Jo’s Monday walk

Jo’s Monday walk : Street art in Silves

Silves, as one of the loveliest towns in the Algarve and its former capital, is one I seldom fail to take visitors to.  Last weekend, while strolling the streets on my way to a Mediterranean Garden Fair, I was much taken with some distinctive and amusing street art.  Boxes housing electricity cables are seldom an attractive feature, so an initiative to transform them must surely be a good thing.

‘Stencilpes’ is described as an urban intervention project to encourage young people’s interest in art, using images from history, architecture and nature.  I could find little information about the individual artists, but I thoroughly enjoyed spotting the artworks.

Whimsical creatures rub shoulders with cork oaks and olives, grapes and strawberries, birds and butterflies.  On the riverfront, these pieces of modern art pay tribute to Silves’ Moorish past.

High on the hill, the red brick fortress looks down on peaceful streets.  The morning market supplies restaurants and locals alike, but then the town seems to sleep, leaving just the storks to keep watch from their lofty perch.

Great, aren’t they?  No need for me to say much!  A nice change for you.

I found myself wandering into an area I didn’t really know, in pursuit of the boxes.  On the corner of Rua Dom Afonso III stands a pretty little church, Igreja Nossa Senhora dos Martires, and a statue of the martyrs, which looks like it’s seen better days.

I don’t know about you, but I was starting to feel the need for some refreshment.  You’ve been very patient this week, so I’ll give you a choice.

While I was eating, a clattering noise overhead caused me to look up.  What a magical sight met my eyes!  A stork was descending to his waiting mate, on their nest above.  I averted my eyes, politely, from their noisy love making.

The garden fair wasn’t the highlight of my afternoon, but I did buy a couple of plants and a terracotta pot.  I wandered back to the riverside parking, a big smile on my face.  And spotted another couple of boxes!

I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but maybe next time?  I hope you enjoyed them too.  S is for Silves will give you a little background on the city.

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Thanks so much for your company on my little jaunt!  Join me any time you can, here on Jo’s Monday walk. You’ll always get a warm welcome.

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Debbie posts some amazing sights, as she whizzes around the world :

Burrowing into Baku

A rainy day in Paris?  Don’t despair- just follow Jude’s lead!

Walking the Right Bank Passages in Paris

It’s all a bit weird and wonderful at Drake’s place this week!

Third degree street parade

There are options for healthy eating with Irene :

Through the Edible Garden

Then you could have coffee with Jackie :

Espresso

Natalie is someone who sets herself health goals and walks for fitness :

Wellness Post #3 : Ice Breakers 2019

It’s a little grey at the beach with Sandra, but there’s beauty aplenty in those Spheres :

#Alki Beach, #Seattle

#Amazon #Spheres – Saturday Snapshot and Jo’s Monday walk

Eek!  That white stuff is still to be found!  But Rupali is happy with blue skies :

Tour day!

Susanne has found plenty of sunshine in her neck of the woods :

A Walk at Coulon Park on the Last Day of Winter

Lisa too, but still a little cool, I understand :

Jo’s Monday Walk

I don’t think they have winter in Alice’s part of the world :

Step Forward or a Peek into the Past

Follow Ulli to Germany- it’s beautiful too!

Enchanted Forest

Janet knows I love a glass or two of wine :

Monday walk…Vinas De Garza

Covering up the weariness with a smile; you must be following Cathy’s epic journey?

(Camino day 9) Villamayor de Monjardin to Torres del Rio

There’s a regular Monday meetup over at Sami’s Colourful World for all those of you who love street art.  Have a great week, and see you next time!

Jo’s Monday walk : Natural beauty at Fonte Filipe

All that Carnaval razzamataz put away for another year, it’s back to the quiet life this week, in my sunny Algarve hills.  North of São Brás de Alportel lies a beautiful, green area which has provided me with many walks.  Twice lately I’ve started out from Fonte Filipe, a natural spring in the shape of a lemon, where legend has it a young girl appears at sunset, washing and singing in the fountain.

Leaving the fonte, I follow signs for Amendoeira.  Through the frothy wisps of tree branches, gentle humps hint at the surrounding hills.

