street art

Jo’s Monday walk : Alte and about

Fonte Pequena at Alte

One of the great things about our Algarve walking group is the knowledge we can share.  Walking one day in Spring I was talking to a lovely lady called Stephanie.  She mentioned a favourite walk which included an abandoned, ruined village, and later sent me an email with a map.  So it was that, heading west for a wine tasting, we decided to seek out the village.  Just one problem- I didn’t have the map with me.  But I did have some scribbled instructions, which I thought should do.  The start was in pretty as a picture Alte, which we know well.

I always want to linger by Fonte Pequena, the smaller of the two natural springs, but my notes said to cross over the bridge and follow the signs for Julia.  Not paying attention, as usual, I turned left instead of right.  When the track became perilous and tangled with scratchy shrubs, I realised my mistake.  Back down and turn right.  Boa Vista beckoned, from the top of a seriously steep hill.  Lovely views, and a stunning passion flower.

A sign at the hilltop indicated that it was just 1.6km to Julia.  Being June it was a little too hot for hiking and I was grateful for any shade I could find.  At the edge of the village I hesitated, unsure of which way, but a villager pointed us in the right direction.  So far so good!  Down through the small cluster of houses we went, scrambling a bit as we hit some loose rocks.  Just as I was beginning to get in a lather, we came to the main road, N124.  An accusing look from the other half!  ‘Couldn’t we have driven here?’  An all too familiar scenario.  ‘But where’s the fun in that?’

The road was empty, but shade was non-existent.  A cowardly decision was about to be made.  Or should I say, good sense prevailed?  The signpost indicated 4km down a dirt track to Esteval dos Mouros, the ruined village.  Neither of us fancied getting hotter and stickier, and we still had the wine tasting venue to find.  The ruins would have to keep for a cooler day.

Back into Alte, hugging the sidewalk for shade.  The spring gurgled down the hill, vivid lemon cactus flowers blinking in the sunlight.  A relief to enter the cheerful pastelaria.  There’s just time for a morsel of cake.

Back on the road, Quinta do Francês proved tricky to find and we arrived with minutes to spare.  A very pleasurable time was spent wine tasting, but I was reluctant to bring an end to such a lovely day.  Our route home took us through Silves, where a striking mural caught my eye.  A quiet stroll by the river and beneath the jacarandas brought the day to a perfect close.

Linking this to Sami’s Monday Murals, where a bunch of like-minded people love to share.  I hope she won’t mind.  I had hoped to see Stephanie when the Algarve walkers met at Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire this week, as she lives nearby.  If she’s reading this I can assure her that we’ll be back to complete her walk this Autumn.  In the meantime I shall be sharing some English walks.

Next weekend is our wedding anniversary and I’m dragging him off up the Northumberland coast.  I hope to schedule a walk for next Monday, but my response rate may not be great as I’ll be in transit.

Many thanks to all of you who contribute and comment to keep my Monday walks alive.  I appreciate your company so much.  How can I possibly quit with you folks to spur me on?  Join me here any time.  Kettle on now, and settle in for a read :

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How fascinating is this, our starter from Rupali?

Monday walk to “the Norwegian book town”

And these botanical gardens are rather special too.  Take a look with Miriam :

Jo’s Monday Walk : Huntington Library 

If I was looking for a piece of real estate, and I had lots of money in my pocket… I’d join Alice!

A walk on Queen Street

The things Janet gets up to in Wyoming!

Monday walk…to the phone booth

Lady Lee has been gadding about again!  🙂  🙂

Our long weekend in Cologne and Bonn

Time to write : Picture Prompt 19 (Creative Writing Prompt) – Gin, Rex and Niki

And as for Jackie, what’s on the menu this week?  Sounds good!

Jambalaya Crawfish Pie and File Gumbo

Melodie takes us hiking and then for a swim, in a quieter part of the English Lake District :

Orthwaite

Or you can enjoy a glorious splash of colour with Drake!

Color Inferno

Koalas and kangaroos!  This is a very cuddlesome post from Carol, though maybe not the echidna!

Feathers and Fur

Eunice is definitely an animal lover too, and she likes a good ramble :

Jumbles Reservoir – a long walk

‘Far from the madding crowd’ with Cathy, in the most beautiful scenery!

The Devil’s Garden Hike at Arches

I’ve watched TV coverage from the Algarve these past couple of days, and am horrified at the fires engulfing swathes of the countryside that I love.  What sad times for so many!

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!

Six word Saturday

Just for Sue- because she asked!

It seems that storks, like my good friend Sue, don’t mind a spot of dereliction.   This wouldn’t be my chosen residence, but they do have a good view from up there, out across the River Guadiana to Spain.  There’s not a great deal of respect for these poor, forlorn warehouses, often fallen victim to street art, like these below, in Tavira.

Most of my week has been cloudless.  Hope you can say the same.  In six words please.

 

 

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.