving their corsairs anchored in a nearby cove. A little looting and rounding up of villagers to be sold in the slave markets in Algiers. Who would think in so peaceful a place? Yet that castle was built to defend the town from just such events.

Aljezur was badly impacted by the earthquake of 1755, and the Church of Nossa Senhora de Alva was built a little way out of town to form the nucleus of a new population centre. I found that Aljezur had grown on me since that last unfortunate visit. It’s a place I might well come back to, not least because of the nearness of the stunning west coast beaches. But more of that next time.

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I keep meaning to take a break from the blog, but walks keep coming in, and I do have at least one more lovely one to share with you. So, for now, please enjoy these, and I’ll keep you posted.

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Idyllic Dales scenery and sheep! That’s Margaret’s offering :

Another day in the Dales… revisited

Or there’s a fascinating walk with Sarah :

A village built on shells

Who wouldn’t want to walk with Suzanne? She’ll tell you a story or two :

Weekend Walk – The Strand Reserve – Tauranga

Got to love Drake’s sense of humour :

Dusty field

The dry side of the coastline

While Marsha takes us to some beautiful Dutch gardens that aren’t even in Holland :

#LAPC#147: Bellagio Gardens in Las Vegas

Purple Butterflies in the Bellagio Gardens

And Susan joins us with a little poetry, and a variety of cats and dogs :

Hiking Haibun and Haiku

A Stroll in the park with Luce

A scenic walk with Ollie, the Cavalier, Children’s Garden, geese and baby ducklings

Here’s a challenge for you! Zara takes us on a few ups and downs :

South West Coast Path: Minehead to Porlock Weir Coastal Walk

Lady Lee likes to keep busy :

Gardening and cycling

All you could want to know about oaks and pines in Binsar National Park :

A walk in an oak forest

If there’s anything I love it’s a rose garden. You can always find beauty with Rupali :

Rose gardens

Spring is in the air

Anabel finds plenty of interest close to home :

A church walk

And Carol has some wonderful street art to share :

Telling Stories in Pictures

An old friend walks the streets of London (I know, Geoff- not so much of the old! 🙂 )

St. Pancras to Westminster

Not the Troggs, but natural beauty from Irene :

Wild Thing

And Teresa shows us how beautiful black and white can be :

A Walk in Emerald Lake Park

Tiptoeing through the bluebells with Jude seems a good way to end :

A Bluebell Walk

Hope the sun’s shining where you are. That west coast breeze was freezing! Have a great week everyone!

Jo’s Monday walk : Moinho do Bengado

Just occasionally a walk throws up a delightful surprise. We’d done the walk around Mesquita a time or two before. Often enough to know of the well, hidden among the long grasses, and of the windmills at the summit of the hill. It was a beautiful day and we took our time, chatting and catching up with each other’s lives as we went along.

The Moinho do Bengado stands proudly on the top of the hill, catching the breeze, as windmills do. No sooner had we reached it than a jeep pulled into the open space behind us. We hadn’t expected company, but were happy to share the beautiful old windmill. We were even happier when we realised that the newcomer had a key, and had come to show us the workings of the mill. Raymond Hilbers was a miller by trade in his native Holland. With an enduring interest in all things mechanical, he built a home in the Algarve 20 years ago, close by the windmill. In the interim years he became involved in the restoration of the mill and, with justifiable pride, he explained its workings to us.

Built in stone, in 1850, the windmill is of the Mediterranean type. It’s a halter mill, the oldest form of traction system, using rope and millstones to rotate the roof. I really hadn’t given much thought to how these things work, but was genuinely interested in the explanations. I won’t spoil it for you by giving away too many of the details. You might just find yourself there one day? The mill now opens to visitors twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Access is from the EN270, 4 km south of São Brás de Alportel, and arrangements can be made via the tourist office on camara@cm-sbras.pt. There’s a downloadable map, here.

Mr. Hilbers is a very charming man, and was happy to spend time with us. A former sailor amongst us remarked on the new addition of sails to the mill, since our last visit (pictured above). The millstone is currently lodged in one position and must be freed to enable the sails to one day turn. What a wonderful sight that will be! Just one thing I should add. Space inside the mill is obviously confined, and there are narrow circular steps to the upper level. Not suited to everyone, but please don’t let that put you off a visit to this beautiful old mill.