A steady climb brings you to a villa, and a dog who looks down with casual indifference, lord and master of his landscape, for today, at least.  A drift of wild iris illuminates the path ahead.

Water is always the highlight of a walk for me.  I peer into ponds, ensnared by the meekest weeds, while reeds as straight as guardsmen protect me from the chorus of frogs.  Beyond them, cistus dance gaily in the slightest breeze.

Natural springs supplied the local populations of Amendoeira, Resinas, Carvalhal and part of  São Romão, and were used to irrigate the crops.  Stone pines grow freely here, their cones effervescent with colour at this time of year.  Mounds of cork lie drying in the sun.

It’s the turn of the pink cistus to dazzle now, the bees humming in ecstasy, while the wild narcissus gently nods.  Not to be outdone, there’s a flourish of cream and yellow among the rocks.

Back on the valley floor, a trickle of stream slides past the stepping stones.  I could paddle deliciously, but prefer to test my balance, pausing to enjoy the cool and the entwining of the shadows.

The trail from here is flagged, making easy walking.  It’s part of the Via Algarviana, which crosses the Algarve from the sea at Sagres to its border with Spain.  You need to keep your eyes wide open, for some jewels hide their beauty in the shade.  The bee eater orchid can be a shy creature.  Back into the sunshine, I pass a mill race, on the home straight now.  One more flurry of beauty and I’m back where I started.

From Fonte Filipe it’s an easy drive down into São Romão.  I stop to purchase homemade honey from a café, and a favourite restaurant, with views over the valley, supplies a wonderful panna cotta.

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Bombarded with walks this week, so you’re going to need to spend a little time here.  There are some beauties so please do visit if you can.

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A hard invitation to refuse, from Debbie :

Come Dawdle in Delphi

I just can’t believe I’m still sharing snowy walks!  Who’d be Canadian, Natalie?

A Walk to Canoe Landing Park

Drake knows where to find sunshine when he wants it (though he likes snow too  🙂  )

All day outdoors

I don’t mind a spot of rain sometimes, if we’re going somewhere interesting.  Thanks, Susanne!

A Walk through St. Augustine and Castillo de San Marcos

Janet’s post reminds me of the Leonard Cohen song, ‘Ring the bell!’  Funny the associations people make :

Goin’ to the chapel

Why not take it slow, and just enjoy the beauty, with Rupali?

Walking around 

Or you might prefer a bit of rough and tumble, with Alice :

Saint Patrick’s Day Rugby Tournament

And then you can always visit Jackie for sustenance :

Menu del Dia

Any baseball fans out there?  You might recognise this place :

China Basin Park

Mary shares some very beautiful murals :

Haibun : Cesar Chavez Elementary School

Short but sweet, and very familiar, from Becky!  Did you spot my Spiky Squares to welcome her back?

A stroll in the Barrocal

There’s nothing like looking at beauty through the eyes of one who appreciates it.  Double helping from Jude!

Godolphin Gardens in early Spring

Paris Focus : A Stroll along the Seine

Memories and much more, with Susan :

Walking Quito, Ecuador

And talking of memories, Amanda is testing my Polish this week :

A Little Polish Never goes Astray

Cathy plods on along the Camino, taking some interesting rest stops :

(Camino: day 8) Lorca to Villamayor de Monjardin

While Carol gives us a brand new definition for ‘close to the edge’ :

Edge Walking

Hope you enjoyed my company this week.  I certainly enjoyed yours.  Take care, and catch you next time on Jo’s Monday walk!

 

Jo’s Monday walk : A very traditional village

In the past few years I’ve watched Carnaval parades in many different Algarve towns and villages.  They all share a sense of fun, exuberance and a zest for life that is infectious.  High in the hills, nowhere is more traditional than Alte.  I couldn’t wait to see how they celebrated.

Approaching the quiet village, the empty dragonboat’s hopeful gaze was the first sign that all was not quite normal.  A horde of Norsemen, carousing outside the café, helmets under the table, was the second.  I climbed the steep streets to the church, in search of more evidence.

Paper flowers wreathed the church, gaudy competition for the real ones.  Respected elders sat patiently in a little leafy shade, recalling the parades of their youth, while the young cavorted excitedly below. Plenty of time to inspect the assembled floats before selecting a good vantage point.  No-one seriously believed that the procession would start promptly at three.

