Sagres

Jo’s Monday walk : From Bay to Beautiful Bay

You’ll be happy to know that I was properly shod for this little expedition.  Relatively speaking, of course!  But then, I wasn’t going to The end of the world.  It’s amazing how far you can actually see, round this wonderful coastline.  The cliffs seem to roll on and on.  Here I’m standing, in the fresh wind I’d been longing for, looking down on Praia do Tonel.  Ahead lies the Sagres promontory.  Behind me, a modest little pottery shop.

The commanding fortress looks out to sea in all directions.  Built in the time of Prince Henry the Navigator, its most distinctive feature is the compass rose, a giant pebble compass, 43 metres in diameter.  Within the fortress, Nossa Senhora de Graca dates from 1579, replacing the original chapel built for Henry in 1459.  He spent much of his later life here, dying in 1460.

The sea sucks greedily at the cliffs, battering its way in on the calmest of days.  It’s a place to be in awe of nature, yet fishermen cast their rods with the nonchalance of familiarity, from the most precarious nooks and crannies in the rock face.

From the solid entrance to the fortress, Rua da Fortaleza gradually dwindles into Sagres, the cobbles culminating in a timeless square, the heart of the community.  My visit coincides with an easing of restrictions related to lockdown and Covid-19.  Caution is in the air and people are sparse, yet there’s a peace and calm to this sun-soaked spot.  It’s not hard to linger here, sheltered from the wind, and indulge and daydream a little.

Reluctantly I move on.  Curving round the cliff tops, views sweep down to Praia da Mareta and across the bay.  The sun is gaining strength as I follow the road past an old school, converted to a café, and a straggle of surf shops, eating establishments and a tiny post office.  The signs are leading me to Praia da Baleeira and the old port.

From here the lookout is to distant Praia do Martinhal.  The bay is protected by the four islets lined up on the horizon.  It’s a bustling port area, temporarily becalmed.  The small cove has tempted just a few to frolic on the sands.

I’m pleasantly tired now, and climb back up the steep cliff, passing the pretty tasca with the incomparable view, to a more modest eatery, where the locals happily pass the time of day.  I try to catch a few scraps of gossip while gazing out across the bay.

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I hope you enjoyed a wander across Sagres.  Even in high summer it’s a place where you need a warm jacket early morning, and certainly when the mist creeps in on an evening.  I’d love to see it with the sea raging and storming those cliffs.  For now I’m content to share a few walks.  Many thanks to all of you who keep them coming.

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Carol has shared some truly spectacular scenery from Australia :

Rain in the Rainforest

Cloud Shapes

A Walk in the Forest

While Marion treads carefully on limestone pavement in Yorkshire :

Malham Cove

And speaking of limestone, Drake introduces us to a rather special one :

Some answers blow in the wind

While, just across the water, we are…

Surrounded by horizons

An early start and a bit of a climb certainly didn’t daunt Albert :

Jerrabomberra Mountain Reserve-Summit Walk

Nor is there any reason to stay at home with local views like this!

A Walk in the Woods – or beating those stay-cation blues!

Walking doesn’t have to be restricted to Mondays.  Whatever suits you, Colline  🙂

A Sunday Stroll

Rupali enjoys taking us out for the day and exploring her beautiful world :

Weekend 101 -Hiking

Finding sanctuary in nature

While Susan finds delight in the simplest of pleasures :

Walking the urban forest

Natalie always manages to keep herself busy, no matter where :

Summer Week 4 :Trillium Park

It’s a long while since I’ve been to Morecambe Bay, and I’m happy to do it in Eunice’s company :

Morecambe promenade – south to north

How about this for a grand finale?  A fabulous post from Sheetal :

The Ultimate Guide to Florence

Rather a lot of shares this week.  Please visit where you can, and apologies for anyone I’ve missed.  I’m temporarily becalmed myself, after a wonderful family visit.  Take care all, and have a good week.

Six word Saturday

Looking out to a brighter horizon!

It has to get better, doesn’t it?  The alternative is unthinkable.  For me, the immediate future is wonderful.  My long held wish to see my son again is about to come true.  If things go to plan, he will be here tomorrow evening.  It’ll come as no surprise that I won’t be walking with you on Monday?  🙂  Hopefully, the following week.  Meanwhile, keep squaring those Perspectives and enjoy your Six Word Saturday!