We continued on our way, back down the hill, and up several more, in the way of walkers. The area around São Brás is cork oak territory and there were many lovely specimens on view. Beautiful villas grace these hills too, which would account for the large school, with its reminder of the times we live in. And I’m always smitten by poppies.

 

I really can’t leave a miller without at least one image of cake, now can I? This chocolate cheesecake was very delicious. Maybe one day there’ll be a little shop/cum café to sell the produce from the mill.

 

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I realise my walk posts are a little erratic at present, but I really couldn’t wait to share this one. I hope you enjoyed it. Please find time to visit my fellow walkers this week. Happy to share on Jo’s Monday walk.

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There are people you could just hug, aren’t there? Well, if it was allowed I would, Jude :

Another Monday Spring Walk

Meg has found signs of Spring too :

A Walk in May

Anyone know Sleningford? Margaret does!

A window on our local country houses

What else would you expect from Janet?

Monday walk… elegance

Might as well finish that walk with Mel. Wish the titles were shorter, though 🙂

Exploring the Sydney Coastline – Bondi to Manly Path – Stage 7, Spit Bridge to Manly Wharf

Sarah has some snappy friends waiting for us on this week’s walk. Fabulous wildlife!

A walk on Palm Island : Hippos, hogs and crocs

Happy to have Terri join me from her new neighbourhood :

Sunday Stills: #Water in the Details

But there are some places you don’t mind being taken back to. Thanks, Drake!

All over again

There’s always something beautiful to see when Jesh is around :

Enjoying the view

And Lady Lee just likes to have fun :

The Cosmic Photo Challenge – My green world

Just because we can, let’s go bluebell hopping, with Emma :

Littlehaven Bluebell ‘loop’: 9.95m/16km

And finally, lovely Teresa shares her Mother’s Day with us :

An Afternoon Walk on Mother’s Day

Thanks for your company, everyone. Have a great week! And I’m adding my miller to Just One Person from around the World.

Jo’s Monday walk : a fresh, green Algarve

I don’t think I ever saw the Algarve looking greener than it does right now. I know it won’t last, as it starts to hot up this week, but it’s a joyful sight. Normally we’d only have four more weeks of walking before the group splits up and goes its own way. This year there is no group. We long ago dispersed, and have been maintaining contact with amusing anecdotes and photos. They would have chuckled to see us struggling through the undergrowth on this walk.

We left the village of Furnazhinas on a straightforward, if uphill, trail- PR10, Castro Marim. Efforts are made to maintain these trails and renew signs, but not always successfully. There has been so much growth with the damper than usual winter that a machete would have come in handy at one point. The cistus that I love for their beautiful flowers at this time of year are incredibly tenacious, clinging to our clothes as we tried to force a passage. A stream that we needed to cross didn’t help matters but, eventually, we found ourselves on firm ground. And undeniably beautiful.

We were following the bed of the stream for part of our route, and had thought to bring a towel and change of shoes in case of mishap. Not needed in this instance. It’s incredible how greedily this arid terrain can soak up water. A sea of lavender, from deepest purple to pale green, wafts us with fragrance, romping with wild abandon amongst the broom.

As always, oleander follows water, the buds bursting to open. The stream plays hide and seek over a slab of shale, wild sweet peas sprinkled in the long grasses. Tiny white starlets cling on to rocks, drifting helplessly on the water’s surface.

For a while the landscape opens out, and we catch our breath. The land has been left to fend for itself, thriving on the absence of human endeavour. Minute yellow and crimson flowers- more rock roses!- dot the trail, and I take great care not to trample them.

Rock roses, tiny and grand. Undoubtedly stars of nature. As are the crimson poppies at the water’s edge. And a wisp of softest, beguiling blue.

Just enough water, but not too much. Softening the surroundings. Nourishing the plants. Delighting the eyes. But not soaking our feet.

Lemon flowers of every description still carpet the bare patches, in this land where cistus rules. Almost at the end of the trail, I pause to admire the lichen. And then we’re back in the sleepy village. Not even a coffee stop in this one. We have to look elsewhere for cake and distractions.

