Olhão

Jo’s Monday walk : Remember Culatra?

Some weeks I have no idea where to take you.  After all, there are only so many hills I can drag you up and down in search of cake, aren’t there?  So, I thought we’d take it fairly easy this week and hop on a boat.  Always my default setting.  You might recognise the marina at  Olhão, above.

With 20 minutes of smooth calm sailing, you just about have time to say goodbye to the mainland before you’re approaching Culatra, one of the Algarve’s barrier islands.  You can leap off at the first stop, or continue along the shoreline towards the lean white lighthouse at Farol.  There’s a small village at either end of the island and, after a meander through the cluster of villas and shacks, you can slip off your shoes for a paddle.

It looks like somebody’s been shipwrecked here!  Still, with a ferry every couple of hours, rescue is pretty certain.  It’s a long swim to Fuzeta!

Paddling done it’s time to cross over the boardwalk and pootle about with boats.  I’ll not spend time lingering among the narrow alleyways, charming though they are.  If you remember, we had a good look around last time I brought you here.  A lot of work is going on, laying new paths on the island, so maybe change is afoot.  Hopefully nothing too drastic!

It doesn’t always pay to nose around.  I almost fell foul of this little creature.  He was sitting innocently beside a boat, when I unwittingly invaded his territory.  Leaping and snarling, he made quite sure that I wasn’t up to no good.  I beat a hasty retreat, making what I hoped were soothing noises.

The seagulls were completely indifferent but a couple of small boys playing football were highly amused.  I raised a cheer when I lobbed their ball back to them, over a fence.  Kids here lead a simple life.  In warmer weather they become water babies, diving off the pier again and again, to the cheers of their mates, and swimming like gleeful fish.

On board again, we chug back across the water.  Entertainment is provided by some fellow passengers feeding the gulls, which swoop and perform aerobatics to snatch the bread.  In no time we’re ashore and strolling along the quayside, seeking refreshment.

We find it down an inviting passageway.  Such a nice reward for a minimum of effort.  Healthy, too?  I hope you enjoyed sharing.

More great walks this week.  Do find time to read them, please.  You might make some new friends.  And if you can, join me next week on Jo’s Monday walk?  You know I like a bit of company.

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Cathy honoured me with a link to her Camino walk last week, but I missed it.  Please don’t!

(Camino: day 4) Zubiri to Pamplona

And sometimes she takes me places I’ve never even heard of!  Who says blogging isn’t educational?

Great Sand Dunes National Park

I’m always in awe of her photography, and jealous of the places she’s been.  Thanks so much, Debs!

Victoria Harbour walk

You can share anything on my walks… and Drake often does!  🙂

Equipment

Denzil is right on my wavelength.  A peaceful riverside walk with a castle or two  :

Walking around Westerlo: river, castles and an abbey!

When she’s not eating, she’s shopping!  Always good fun with Jackie :

Market Fresh

All the way to Guatemala next, with Natalie :

Postcard from Antigua, Guatemala

Lisa’s taking us on one of her favourite walks, by the Hudson river :

Jo’s Monday Walk

A short walk with a stroller sometimes suits Alice :

The Welcome Station City

While Irene cheers us with ice blue (and a warm coat and scarf!) :

Sunshine and Blue Skies

Snow can look so pretty, but I’m keeping a safe distance!  🙂  Thanks, Eunice :

A snowy walk to Smithills Hall

Ending with Susan, and some fascinating memories of her time in the Peace Corps, and a very different world  :

Walking Bogota, Colombia

Have a great week, everybody!  Me?  I have another week of walking, t’ai chi, stuttering along in Portuguese and hopefully more lovely sunrises.

Jo’s Monday walk : Among the fisherfolk

I was all set to take you castanet rattling in Jerez today, but we had a strenuous week last week, didn’t we?  I thought a gentle amble round the latest addition to Olhão’s street art might be a better option.  Truth be told, I could easily have missed these, if it hadn’t been for Becky.  What would I do without her?  A mine of information, she saves me hours of research.  Murals with memories of the city gives details of the artists and how they came to work on this very engaging project.

Images of the sea always appeal to me, but the detail and realism of these bring them alive.  They were taken from a set of photos of life as it was in the canning and fishing industry in Olhão, giving them authenticity and vibrance.  While he was working, a lady asked to have a photo taken with the artist Pedro ‘Mistik’.  Her mother was featured in his painting and she had the original photograph at home.  I wonder if she was one of these?

The serious lady, or the one with the lively face?  Might she stand out in a crowd, or perhaps, be a supervisor?

What a source of pride the murals must be for the older inhabitants of Olhão!  The women, and their menfolk.  And their dogs, of course!

And then there’s the iconic fish market, where the catch is sold.  Close by, the lads still mend their nets.