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Jo’s Monday walk : The end of the world

What would you expect to find at the End of the World?  Certainly not a gift shop selling exceptional marine sculptures!  But I was very taken with ‘Nemo’ and his friends, even though I’d come all this way to admire a lighthouse and gaze out in the direction of the Americas.  Cabo de Sáo Vicente lies at the south westernmost tip of Portugal, and indeed of Europe, just 6 km around the coast from Sagres.  It’s a spectacular location, the cliffs rising almost vertically from the Atlantic to a height of 75 metres.

Peer hard at the clifftops and you might observe some tiny humans, just to give you some idea of scale.  Not being especially nimble of foot, I usually remain behind the camera on these occasions.  Opening time is at 10.00 and fortunately this seems to coincide with the time at which the sea fog starts to roll back, revealing the stacks in all their beauty.

As you round the bay approaching the lighthouse, your eye is snagged by the Fortaleza de Beliche.  I never can resist a good fortress, and as we were a little early for the lighthouse it made sense to go there first, though not quite sure what we’d find.

More enticing views, and a rugged path down the cliff, but my right flipflop chose this moment to part company with its sole.  Obviously a warning!  Running repairs meant that I could at least slow shuffle as far as the lighthouse.  Still, a 16th century fortress, once under attack by Sir Francis Drake, no less, was a welcome addition to my walk.  Access to the chapel is no longer possible as the site was closed due to erosion in the 1990s.  Seabirds glide around the cliffs and dolphins frolic in the water below.  Here, nature reigns supreme.

The promontory of Cape St. Vincent (Cabo de Sáo Vicente) was regarded as sacred ground as far back as neolithic times.  The Ancient Greeks dedicated a temple here to Heracles, and of course, the Romans were here too.  Naval battles aplenty were fought offshore, but it’s easy to imagine this tranquil place as having magical qualities.  The setting sun hissing into the ocean was once thought to mark the edge of the known world.

The present lighthouse is 24 metres high and was built in 1846 over the ruins of a 16th century Franciscan convent.  It guards one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and is among the most powerful lighthouses in Europe.  Much later we could see it from our hotel in Sagres, as dusk fell.  But it’s time for a much needed coffee stop, a little more artwork and some great entertainment, watching people clamber onto the giant chair for a photo opportunity.  And yes, the coffee and pastries were extortionate, but they were awfully nice.

When we left there was a whole array of takeaway coffee and burger vans setting up in the parking space outside.  Understandable, but, as there was no admission charge on the lighthouse, I didn’t begrudge spending a little in the coffee shop.  If they’d sold flipflops in the gift shop I’d have bought those too.  My one disappointment was not to be able to ascend the lighthouse.

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Sagres was an interesting experience and I loved the sea breezes, but I’m keeping posts minimal for now.  Many thanks for your continued support.  Life remains hot, and busy.  Apologies if I’ve missed anybody from the following round up.  Enjoy!

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Let Drake take you on a voyage of discovery :

Another day in paradise

When waiting turn idyllic

Slow walk

Carol shares the beauty of her native Australia :

A Walk to Remember

Up, Down, Up

And Rupali always shares the gift of love :

Weekend 99: To heal

Midsummer seems so long ago, but you’ll enjoy this offering from Ulli :

Prehistoric Midsummer at Woodhenge

Who doesn’t love poppies?  Margaret’s an early riser :

It’s Worth Going Walking Quite Early…

Janet’s away on holiday, but she left this treasure before departing :

Monday walk… castle walk

And it’s a while since Sandra wrote this.  The blackberries may be ripe now!

Same place, different week

Eunice walks most weekends, in a lovely area, so if you visit her you’ll be spoiled for choice :

Heysham – a walk in three parts

Brinscall to White Coppice walk

I don’t know if you know Aiva, but she does some fabulous walks in Ireland :

A fantastic Walk of the Weekend : the Killaspugbrone Loop Walk in Sligo

And finally, out and about again, Cathy takes us on an irresistible tour of street art :

A mural walk in Washington on a hot July day

Wherever you are, I hope that life is treating you kindly.  It certainly has its ups and downs.