It’s a pretty village at any time, but the skillfully decorated floats brought gaiety to the scene. Gradually the noise level built as the cast of characters swelled gently into position.  Bill the Flowerpot Man weaved in and out, genial host with a friendly welcome for anyone who crossed his path.

The decibels increased to deafening level and they were off!  Windy Miller amused me greatly by turning the sails of his windmill by hand, as they swayed around the narrow, cobbled streets, his bakery assistants tending the buns in the glowing oven.

Indians with sweet faces, a fierce-looking biker lady, astronauts who seemed to be auditioning for a role in Star Wars, dinosaurs who kept escaping from their cage, only to be pursued,  captured and returned, only to escape again … Mafia hoods, a float of ‘doces’- not real, unfortunately- two wacky old gents doing a shuffle dance… all slightly barmy but very endearing.  And finally, the Vikings had donned their helmets.

No serious walking this week, but a whole lot of fun.  If you get the chance to visit Alte for Carnaval, I can highly recommend it.

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Thanks to everybody who has contributed this week.  And to all you armchair readers.  That’s what blogs are for- right?  Join me next time, here on Jo’s Monday walk.  You can share a walk, if you like, or simply read.

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Gotta love Sue!  Mother Theresa or Dark Lord? (now don’t take that personally, Sue  🙂  )  I’ll let you all judge :

A very short walk off Brick Lane

Many years ago I witnessed ‘June Gloom’ in La Jolla.  It looks much prettier through Rupali’s eyes :

La Jolla Cove

Dog looks so very intelligent!  I guess he’s seen a lot of life, Geoff?

Walking While Pondering #dunwich #suffolk

Did you know about oyster shell recycling?  Nor did I till I asked Alice :

Camelia Garden Walk

Something I’ve missed this year, but they seem abundant in Wales :

The Snowdrop Walk at Chirk Castle

Oh, my!  You’ve not seen cherry doughnuts like these!  Thanks, Janet!

Fougerolles cherry festival

And one of Jackie’s Mojitos might be nice, too!

Happy Hour

If you’re really trying to make me happy, a veranda would be wonderful.  Rocking chair ready, Karen?

Stratford Walk 2: history and houses

Meanwhile Jude is treating us all to a feast of Spring, complete with lurching rhododendrons!

An Early Spring Walk

I suspect she’d like to join Margaret for this one, too  🙂

Botany and a bus ride

Becky’s back in the UK for a short while, but not without leaving a flavour of the Algarve behind :

A glorious walk in the ‘Serra do Caldeirao’

While Georgina crosses the Guadiana to take a closer look at our hillside flora :

Asphodels in Alcoutim

In the Canaries, meanwhile, all is peaceful :

Time for a Siesta

The Vikings were not the most peaceful of folk, but Amanda has found us a beautiful, ancient church :

Vaernes Church, Norway c 1085

How about an indoor forest?  That’s what Sandra has in store this week :

#Spheres -#Saturday Snapshot and #Monday Walk 

And Drake?  A few tubs of luscious dates  🙂

Marketplace mood

Walking in heat, and running out of water!  I can relate to that one, Cathy!

(Camino: day 7) Muruzabal to Lorca & ruminations (week one)

Because she really is an inspiration, I’m submitting this walk for Cathy’s Photography Invitation.  Let her show you wonderfully scenic Ouray, Colorado.  Have a great week, and see you next time!

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Rock cistus and water

If there’s anything that fills me with delight, it’s the sight of a hillside covered with wild, rock cistus.  Back in January, I took you to Furnazinhas in the Algarve hills, and we walked south of there to the reservoir of Odeleite.  The cistus were just beginning to open, and I hoped that when I returned to do a second walk from the village they would be more advanced.  As we drove north from Castro Marim, cistus lined the road.

We left the village following the sign PR10 for Barrancos, though as Becky will tell you, nothing is guaranteed when following Portuguese trails.  We were forewarned that this might not be straightforward but, with a bit of perseverance, managed to find a way through the overgrown path to confront our first water crossing.  A wobble or two and I was across the stones, and feeling triumphant.