But the days of the cannery are forever changed, wonderfully portrayed in all these capsules of time.

Four artists combined to create the work, bringing a new lease of life to these derelict buildings in Largo and Rua de Fábrica Velha.  The faces are so full of character, telling their individual stories.  They enthrall me.

It’s highly appropriate that the murals are close to Becky’s favourite fish restaurant in Olhão, Vai e Volta.  We haven’t really done enough walking to merit a meal, but they are only open for lunch, so we’d better pop in now and stroll a little later.   And no, that’s not my cake.  Blame Robert today!

I defy you not to be full when you come out.  And then a wander through Olhão’s atmospheric back streets just might reveal a March Square or two?

Five, I counted.  Thanks so much, Becky, for providing fun and hospitality, as well as all those facts.

As the lights go down on Olhão, I have heaps of walks to share this week.   Please find time to visit, especially if it’s someone you don’t know.  You’ll find some great reads.  I hope you’ve got that kettle on for a cuppa?

Pride of place, as promised, and a delight for you all!  Thanks, Jude!

Garden Portrait : Powis Castle

Closely followed in the happiness stakes by Drake :

Procession of Joy

And this one from Emma, just because I like it.  We share fond memories of Tenby :

Waiting for the Tide

Robin has a nice touch too.  Not too far from my doorstep :

The Cross

Back to basics, with Jackie :

What’s cooking?

Never heard of this place, but Lady Lee is very well-traveled :

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Less exotic, but very nicely presented by Anabel :

A stroll round Lanark

And here’s Shazza, on the hunt for Spring.  I do hope she finds it soon!

Searching for signs of Spring

But fairies would do very nicely.  Lots of rich detail in this, from Theresa :

Following a river to a Fairy Glen

Can you believe I’ve never been to Rome?  Never mind- Jaspa can show us the ropes :

Wandering Rome, The Eternal City, at Night

Not so far away, Cathy has one last romp on ‘In search of a thousand cafes’ :

Our last day in Prague : old town & the Jewish Quarter

And Denzil finds much to give pleasure in the city of Antwerp.  Check out the escalators!

How to spend a day in Antwerps’s historic centre

Meanwhile, Pauline does a fabulous job of capturing the wild waves :

Cyclone Linda whips up the waves

And Becky does a fair job on remembering the names of flowers.  Much better than me!

The art of flowers

I’ve joined Candy on her explorations before.  You should enjoy this one :

Castelo Branco

Recently featured in Inntravel’s ‘Slow Lane’, meet Luke and Nell, in this part of the world that I love :

Rota Vicentina/2/Finding the Fisherman’s Way

And finally, Carol takes us caving.  There are some beautiful shots here!

Hidden Beneath

That’s it from the wintry north east of England.  Hope you enjoyed it and many thanks to those of you who took part.  Join me any time on Jo’s Monday walks.  You’ll be very welcome.  Have a great week!

Mad March Square

It’s impossible not to be dragged into one of Becky’s challenges, isn’t it, no matter how gloomy you may be feeling?  I only wish I had a Mad March Hare, though I probably shouldn’t have said that.  Someone’s sure to come up with one.

Go on!  Take part!  It only takes a few minutes to find a March Square.

Jo’s Monday walk : Culatra- an easy amble

I’m going to be a bit lazy for my first walk back with you.  After all, I’m still in the Algarve, nominally on holiday, but in fact testing out a new lifestyle to see if it suits me.  Many of you won’t be surprised to find that it does.  I have taken you to Ilha da Culatra before, but my Stroller friends were going there recently and I just had to tag along.  I’m sure you’ll see the attraction.

Culatra is an island of fisherfolk, but it doesn’t spurn the attention of tourists or beach worshippers who make the effort to cross over from the mainland.  I regularly promote Enjoy the Algarve, a monthly online magazine full of fascinating events and details.  Culatra features briefly this month and I thought you might like to see a little more.

Embarkation from Olhão is an easy affair.  Ida e volta will get you a return ticket.  We chose to disembark at Farol, the second port of call on this long, barrier island, guarded by a strut of a lighthouse with a red cap.

Weaving between a few cottages and a restaurant, almost immediately you reach the beach.

I couldn’t decide quite what the waves were jumping so playfully over, but they held me captive so that I had to scoot to catch up with the others.  Of course, you can linger at the beach for as long as you like, but the walkers are single-minded folk and food was a top priority.  A boardwalk turns inland, leading back to the village of Culatra, the first port of call.

To escape the heat of the sun there are several restaurants.  As usual I was more interested in my surroundings than food, so I grabbed a quick bite and set off again with my camera.

It’s a very basic lifestyle.  Sand and sea rule and necessities have to be shipped from the shore.  As I’m writing this a thunderstorm is rattling overhead and I know that the islands are in the frontline for inclement weather.  Hard to imagine on a day like this, but I’ve heard this ocean roar.

