Back in January, before our Iives were seriously upended, I took you on a walk from Vaqueiros. The blossom was out then. It seems such a long time ago. A different, more carefree life. But I want to take you back, to the beginning of March, for one last outing with the wonderful choir, Ossonoba, before all our boundaries diminished.
We were meeting at the crossroads of a country lane, close to the village of Malfrades, a little uncertain of what was to follow. What we were sure of was a warm welcome, and smiles of recognition from the choir.
As usual, we had an experienced guide to lead the walk and answer any questions we might have about flora and fauna. In Portuguese, of course, but if we looked too perplexed there was a member of Almargem on hand to explain. This organisation had liaised with the choir to promote the Via Algarviana, and we were engaged in conversation several times with a charming young woman, anxious that we enjoy our experience. And enjoy it we did! The wonderful, big-faced white rock cistus were just getting into their stride too.
We were at one of the highest points of the Eastern Algarve, and as if that were not enough, were all set to climb a disused viewing tower for panoramic views of our surrounds. You might have wondered about my leading photo. We’ve reached the top!
The less confident might have opted for a seat with a view, but even it didn’t look very secure. We followed the gently rolling trail down to the lake, with one more surprise in store. Beside the path, winking silently in the sunlight, mysterious wild bee orchids.
The village of Vaqueiros, our destination, is just ahead, for the choir are to perform there, one last time for the season. In January the village had been completely deserted, so we were astounded to find the main street lined with stalls. Smoke from several bread ovens drifted into the air, with lingering delicious smells. Local cheeses, sausages and bread were on sale, alongside beautiful hand crafts.
We made our way to the top of the village. The choir were assembling on the church steps, those who had walked with us slipping away to change. It was hot there in the open and I looked around for shade. A dog lay in a lazy stupor. The choir shuffled.
Finally they were ready, and the sounds, so familiar to me now, filled the air. Pure joy in singing, and in each other’s company, is what makes this choir very special to me. After the concert we were invited to follow them to a nearby restaurant. They ate, and drank, and sang…A Capela, as they do. A day to remember.
I’m sure they will have carried on singing, even though their plans for travel have been disrupted. I hope to join them again in the autumn, but there’s a certain indefatiguable lady whose #SquareTops I’ll be joining even sooner.
A bumper collection of walks this week. Good to know you’ve still been out and about, enjoying our world, whatever the restrictions.
Starting with a stunner from Jude :
Always nice to welcome a newcomer. Especially one with a sense of humour. Meet Geanie!
Joseph has a great fondness for moss. Why not let him show you?
I had no idea that South Korea was such a beautiful country till I followed Cheryl :
Not just a walk along a lovely beach, but dolphins too, from Alice!
And some spectacular sculptures, courtesy of Natalie :
Lush forest to sooth the soul, with Susanne :
Andrew, being interesting on his home patch :
Drake, a little sentimental?
Margaret, being resourceful on her doorstep :
And Janet, keeping it even closer to home :
Nor has Eunice strayed very far :
While Ann Christine shares her beautiful Swedish homeland :
It’s a real honour and a privilege to be joined by Cee this week. Come and see her garden!
And Pauline takes the next step, with a video link into hers :
But Cathy simply carries me off into a beautiful bubble from the past :
Fabulous, all of them! Thank you so much for your company. I take much pleasure in our virtual world. Stay safe!