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Martinhal to Baleeira

Embracing the sea again this week, I’m in the far west of the Algarve, just before you reach the mighty cliffs of Sagres.  This somewhat lunar landscape is not at all what I’m accustomed to. (Is it just me or does the rock below bear a passing resemblance to a Storm Trooper?)

Yes, I thought so!  His smile’s a bit crooked and evil.  It’s a beautiful bay, reached from a turn off on the N125, signposted Praia do Martinhal.  A smart looking resort overlooks the beach, but nestled below is an agreeably casual restaurant.  Portuguese families have brought the children to Sunday lunch, and are chattering away like magpies.  

A small girl sits on the sand while Dad tussles with a kite, strongwilled in the offshore breeze.  Two fit-looking youngsters carry paddleboards down to the water’s edge, launch them smoothly and paddle away.  Out in the bay windsurfers zip to and fro, with varying degrees of accomplishment.  I simply watch.  The only activity I’m any good at is walking.

The other half has found a comfortable spot, sheltered from the wind, and I’m off round the headland to see what I can find.  A generous sweep of beach ends in more rocks, with a tempting path mounting to the cliff top.

I’m picking my way fairly carefully when I hear music and laughter.  A cautious peep over the cliff edge reveals a group of young folk setting up a barbecue on a slab of rock.  Someone has been very busy with a brush and a pot or two of paint.

Across the bay the towering cliffs of Sagres loom closer, and below them the fishing port of Baleeira.  There’s a small strip of beach at Baleeira which is also walkable from Sagres town.  A stiff breeze keeps the windsurfers scudding swiftly.  I look back to check how far I’ve come.  Not too far but it’s time to return and collect the husband.

Now, where did I leave him?

It’s not a long walk but, if you like to feel the breeze in your hair and you’re not afraid of heights, you might enjoy it.  This was a small part of my birthday celebrations and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I should be back to ‘normal’ next week.  I apologise if my visits to you are spasmodic.  I’m struggling with a poor Internet connection and I intend to enjoy the last few days of my Algarve time with my daughter.  Time together is very precious.  Meantime I have some great walks to share, so thank you everybody.

Tish seems to have found her very own path to paradise :

On the Path to Harakopio ~ Peroulia Dreaming 13

As strange titles go, I give full credit to Ellen for this one :

Going for a Crazy Cabbagetown Walk in Atlanta, Georgia- Pt 1

And Cathy’s is a bit of a tongue teaser too :

Budapest : The Great Synagogue & a stroll down Vaci Utca in Belvaros

Mari’s walk is a little more sombre, but no less beautiful :

A Walk on the Ramparts of Ypres

And Woolly commemorates the Australian deceased from World War II :

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk42_Windmill-Site

Roll up!  Roll up!  Step right this way to see Violet’s pink elephant :

A circus treat

I share some wonderful memories of Lucca with Jesh (and Gilly!)

TIME- Where did it go?

You can usually rely on Jackie for a…

Flourish!

I don’t have any grandkids to play with like Sandra, but I did borrow one recently :

Walk

Indra is sharing spectacular scenery in this week’s walk :

Bay of Fundy…. Magic on the Rocks

Kathrin loves to hike in the mountains.  This one sounds like a song!

Hike up Mount Umunhum

My lovely friend, Pauline, has been rambling in the Australian outback.  You’ll love her findings!

Kings Canyon, time to sketch…

And here’s some artwork from Susan that I know she’ll love too :

Hunting a City-wide Art Installation : Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbours

Have a great week everyone, and I’ll be back in England next weekend.  Once again, apologies if I miss anyone.

 

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Fortaleza de Sagres

The Wind Compass in Sagres fort

The Wind Compass, inside the fort at Sagres

When we started our epic journey, I had the west coast of the Algarve firmly in mind.  Known for its cooling breezes on warmer days and its wild stretches of Atlantic facing beach, I planned a visit to the Costa Vicentina.  Unfortunately, by the time we had completed last Monday’s walk at the Barragem de Bravura and our sojourn at Figueira beach, it was already mid afternoon.

The uppermost thing in our minds was a drink.  Water, wine, orange juice- almost anything would have done by this stage!  So, what did I end up with?  A tin of Sagres, the locally brewed beer.  I am not, by nature, a beer or lager drinker, but the popping of the can was bliss to my ears. Parking the car on the clifftop at Sagres, we almost ran downhill to the nearest kiosk.  Michael selected his favourite, Fanta orange, and sat, staring vacantly at yet another beach.