To be fair, we were lucky, because there has been just one solid, downpouring day in the last couple of months, so following the course of the Beco da Maria Galega was not as tricky as it might have been.  In fact, we were surprised at how green and fresh everything looked, with new growth everywhere.  We even spotted green lavender!  The rockbed was equally fascinating, as Becky describes.

I loved the variety of this walk.  As I followed the stream, a cottage with a small farmstead peeped through the trees.  Down at my feet, flowers cavorted nimbly in the grass and tiny pink stars winked up at me.  A frog played lazy hide and seek with the shade.

Rounding a bend, I heard the gentle chuckle of water.  A waterfall had formed in a deep cleft in the rocks, and I peered into its clear green depths.  On the stiller waters nearby, tiny white starlets floated.

We had Crocs and a towel with us but, as always happens when you come prepared, we had no need of them.  Although we did cross and recross the water any number of times, mostly a hop, skip or even just a stride was more than adequate.  Spring was all around us.

As we continued through the valley, two deeply-voiced birds startled us into silence as they called loudly to each other.  I’m no birder and didn’t recognise their cry at all, but my husband thought they might be corncrakes.  I happened to mention this on Hanna‘s blog, and she very kindly tried to help me identify the bird voices, as you’ll see in her Comments.

The trail was easy to follow, but a moment’s indecision arose around 7km.  Follow the road, or an interesting path that felt like you were on private property?  Hoping not to fall foul of any stray dogs, we chose the second.  Tiptoeing around what looked like newly tilled soil, I caught a flicker of pink and white in the long, damp grass.  Could they be early wild orchids?  The photos are, unfortunately, too blurred to tell.

A last flurry of cistus, thankfully no dogs, and we were back in the village where, once again, the cafe was closed.  But you’ve been a patient audience so I shall still reward you with cake.  It’s only right to celebrate your 1000th post, isn’t it?

Water is my element so I loved this walk.  I hope you did too.

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Lots to share again this week.  Thank you for your company.  It wouldn’t be half so much fun without you.  Please visit as many as you can, and join me here next time on Jo’s Monday walk?

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Lovely Debbie has spotted me a room with a great view this week, as she gallops around the world :

Ambling around Arachova

And Margaret has a nerve-tingling treat in store :

The foothills of the Sierra Nevada

You have to admire grit and determination, and the gurgle of water!  And Suzanne :

Hiking Mt Eliza Mine Loop

Janet finds some graves with a serene view :

Monday walk… a view to die for

And Alice goes looking for a piece of American Heritage :

Step into the Center of a Village dating back to 1135AD

While Susanne concentrates on a capital city :

A Capitol Tour of the Other Washington

I always enjoy a garden festival, don’t you?  Check this one out, with Sandra:

#Northwest Flower & Garden Festival (Post #2)

Heaven’s, Irene!  Will this lass ever be free of snow?

Reaching for the Goal

Drake must have chilly feet (but a warm heart  🙂  )

Streets of snow

And for any of you still missing ice and snow, Sartenada would love to take you walking in Finland :

Winter walk

How about a spot of sunny fishing with Jackie?

Pesca

Tea Bee mostly hikes in the English Lake District, but sometimes in warm, exotic places :

Visite du Jardin de Balata et la Route de la Trace, Martinique

Talking of exotic, how about this from Natalie?

Postcard from Guatemala City

Or better yet, stroll down Memory Lane with Susan :

Walking Otavalo, Ecuador

Cathy’s got us all looking up this week!

The Saint Louis Gateway Arch

It’s Carnaval week here in the Algarve and celebration is in the air.  I hope to bring a little singing and dancing your way.  Take care till then!

Jo’s Monday walk : Boa Vista

Clouds seldom make an appearance on here.  I’m a sunny sort of lass!  But they can be very beautiful.  Slogging up a hill called Boa Vista, I didn’t mind too much that the sun wasn’t beating down on my head.  The shafts of light piercing the water held my gaze captive for at least as long as it took for my breathing to return to normal.