There’s an element of scruffiness that doesn’t suit everybody.  No manicured greens to tee off on here.  But I was highly amused to find, right by the water’s edge, a miniature football pitch.  Evidence of another Portuguese passion!

And then it’s time to make for the ferry, wending back past ochre houses, idle bikes and always a twist or two of flowers.

The still calm waters of Olhão await, Becky.  No changes yet!

I hope you’ve enjoyed being back in the Algarve with me.  I still have another week or so to go.  My daughter joins me on Sunday so I expect to be quite distracted but I’ll try to post another walk next week, and keep up with comments on this one.  Take good care till then!

Please find time to check out these walks, if you haven’t already done so.  Many thanks to all of you for your loyalty and support, even while I’ve been absent.  Special thanks to Meg and to Jude for lovely birthday surprises for me.

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I am a huge admirer of this lady’s work, so thank you very much for joining me, Debbie :

Street art galore

Another lady who always produces beautiful work.  Take yourself strolling with Susan :

A Saturday Stroll at Wave Hill

A Leisurely Sunday Stroll through Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery

I wonder what Jackie might have cooked up this week?

Home cookin’

There’s nothing like good company on a walk.  Tobias has a style all his own, and I love it :

Perigueux

Les Jardins d’Eau

Candy takes me to parts of Brittany I didn’t even know existed :

Pilgrim Route and Chapels

There’s much more to Birmingham than meets the eye, and you can rely on Becky to find it :

Dragons, Rags and Shiny Things

What’s Woolly been up to?  Keeping very busy!

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Carol explores her own backyard, but Australia’s a big country :

Staying Up, Looking Out

I do love a garden, and Cadyluck Leedy has a really fine one to share :

Jo’s Monday Walk : Sandhills Horticultural Gardens

And a place I’ve always wanted to visit :

Jo’s Monday Walk : Mont Saint Michel, France

Why not try it Marsha’s way?  The scenery is beautiful, even if the company is grumpy :

Why We Didn’t Take the Train to the Grand Canyon from Sedona

How to Get Someone Out of a Grouchy Mood Even if you’re at the Grand Canyon

I wouldn’t have expected to miss fog, but Jude’s walk on misty Bodmin is hauntingly lovely :

The Cheesewring

And finally, Kaz gladdens the heart with a gazillion, glorious jacaranda!

Jacarandas of Woolloomooloo 

Much love to you all from my sunny Algarve home.  See you soon!

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Legends of Marim

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I’m turning the tables on Becky this morning and putting my own slant on one of her walks. Exploring the delightful Legends Way will supply all the details you need, so I can quite simply enjoy myself.

The Algarve abounds in legends.  In Olhão they have been brought to life in sculpture.  The stories are a little naive, but no less lovable for that. Alina and Abdala, above, are star-crossed lovers in the traditional sense, and I love the way that her hair flows around him.

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I started my wanderings (with Becky, I might add, but more of that later) at the beginning of Caminho das Lendas, or Legend’s Way.  I paid due attention to the maps but, inevitably, then followed my nose.  The little chap above was one of my favourites.  So poised and graceful in the way that young boys have, with a ball at their feet.

Beware who you invite into your game though.  He might just bewitch and spirit you away!  It’s such a ‘lived in’ looking place, Olhão!  The ravages of time have certainly got to some of it but you could be kind and describe it as full of character.

I really don’t much care for the Boy with Big Black Eyes, so I couldn’t resist having a little fun with him.  I thought I looked my best all wobbly, but he doesn’t look very amused, does he? Distinctly bad-tempered, in fact!

The next character struck me as rather sorrowful, but who wouldn’t be, if swallowed by a whale? The wonder of it is that Arraul survived!  But I’m glad that he did as he allegedly created the sand barriers that protect the Algarve to this day.

There’s one other character you ought to meet, but I was feeling rather wilful and the boats moored in the marina were demanding my attention.

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Bom Sucesso, the caravel that sailed the Atlantic to Brazil, always draws my admiration.  I usually meet Becky close by here, her husband Robert having cast a discerning eye over the day’s catch in the fish market.  Both are lovers of fish and they had a treat in store for me.  I’d been hearing about Vai e Volta and was keen to try out this ‘all you can eat’ fish restaurant.

For just 10 euros, the fish kept on arriving!  I sampled salmon, sea bass, sardines, and tuna among others.  It all depends what the boats bring in that day.  In addition there was delicious cornbread, salad, potatoes and a tasty dip.  What more can you want?  Simply amazing for the price!  And don’t forget to ask for the sweet menu, especially if you like carobs and figs.  I would show you, but I was so full that I was sharing mine with the other half.  I daren’t stop to take the photo, else it disappeared!  I’ve given you the link to their Facebook page to help you find your way there.  Not everybody is lucky enough to go with Becky!