And so we’re home. Another glorious day in our hills, which I’m privileged to share with you. I’m off up there this morning. Spring time is precious.

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Just time to share a walk or two before I go. Thank you for your company and the kind contributions you make.

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Jude knows which paths to lead me down. I love rhododendrons!

A Monday Spring Walk

While Margaret always has the power to soothe me when I’m feeling ruffled :

Catching the end of the sunrise

Sarah takes us to a lesser known, but fascinating, area of Newcastle-on-Tyne :

Following the River Tyne to Ouseburn

And Drake is full of surprises, good and bad!

Hidden away view

Outdoor striptease

Life always seems to be fun with Jesh :

Time on the Patio

Likewise with Marsha, who lives in a beautiful place and is keen to show you her walking prowess :

#BrightSquare: Old Soldier Pass Trail

What’s Older then Red Dirt?

# BrightSquare: Bright Spot in Hike – Miracle Marker

#BrightSquare 30: Bright Destination- Seven Sacred Pools

Do you know Aggie? Let her take you into the heart of the city :

A London Walk on my Day Off

How hardy is Spring in Rupali’s part of the world?

Weekend 119: A fresh breeze is good for us

Let’s finish with Mel’s wonderful city that never sleeps :

Exploring the Sydney Coastline – Bondi to Manly Path – Stage 6, Taronga Zoo to Spit Bridge

That’s it for now. Apologies to anyone I’ve offended along the way. I hope there’ll be a next time on Jo’s Monday walk. Take care till then. And don’t forget to eat cake!

Jo’s Monday walk : A walk for Sue

‘Hello! You look interesting’.

Hard not to smile at such a nosy sheep. All his friends were busy devouring the lush green stuff. He wasn’t exactly skinny so he must have eaten his share and was feeling conversational. Me, I didn’t have anything better to do. I’d left the house feeling just a bit grumpy. Walking the same lanes over and again, albeit in a different sequence, really didn’t suit. But then I began to look around me.

Blossom in the trees, rich wonderful hues, with sunlight filtering through them. Sky, the merriest shade of blue. Grass as green as you’ll ever see, the first poppies just beginning to nod. A time to go hunting in the shade for tiny, compelling wild orchids, the birds all a-twitter as I make my discoveries. And I know how very lucky I am.

For there is a lady who my heart goes out to. Her time on this earth has been brutally curtailed, and yet she faces each day with warmth, grace and humour. Sue Vincent is an extraordinary lady. Each morning I tiptoe into my Reader to check that there is another post, for her days are surely numbered. A writer with great charisma and insight, she has taken me on many beautiful journeys in the short time I have known her. I have found myself tramping across moorland, touching with awe the standing stones that entrance her, and poking around in quiet village churches. I don’t even know if she’s been to my lovely Algarve, but I feel compelled to share, in her honour, some of the beauty that surrounds me.

I sadly have to amend this post today because lovely Sue lost her battle. I can only say what a privilege and an honour it was to share this space with her. My thoughts are with her family and loved ones. RIP, beautiful soul.

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The links are few this week and I would not normally be posting a walk, but I think you’d understand if you met Sue.

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Sometimes us walkers bite off more than we can chew. I think Graham was relieved to get home after this :

Hilina Pali Trail loop

Fancy getting clarty ? Jude has the very place!

A Riverside Walk – Noonvares

LadyLee has a much more relaxing pastime in mind :

Puzzle number 21 – Birds

Carol has some stories told on stone that I feel Sue would love, in a completely amazing place :

Story Tellers

And Mel never runs out of energy!

Exploring the Sydney Coastline – Bondi to Manly Path – Stage 4, Darling Point to Kirribilli

Have a happy week! It’s all out there, just waiting for you.

Jo’s Monday walk : A Faro interlude

I feel a bit like that White Rabbit today, and if I had a pocket watch I’m sure I’d be consulting it and shaking my head. Whose ever idea was it to make my Monday walks a fortnightly event? Oh- mine! Well, not the brightest idea I ever had, because it’s too easy to forget which Monday my walk is due. If I can’t keep count, how can I expect you to? So, yes, I’m late! Having gleefully published a bevy of greens this morning, I then realised that I had a pressing engagement with my walking friends. I do apologise! But it’s still Monday in my part of the world so, shall we go?