The town beach at Sagres, with the Fortaleza in the distance

Mareta, the town beach at Sagres, with the Fortaleza in the distance

I had planned to call at Sagres on my way back from the Costa Vicentina.  The last time I had been, it was a chilly, overcast day, early in the year.  Not today!

The town has an interesting history and is closely linked to Henry the Navigator, who set up a nautical school locally.  He helped to finance the Portuguese voyages of discovery, and by the time of his death, in 1460, landings had already been made at Sierra Leone in Africa.  An amazing achievement for the tiny caravels!  The Sagres link above takes you to Wikipedia, for some details.

Having got a second wind, it was time to stroll through the town and along the Rua de Fortaleza, the approach to the mighty fortress.  Of course, Michael wanted to know why we couldn’t just have parked in the enormous parking bays beside the fort.  Where’s the drama in that?

The Rose Compass

The Rose Compass, or sundial

Inside the simple church

Inside the simple church

The purpose of the Rose Compass is a little uncertain.  It may well have been a navigational aid, or just a sundial.  The setting is undeniably powerful.  Soaring cliffs drop away on either side of you, as you gaze out at the open sea.

Work on the huge battlements is ongoing, and not entirely sympathetic, but I found myself moved my the place.  A path leads out around the headland, with majestic views.

The shoreline crumbles beneath you

The shoreline crumbles beneath you

The canon still poised, ready!

With canon still poised, ready!

In the far distance, Cabo S. Vicente lighthouse- the most westerly spot in Europe

Far distant Cabo S. Vicente lighthouse- the most westerly spot in Europe

The beacon, closer to hand

The beacon, closer to hand

Yellow polka dots strewn among the plummy aliums

Yellow polka dots mingle with the plumy aliums

The view back to Mareta, and beyond

The view back to Mareta beach

The feet were tiring as we headed back through the hefty tunnel entrance.  Tiny Praca da Republica, the main square, has a choice of restaurants with outdoor tables.  ‘A Cabana’ suited us nicely.  I imagined it would be a lively spot on an evening but it was time for the drive home.  It had been quite a day! walking logo

Even as I was taking this walk, I just knew it had to be one of my Jo’s Monday walks.  What I could never have imagined is what took place last week.  On Sunday, 30th June, I received a walk from Christine at Dadirridreaming, back in Australia after a wonderful European holiday.  She and Stuart had taken the walk up Glastonbury Tor one rainy day on their visit to England.   We joked about the weather!

In this virtual world of ours, it’s easy to miss comments sometimes.  Christine’s last comment to me, on 1st July, I didn’t spot.  She was advising me that I should link my walking logo to my Jo’s Monday walk page, as she had done.  I have, Christine.  I have!  How very typical of this dearly loved woman, and I’m in tears again as I share this with you.

http://dadirridreaming.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/glastonbury-tor/

It’s hard to follow that, isn’t it?  But when you have some time, please return here and share the walks of my other contributors last week.  There are some very fine ones.

Drake takes us to beautiful Berchtesgarten  :

http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/on-the-edge-of-the-bavarian-alps/

It was wonderful to have been joined this week by Laura.  And only 3 weeks after back surgery, that’s impressive!  : http://telltaletherapy.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/walkabout-1-st-margarets-to-rye-house-circular/

Jude took me down Memory Lane with a glorious evening stroll around Derwentwater  : http://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/a-lakeside-evening-stroll/

You will certainly not have ‘the blues’ when you see Elisa’s post!  It made my heart skip  : http://elisaruland.com/2014/06/29/hiking-shorts-the-pacific-blues/

A friend you may not know, Kat, has introduced me to beauty and thrills in Corsica.  It’s one not to miss  : http://www.thecorsicablog.co.uk/2012/09/hiking-la-restonica/

And last, but never least, Yvette has gone on a Summer break, but not without leaving me a great post : http://priorhouse.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/walking-in-rva-street-portraits-3/

It’s been an emotional week, hasn’t it?  I’m off out walking very soon but will catch up with you all this evening.  Have a good week my friends.