Sagres

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.