We probably need a word or two of explanation here. Our neighbour and close friend needed to be at Faro hospital one day last week, and we agreed to take her. We are still expected to remain at home, but with certain exceptions and this was a necessary journey. Not sure how long the appointment would take, we set off to wander the streets of Faro, to see what changes had been wrought by the pandemic. All was eerily calm- no blaring traffic horns, and most of the shops closed. Like many a city centre, and especially here in Portugal, the streets are a total melange of architecture. New rubs shoulders with old and care worn, if not completely derelict, while some old and stately residences have been beautifully preserved. Street art has become commonplace.

The railway runs along the front at Faro and just beyond the railway station stands an imposing but not pretty building. A former flour mill, starting in May it’s set to be turned into an apartment block, so I was glad that I had an opportunity to inspect the artwork. Normally I would turn right from the railway, passing the bus station and head towards the marina and old town. The hub of the city, the cafés are usually busy and the shiny red fire engines on standby for duty.

Sturdy walls enclose much of the old town and vendors ply their trade beneath them, selling trips to the barrier islands and to observe birds and dolphins. Across a vast expanse of water lies the airport, and planes normally roar overhead at regular intervals. But not today! All is silent, until the train trundles along the tracks to discharge its pitiful cargo.

The kiosks are shuttered and the former fishermen’s huts stand forlorn. The occasional passerby passes, masked like ourselves, usually with averted gaze. The gaiety has gone from our lives, leaving behind suspicion and mistrust.

A sign of life, and even laughter, comes from a bizarrely painted shop in the city walls, and beyond that, the strange mournful sound of a didgeridoo. I recognise the sound before I see the performer, a young man in a beanie, sitting propped against the wall, playing for himself alone.

We’re happy to return to the hospital, past the empty car park, and pick up our friend. Faro, like many another, no longer feels like the city we love. But finishing on a positive note, life is set to return to the Algarve when current restrictions start to ease after Easter. And in the meantime, I’m sure Sami will be happy to add this to her collection of murals.

Sami’s Colourful World

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A great collection of walks to share this week. Apologies again and I will endeavour to stick to my schedule in future. Always happy if you can join me on Jo’s Monday walk.

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Say hello to Linda? She’s not the only one!

I was late to the party…

I had no idea what Cady had in store when she said ‘come back on Monday’ :

Jo’s Monday Walk: The Cemetery

Backtrackin’

What’s a little rain when the world is this beautiful? Let Sarah be your guide :

Where the Gods descended: Kamikochi

Carol has a wonderful surprise for us this week. And then you meet the kings of the canyon!

On the inside

Where Kings Grow

I was very wrong to think that Alice was taking us to a home for cats!

Oldest Tabby Structure in South Carolina

Meanwhile Cee’s waiting for those tulips to bloom. Not long now!

Jo’s Monday Walk: Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

And Drake’s enjoying the change of season :

Time for change

Joanne was tempted out into the sunshine, and Charlie enjoyed his walk :

Jo’s Monday walk

Janet’s an early riser. See what she found in March!

Monday walk…Marching into Spring

While Lady Lee’s been doing jigsaws in lockdown :

Puzzle number 19 – Asian lanterns

Never too late for a walk! Karen takes a closer look at her surrounds :

My Monday walk, too late all round

Jude’s a busy bee at present. Nowhere she’d rather be than in a beautiful garden :

Meteorological spring

Wishing you all a happy week. Get out walking, if you can? See you soon!

Jo’s Monday walk : a floral dance

You may remember last fortnight I had a mild flirtation with the trees here in the Algarve. I enjoyed it so much that I thought I might get a little closer to the ground this week. Across northern Europe, Spring is beginning to bloom. Here it is already well established. Shall we dance?

Life may have its limits for us humans right now, but nature doesn’t seem to have noticed. Colourful blooms burst forth with exuberance, and we can only try and replicate the joy of their dance. Remember Terry Wogan’s terrible Floral Dance? He was never without a smile.