Leaving Tavira by the N270, towards Sao Bras de Alportel, you very soon come upon a sign for Hortas, on the right.  This walk is vaguely in that direction, taking in a tiny bit of PR11.  I did look back at my diary for that day, but the notes are very non specific, so the photos will have to tell the story.  With a bit of prompting from me, of course.

As these things often do, we started with a bit of a hill climb, out of the village.  Always best to put a hill behind you at the start of a walk, if you can.  As you can see, the clouds are hovering already, but not yet threatening.

Funny what catches your eye!  This rose trailed, almost sadly, against a grey wall, seeking to capture all the brightness it could from the day.  The best days of the almond blossom are over, but here and there a lovely reminder lingers.

Up hill and down dale, never knowing what surprises the next corner might bring.  Floor tile industry, in this case.  In the open air, with just a tarpaulin for cover.  It looks to be a slow and painstaking process.  Hard at work, he pauses, momentarily, with a grudging smile.  At the farmhouse next door, an enormous turkey cock preens, in expectation of applause.

The hamlets are sparse around here, a few fine villas intermingled with ruins.  Former life looks out through sagging windows and doors, and neglected blooms straggle, without purpose but clinging hopefully.

Another climb and we’re cresting a hill, the sea a distant glimmer.  Bright bobbles of acid yellow acacia light the occasional tree, while at ground level agave and prickly pear intermingle, peacefully. (thanks, Jude, for the correction  🙂  )

The clouds have been steadily thickening and I know that we’ve seen the best of the day.  Down on the valley floor, I catch sight of my favourite lanterna, still sparkling brightly.

There was a cloud over all of us that day.  We had heard that a very special walking friend had died suddenly, and far too young.  I would like to dedicate this post to Bobby, who loved this place as much as I do.  We will always remember her, walking in these hills.

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Quite an array of walks this week, and some real beauties!  Please do try to visit as many as you can, and especially any from a blog you don’t know.  And join me next time, here on Jo’s Monday walk if you’d like?

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Going Dutch with Debbie this week :

A wander around Utrecht

Nicole is a keen hiker who knows and loves the Tucson area.  Why not take her advice?

Best Hikes in Tucson: Hiking the Ventana Canyon Trailhead to Maiden Pools

And while you’re there, how about a little street art?

Monday Murals : Hotel McCoy, Tucson, Arizona

Everyone knows how beautiful the Banff area is, but Rosemay reminds us to keep a good lookout for bears :

Hiking Trails near Banff – Lake Johnson

South Carolina looks like a place I could settle.  I believe Alice is in real estate :

Cross the Cooper River in Charleston

The drinks are on Jackie this week :

Drinks, Anyone?

But I think Janet can help out if we run a little short?

Monday walk… Fougerolles distillery

Natalie has some fabulous ice sculptures to share :

Wellness Post #2 : Icefest 2019

And it’s distinctly chilly where Drake is too :

Out in the inside nature

Irene has finally found a little warmth :

Progression of Spring

But Timeless Lady shares some disturbing information :

Phascination – Mantis Pods/Yes or No?

Some day I hope to check out Indra’s statement :

Goa… is still there

When a lady offers to show you her home town, what can you say but ‘thank you, Susanne’ :

A Walk through Seattle’s Chinatown

It’s a while since we joined lovely Miriam, Down Under, isn’t it?

Twelve hours in the Yarra Valley

Is this a better thing to do with your day than eat chocolate?  Just a morsel, please, Jude!

A Valentine’s Day Walk

I expect she’d enjoy sharing a garden experience with Sandra  :

#Northwest Flower & Garden Festival – Saturday Snapshot

Enjoy a step back in time with Amanda!  A privileged look at a Norwegian mining village :

Living History at Roros

And what a beauty this is!  One not to miss!

Summer Palace, Beijing Part 3

And finally, my world traveling friend, Cathy, completes another stage of the Camino :

(Camino: day 6) Pamplona to Muruzabal

That’s it for another week!  Hope you enjoyed it.  See you all next time!

Jo’s Monday walk : Chocolate time in Loulé

I’m feeling a bit naughty this week.  You’re always encouraging me to eat cake, so I thought I’d take you along with me to the annual, Algarve Chocolate Fair, in Loulé.  Any volunteers to help with the tasting?  I bet I can guess whose hand went up!

