#Monday Mural

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

walking logo

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.

…………………………………………………………………………………….

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!

Monday Mural

A mural for our times. I’d gone for a stroll by the water in neighbouring Cabanas when this curly headed cherub caught my eye. The following day there was an outbreak of Covid-19 and it became a place to avoid. Fortunately numbers seem to be decreasing locally and we have hopes of a return to normal life.

Monday Mural

Monday Mural

Playing around sometimes ends in tears. The Chameleon Trail, through pine forest from Vila Real de Santo Antonio to Monte Gordo, is currently out of bounds to Tavira. Not exactly locked down, we can’t go beyond the bounds of our municipality at present. But that still gives us a bit of scope. And you can play with the slider- hot chameleon, cool chameleon?

Pop over and share a Monday Mural with Sami. Have a good week!

Of its kind

The message last Monday was much stronger, but still, I love the lighthouse at Vila Real de Santo Antonio and, living where I do, so close to the salt marsh habitat of the Ria Formosa, I always have a soft spot for a flamingo. Croquet with the Queen of Hearts, anyone?

KindaSquare

Monday Mural

Jo’s Monday walk : Street art spotting in Sáo Brás

Leaving the sea behind for a little while, one of my favourite roads in the Algarve is the N270.  It winds steadily up into the hills, a series of twists and turns, with glimpses of small villages in the valleys below.  As the road levels out you come to the market town of Sáo Brás de Alportel.  It’s a nice peaceful spot for a wander.  Come with me and we’ll see what we can find.

As with most traditional towns in Portugal, the streets are mainly cobbled.  Claiming a convenient patch of shade, a snowy white cat regards me solemnly with its one green and one blue eye.  Is it my imagination or does that lady on the wall look more anxious as I look back at her?

Around the corner, the entrance to the episcopal palace gardens, beyond which sparkles the municipal pool.  This lovely outdoor facility was renovated last year and I expected to see it busy on this warm summer day.  Another casualty of Covid-19, I suspect.

Much of Sáo Brás is a little dog-eared and worn, but resourceful locals have done their best to brighten the shabbiest walls.  The local tourist information office and art gallery was open and I popped in to examine current trends.  An interesting perspective on a corn field?

The town has a lovely church, the scene of devout and colourful celebrations at Easter.  The streets are decorated with a multitude of flower heads and floral torches are paraded through them to a chant of ‘Hallelujah’.  Not this year, of course, but at least they can’t take away the beautiful view.

Somebody must have had a job lot of paper swallows, because they appear on several of the artworks.  How many swallows make a summer?

But the town is not short of more conventional beauty.  The azulejos are as fine as any you will see.  This cheerful scooter picks out the lemon of the background tile rather nicely, don’t you think?

The central square had a makeover a couple of years ago, and has become home to several modern art pieces.  I was happy to find this metal family in a nearby street.  Very appropriately, wearing their masks.

Perhaps you’d like to see the town in happier times, Celebrating life at Easter.  We have to believe they’ll come again.

walking logo

Meanwhile, just a few walks to share this week, which inclines me to think I could make Jo’s Monday walk a fortnightly feature, and confuse everyone!  Today I’m going to join Sami, who shares street art every week on Monday Mural.

……………………………………………………………….

Ducks and dragonflies… I’m smitten, Janet :

Monday walk…Sweetwater Wetlands

He’s home again!  Not such a terrible place to be, Drake :

Back in town

Is anything more splendid than this?  A Cornish garden, much loved by Jude :

Herbaceous borders

While Albert goes in search of another splendid view :

Sherwood Homestead (Former) Walk via Mountain Creek Road (Plus)

Ending with Janaline in exotic Shanghai :

Monday Walk in Century Park

Wishing you all a good week, though I know life is difficult right now in many places.  Take care till next time!