Bees buzz and twirl in partnership with the wild flowers that carpet the land. Yellow seems to predominate in amongst the luxuriant green, with here and there a spike of deep lilac or a smudge of blue. The dance can lead us up to the hills or out towards the sea, dipping to stroke and admire, filling our senses. The white broom shivers seductively in the hint of breeze, its days already numbered.

Filled with the serenity the sea can always bring me, I turn my steps inland. Here the cistus are flirting with the hills, dancing in wild abandon.

Much water has flowed down these hills this winter, and the gurgle of a stream we sometimes cross has become a clamouring torrent.

Time to turn our steps for home, but the dance is not yet done. Almost on my doorstep, the blooms still court my attention.

The softness of an Algarve Spring is all around me. A world full of softness and abundance. I hope that Ann-Christine approves.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137 – Soft

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Walks proliferate this week. I noted in my Reader this morning that there are a couple of others and I’ll include them next time. Please try and visit each other. I’ll be back in two weeks. Join me next time on Jo’s Monday walk.

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A volcanic lagoon seems like a great destination to me. Thanks, Graham!

A walk around Kiholo Bay

Fancy a bit of a climb? Carol will make it worth the effort, and fill you full of wonder :

Don’t Count, Just Go Up!

Where There is Water

Marsha and Vince are enjoying territory new to them :

#Prescott Walk 5: Peavine Trail

Prescott Walk #6 Willow Lake Trail

Drake is a man who loves an adventure in the snow :

Snowy walk

While Lady Lee simply loves snow!

February Love Me 14

Did you ever see such icicles? Wrap up warm, Rupali!

Weekend 115: Let’s walk together – A glimpse of real life

I think it’s warming up a little where Yvette is!

Walk with Jo and Thoreau Quote: Deal with brute nature. Be cold, hungry and weary.

The stuff of my dreams, with Gilda :

Hiking the Rugged Cinque Terre Coastline

Scaling the heights with Sheetal was ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. Truly!

Story of my Spirited Hike to Daulatabad Fort

Much easier but less thrilling, unless you play with the Bunsen Burner, a low level walk with Denzil :

The Eikelberg Walk in Gelrode

English villages are easy on the eye. There’s usually a pub and a church. Join Shazza in Lancashire :

Bolton-by-Bowland walk

And it’s always easier reading a book than walking, but Mel likes to do both :

The Highs and Lows of the South West Coast Path, GB

Love a stroll in a city by the water, just looking at life? So do I, and so does my friend Cady :

Just Strollin’ in Oslo

Twelve years ago I spent a special birthday on Madeira. Lovely memories rekindled for me by Becky :

A hiking adventure in Funchal

That’s all for now. Feel free to join me any time with a walk of your own. Take good care, and have a happy March!

Jo’s Monday walk : Talking to the trees

Funny how an idea can spark from an innocent remark. ‘Have you done a walk featuring the personalities of trees?’ asked Frank, on my last walk. ‘Well, no-o…but?’ Frank likes walking on beaches, but his interests range far and wide. I like walking on beaches too, but they’re denied to me at present. So the idea of taking a twirl with a tree or two was born.

I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me

I talk to the stars, but they never hear me…

They surround me. Olive trees, ancient and new. Oranges and lemons, side by side, their fruit a dangling temptation. Figs and pomegranates are bare branches now, but their turn will come. This is the time of the almonds, bitter with dark pink blossoms, sweet, much paler. Both delicate.

I choose a path between fields lush with Bermuda buttercups. Over a stone wall, a new plantation of water-guzzling avocados. A flitter and a fluttering as a lime and lemon butterfly dances past, alighting for a few precious moments. I hope for the wings to still to display their full beauty. Bubbles of vibrant mimosa echo the lemon.

And then, the definitive old gnarled tree trunk. A home for bugs, birds and even small rodents. The perfect hiding place for acorns. With a peephole or two for that watchful eye. So full of character!

So many forms, and all part of my world right now. The boundaries are meaningless to you, but a beautiful straitjacket for me. I hope you enjoyed A glimpse of my world as it is at the moment. Thanks to Sheetal. A myriad of sights to gladden the heart.

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As does sharing your walks. Find time for a browse?

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Margaret did make me smile with this! You see, anyone can go for a walk… anywhere!