Pause for breath?  Please excuse the overload, but it was planned as a Valentine’s Day treat.  We’d better walk slowly now, while you nibble your chocolate.  (I did succumb to a very delicious dark chocolate bar, nibbed with crispy almonds, but I’m keeping that one to myself)

Loulé makes for very easy wandering, unless you happen to time it for Carnaval.  The main street was already being festooned with garlands, in readiness for the event in two weeks time.  We’ve been on numerous occasions, and my husband loves the political satire and the sparingly clothed dancing girls.  Me, not so much!  But it’s good fun and the youngsters love to get dressed up and join in.

I’m more interested in the beautiful, tiny church, tucked around the corner from the castle, Ermida de Nossa Senhora de Conceição.  The kind lady inside happily points out the main features of the azulejos, telling the story of Mary and Joseph and their special baby.  Just within the doorway, remnants of the town walls gaze dimly upwards, through a clear glass panel.

Downhill, past the castle and around silent Igreja Matriz, a small park looks out onto battered rooftops, and across town to the futuristic dome of Nossa Senhora da Piedade.  An elderly chap gazes quietly into space from his bench, while above a small boy gleefully climbs an ancient olive.

We’ve loitered in Loulé often before.  A gate through the old town wall leads out to a busy back street, rumbling with traffic.  Beside the gateway scowls an ancient pump, the surrounding streets an enigma of beautiful tilework, graffiti and skilled craftsmanship.  Ceramics and cork shops flourish and, from an open doorway, the sound of mallet tapping brass rings out.  I stop to admire a gleaming, burnished lampshade.

I was a little disappointed to find that no art was on display in the former Convento de Santo Antonio.   Hopefully restoration will continue and a further exhibition be set up for summer.  One last port of call.  I rarely visit Loulé without ascending to the heights, but this time we drove up the hill to Nossa Senhora da Piedade.  I hope to be there to see her carried from her sanctuary this Easter.

It’s a strange church, but I was quite taken with my last image- a reflection of the Sanctuarium on the window of the House of Candles.

The walks keep rolling in, so thanks to all who’ve contributed, and to those of you who take the time to read them.  Join me, whenever you can, here on Jo’s Monday walk.  I try to keep it lighthearted!

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Did you think we’d lost Meg?  Can’t keep a good woman down!  Showcasing a hodge podge of Australian architecture, in her own inimitable style :

Warwick heritage walk

‘My’ bit of the Coast to Coast walk, with Geoff and his Dad.  Great memories, beautifully written :

Walking With The Wind At My Back: Part Five #coasttocoast #walking

Natalie continues her adventures in Central America :

Boat trip on Lake Atitlan and Santiago Village

Pure delight for the eyes, this one from Susan :

Winter Walk Around Bodnant Garden in Wales

A quick zap of colour from Jackie this week :

Monday Mural

‘Sunshine, food and medicine for the soul’.  Irresistible, don’t you think?

Flower of the Day – Hellebores

A casual day out, enjoying the warmth, with Alice :

Skidaway Island Nature Trail

Irene is determined to make me shiver!

A Snowy Walk

While Elaine has captured the most beautiful dragonfly shot, despite very murky weather :

A dragonfly and a fish out of water

Architecturally beautiful, and sunny!  Debbie’s post couldn’t be more different :

Wandering in Vilafranca

Ever been to Queens, New York City?  Let Lisa show you around :

Jo’s Monday Walk

Iceland is on most people’s wish list, isn’t it?  You might know Drake had made it!

Reykjavik, up north

The Algarve, not so much, but it certainly suits me and Becky :

A meander through Faro

Carol shares a wonderfully atmospheric snippet of Toronto’s history :

Sensing the Past

While Jude revives a memory or two of her own, in Ludlow :

A Ludlow Walkabout

And Eunice takes us back through Bolton’s history, in 3 parts.  Know about the elephant connection?

Visiting the museum (1) – Elephants & Egypt

Finally, Cathy shares a garden that Jude would just love to be let loose in!  And I’d love to join her :

A stroll around Moab

Worn out, again?  Must be all that chocolate.  It was good fun though, wasn’t it?  Have a great week and see you next time!

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?