I almost forgot to mention Floripes, a voluptuous lady in white who was stranded far from her Moorish home.

That’s it for legends, and back to boats!  I never can resist them for very long.

The sun was starting to set and it was time to leave.  In writing this I had cause to look back at O is for Olhão and remember what a very interesting maritime history this Eastern Algarve town has.  It’s well worth a visit.

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Legend of Marim

Lovers entwined in metal

Lost to the river

Feeling quite poetic.  Must be time to put that kettle on and read a few posts!

Thank you so much for keeping me company on my rambles.  It is very much appreciated.  I’d love you to join me with a walk of your own and it’s very easy to do so.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Please find some time to visit these walks.  You won’t regret it!

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I’m always thrilled when a great photographer joins my walks!  Thank you, Tobias!

Dunes

That bit of blue makes all the difference, and it’s beautiful where Eunice lives :

A walk up to Crow Castle

Lady Lee keeps on coming up with places on my list of dream destinations :

Ten Things in Sicily

A friendly chat in Dollar and a money mushroom.  That’s what I call value, Anabel :

Dollar Glen

What’s that about diamonds and best friends?  Sadly, Woolly can’t afford these!

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Jackie doesn’t think money matters in Vegas.  It costs nothing to look, after all!

Trippin’ the Light Fantastic

On the other hand, safaris don’t come cheap.  But just look at what Geoff got for his money!

A Time in Africa- Part two

It’s always an artistic look at life with Jesh :

WHICH WAY?

People will keep showing me fabulous places I’ve never been!  Thanks, BiTi  🙂

A visit to Beziers

Part of Hanna’s personal history, I loved this walk with her :

Vikings, The Sea Stallion from Glendalough and Roskilde Cathedral

My friend Drake knows a thing or two about Vikings, past and present :

Misty back to the past

I always like to share pretty places, and Rosemay seldom lets me down :

Strolling Round the streets of Potsdam

Splendid isolation with Paula, another very special photographer :

Walk into Solitude

And just in case you didn’t follow the link earlier on, here’s lovely Becky!

On the other side of the river

I think I’ll be back to grey skies and an English walk next week.  You’ve been warned!  Have yourselves a great week.

 

Six word Saturday

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What made you happy this week?

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I was very slow to warm to street art, but an hour or two last year in the Algarve’s graffiti capital, Olhao, finally convinced me.  It can transform the ugly and unloved.  If you haven’t seen any of Dario Silva’s work, you might like to follow the link to Olhão.

Kazimierz, in Kraków, is another of those ‘grungy’ areas where imagination has been allowed to roam.  Who wouldn’t be happy ‘Singing in the rain’?

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This little lady gazed artfully at me from a shop doorway in Faro.  Using her womanly wiles to sell.  I resisted, but she caught my attention.

Paula’s theme of Urban Art in Thursday’s Special gave me the opportunity to post something that made me very happy.  In Drama in the Streets I was drawn to the striking lady figure, who seemed to recall a painting in my memory.  Try as I might, I haven’t been able to find her in the art world. If anyone has any ideas, I’d be grateful?  But more importantly, have a happy weekend!

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Street life in Olhão

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Dario Silva isn’t a name that I knew until recently.  I’ve been seeing his handiwork around Olhão, in the Eastern Algarve, for a number of years, mostly on old and unloved buildings.  A prolific street artist, in 2009 he was forced to stop using spray paint.  The toxic fumes in the paint were damaging his liver.  But you can’t keep a good artist down.  “The street is my addiction”, he said.

In recovery, he turned to painting with a brush and water-based paints.  It’s a much slower medium but it enables him to continue to paint. His work might once have been regarded as vandalism, but now the commissions are coming in and even the local council have embraced him.  Many think that Olhão is a finer place for his intervention.

Vivenda Victoria is his best known work, in the main street of Olhão

Vivenda Victoria is his best known work

It’s virtually impossible to pass through Olhão without seeing Vivenda Victoria, in it’s abandoned state.  It sits on the E125, at the hub of the town’s shopping area.  Other works of art have started to mushroom in the most unlikely places, but you have to seek them out.

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I had thought to include the street artworks in a Monday walk, but they straggle around some of the town’s less desirable parts, and that is surely the point.  At times I felt a little intrusive, wandering with my camera through the back streets of Olhão.

I had intended to link this post to Thursday’s Special, which this week is themed ‘Abstract’.  By definition abstract means divorced from reality.  My images are rather a reflection of sad reality, but I would urge you to visit Suzanne’s wonderful post.  It might set you thinking.

Do you have a favourite of these?  Mine is still the boy with sad eyes.