Virtual dog goes on a virtual walk

When it comes to smoke and mirrors, Drake has it all beautifully covered :

Cheating morning

Dressed winterly

Winter down hill

So nice to have a bit of poetry to accompany a walk. Thanks, Mari!

A Walk for Edward Thomas

Cadyluck has a very sad story to relate, but it makes a fascinating walk :

Jo’s Monday walk : Southampton, UK

Feel the heat, Down Under with Carol! Anyone for a paddle? Don’t miss the dragonflies and butterflies in the second post!

Down by the Water

Getting Back to Nature

Going back to virtual walks, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather walk with. Margaret, come and join Annika? You’ll love the location.

Duality of Walks

Some time this year we’ll be free to walk where we choose, I hope. Lucy has some great suggestions :

Five fantastic walking holidays in the UK

And Marie shares some wild Irish beauty :

Out and about in Ireland’s Heartland- Cavan Burren Park

Tying in nicely with my walk this week… a peaceful interlude with Lynn :

Local Walks: A Lake and a Forest in the uiet season

Nudging forward into 2021. One step at a time. Take care of yourselves, and join me next time on Jo’s Monday walk!

Jo’s Monday walk : lanes and salt marshes

I’m afraid it’s smack down to earth again with today’s walk. No more high flying in Barcelona, but it was fun while it lasted. I’m having to be much more prosaic, because we are again under restrictions here in the Algarve. Depressing, isn’t it, but I’m determined not to wear a long face. The sky here is mostly blue, the fields are wave upon wave of nodding golden oxalis, and the almond trees are hastening from bud to blossom.

The beaches, with their wide open expanses, are once more closed, which makes me sad and seems to make little sense. But there are compensations. Even after all these years I can still find a strip of unexplored territory, if I try hard enough. And that always makes me smile. The freedom of stepping out into an almost unknown world is purely joyful. A narrow path, between stone walls, has me looking out on a scene I know, but how different it feels from the other side of the field. The oxalis colonise every possible crevice in the wall, and where they don’t intrude another invader creeps in.

The olive trees twist and twine, holding each other up. Yawning holes gape in their trunks, a readymade home for small creatures. I’m astonished to spy a bright pink cistus struggling out through the green. Surely it’s too early! But a heart-shaped hole in the rock makes me smile.

But there is no doubt that Spring is here. An asphodel nods in the breeze. Wisps of cloud drift across the sky, and suddenly a shaft of light illuminates the heavens. A moment of glory, and I gaze, transfixed! The almond blossom flutters shyly and a bird pauses, high on its perch.

A change of scene now for, across a road, the salt marshes stretch, away to the sea. The nearest I can get to the forbidden beaches. And so I wander between the channels of salt water, observing the process which will produce Flor do Sal, the area’s precious salt commodity.

A system of gates and pumps move the water from one channel to the next, in an age old method, culminating in the height of summer with salt crystals. Turning away, I head for home, not yet visible in the distance.

This is my reality now. A far cry from bright lights and big city, but beautiful in its own right. And I’m holding hands across the world with many in the same situation. We’ll get through this together.

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It’s funny! Some weeks it just rains walks… or potential walks! If I’ve missed anybody out, I apologise in advance. Just give me a nudge! I now seem to be operating on a fortnightly basis, but I’ve no idea where I’m going next. Planning, hey? Join me on Jo’s Monday walk.

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How spectacular is this, from Sue and Dave? Tempted? Well….. not really! You know I love the sun :

Grotto Canyon Ice Walk : Winter Hiking Wonder

Certainly gentler scenery, but still beautiful with Anabel :

Fife Coastal Path: Cambo and Tentsmuir

Fife Coastal Path: Lower Largo to Earlsferry

Another coastal walk from Jonno and Jo, well wrapped up!

Herne Bay to Reculver Walk

Boston, a city I’d love to see! And an Ice Sculpture trail. Pop over and say hello?

Last Day of 2020, Afoot in Boston Harbor

Still in the States, I found this rather beautiful. I’m a compulsive water follower :

Croton Gorge County Park

You can always find beauty, if you look. And always in Lynn’s company :

Local Walks: A TWO-FER

And Cadyluck Leedy has a kwestion for you! The answer’s easy!

Why Would You Want to Go to a Botanical Garden in Gothenburg, Sweden?

While Drake makes his own music with the natural world :

January Symphony

Casual hills

Join Margaret for a bit of fun, in and out of the woods :

Sun getting up? Or sunset? The Answer

And have you met Emma? She has some beautiful self catering accommodation :

Jack & Jill and Chattri Memorial South Downs 8.5M/13.6KM Circular

Easy walking in sunshine sound good? Alice is your woman!

Leisure Loop

And something a little different from Rupali :

The Shapes of Emotions

While we’re having some fun, can you spot Teresa in these photographs?

Where are you Going?

Kelly warns you not to get lost in this market. It’s very easily done!

Bangkok Walk

Ending with a beautiful flourish of winter white from our Snow King and Queen :

Slow snow walk

Thursday Thoughts

That’s it for now! Hope you enjoyed it. I should be back with a walk in 2 weeks, come rain, come shine! Take good care in the meantime.

Jo’s Monday walk : A back street tour of Tavira

Tavira’s new bridge

A change of pace today. I’ve managed to complete a circular walk around Calçadinha de Sáo Brás de Alportel , and also around the waterfall in my Christmas themed Loulé walk, in the last few weeks but restrictions have arrived. Having kept our head above water throughout most of the pandemic, numbers in Portugal rocketed after Christmas. So, for now, I’m back to local walks. It’s not a serious hardship. I took off one morning with a spring in my step, to check out a few nooks and crannies.

Gardens within the town are mostly of the patio variety, a simple courtyard with pots of colour. Here and there a bougainvillea creeps up a wall and a chair is strategically placed. Most often in the shade.

Not everywhere is beautifully maintained. Tavira has its share of unloved and tumbledown. Cracks abound. But for every sad ruin there is a carefully nurtured home. And some of the doors are exquisite.

We’ve climbed to the oldest part of town now. The ancient water tower conceals a Camera Obscura within. A good way to observe the town in its entirety, it stands shoulder to shoulder with the Santa Maria church. Once both were enclosed by the town walls, whose remnants provide beautiful views across the salt marshes and out to sea.

A gentle descent, through a choice of back streets, will bring you to the Praca da Republica, the main square, overlooking the river. It’s unnaturally quiet here at the minute, used as I am to a friendly buzz of people sharing coffee, cake and life stories. I walk on through the riverside gardens, where even the terrapins in the bandstand pool seem to be avoiding me. The new bridge hasn’t yet had its unveiling but looks ready for action.

Fishing boats ride at anchor, the days’ catch waiting for takers. I approach the flyover, with its sweeping views. The river meanders out to meet the Ilha and I stop to watch the storks performing aerobatics. There are a couple in the nest and it’s fascinating to watch them glide through the air. I turn away discreetly when the noisy courtship begins.

It’s not a bad place to be marooned, is it? Hopefully the restrictions will be short-lived as numbers in the Algarve are already declining. We’ll beat this thing yet! And in the meantime, the bakers are still open. Naughty cake, anyone?

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A few shares this week, some of them looking very cold! I wish you could share the sunshine. Do visit, if you can! It’s nice to have a bit of company in these lonely times. Join me on Jo’s Monday walk whenever you like.

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Walk slowly to appreciate Inese’s wild Irish scenery! It’s in 2 parts :

Crotty’s Lake 1

Crotty’s Lake II

If you’ve never walked with Madhu you have a real treat in store :

Brussels – Exploring History Through Architecture

And just to remind us it’s Winter! Thanks, Rupali :

Weekend 113: A walk in fresh snow

Weekend 114: Winter settles in

Everyone knows the Canadians love snow, don’t they, Lynn?

Please come out & play

I love a coastal walk, but I do prefer blue skies, Anabel. I’m sure you do too :

Fife Coastal Path: Cellardyke to St. Monan’s

Fife Coastal Path: Cellardyke to Crail

Drake plays with nature and the wintery light :

Cool walk

Eunice has a love of street art. This is her latest collection :

Manchester street art 2020

For me, boats do it! Follow me to Norway with Cadyluck. It’s a bit cool though :

Haugesund, Norway: On the Waterfront

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. Up north Spring is coming. It’s already here! Take care of each other, and keep walking!