Jo’s Monday walk : Levadas da Ilha do Rosario

Hark back to my birthday weekend in Silves. Remember it? I found a levada, and lost the amethyst from my engagement ring. Not much of a swap, really. I’m still waiting for the stone to be replaced, but hopefully it soon will be. On that bright morning I had no idea that disaster might befall. Many years previously we had followed a route just outside Silves, which we thought to be this levada walk. With no clear signage and not a whole lot of levada, we were never quite sure if we’d got it right. Here was our chance to try again, but with the benefit of Wikilocs and Google maps.

We drove out of Silves on the N124 and parked by the Mira Rio restaurant, just 5km out of town. A lightbulb moment- we’ve been here before! We decided to do the walk in the reverse direction of our previous attempt, and this would at least guarantee us a stretch of the Rio Arade to walk beside. Triumph! Not only did we find the levada and the magnificent tidal river, but we managed to follow it for quite some distance.

With the sun glittering on the water it’s hard not to relax and savour the unspoilt countryside that surrounds you. Gentle hills rise from the river banks, but the walk is level, following the sinuous curves of the levada. After a hot summer there was little water to be seen, but the deep channels testify to the years of patient irrigation that keep this valley green.

It came as a bit of a surprise to cross a narrow road where, hidden among the trees, stood a rather grand building with a turret. Hardly a humble levada keeper’s abode. Back on the path, the valley spreads out before you, tall grasses tantalising in the whispered breeze.

Tucked into yet another curve of the river, a tiny marina dozes, with Silves sitting serenely on the horizon. At this point the levada parts company with the river and heads inland. We marvel at a muster of storks, circling above the river, before we too turn inland. We pass a few homesteads, alerting a dog or two. At one the owner comes out and gives us a nod, but mostly we are disregarded. Of no relevance in this wide landscape.

We follow a gravel path and then, to our alarm, a gate appears before us, firmly closed. We look at each other, dismayed. Where did we go wrong? Without a great deal of conviction I turn the knob. A satisfying click and the latch opens. It’s never fun to have to retrace your steps. We step through and close the gate behind us, and continue up the lane unhindered.

Soon we have the choice to continue on to the N124 and follow it back to the car, or mount a hill for views over the valley and back down the other side. It’s a no brainer, isn’t it? Sure enough we are rewarded with the high rise of Portimao in the far distance, while below us the river flows. At a cluster of houses a lady smiles softly at us, and we gesture and exclaim at how beautiful it all is. And descend slowly to rejoin the levada at our start point. Where, surely it’s time for cake?

The total walk is a little over 7 kilometers. I found this very tranquil video of the walk, with rather more water in the levadas, orange after recent rains, matching the ochre soil here. Thanks for keeping me company.

A good friend plans to take this walk next Spring, so I’m leaving her a link to Wikilocs here. Exactly which walk we did long ago remains a mystery, but we started and ended at the same point, this time with a great feeling of satisfaction.

walking logo

Aggie made me want to share her post, written from the heart :

A walk to remember

And I simply had to share these glorious views from Italy!

Liguria: A Fabulous Hike to Monte Grande Mountain Top

Denzil demonstrates what a beautiful place Belgium is for walking :

Gendron-Furfooz-Celles 18km Hike

And Drake wanders in Pere-Lachaise cemetery :

At the end

While Margaret takes me back ‘home’ :

A morning walk with the rangers at Studley Royal

And Teresa treats me to a fabulous tour of the Scottish Highlands :

The Scottish Highlands

Sarah is delighted to be traveling again. Seville was a good place to start :

The bliss of returning to the air

And Rupali takes up the theme in Oslo’s pretty Christmas streets, and beyond :

Blissful Travel – Getting back to Normal – Part1

Blissful Travel – Part 2 – Barcelona

Always a delight to wander with Jude. These gardens are simply fabulous!

Garden Portrait: The Bishop’s Palace Gardens, Wells

I seem to be back in the Jo’s Monday walk groove, but there are no guarantees. Join me whenever you like. Take care till then!

82 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : Levadas da Ilha do Rosario

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  2. Wow, this is gorgeous, Jo! I’m ready to move! We lived on the edge of an irrigation canal in CA and in the heart of orange country, but nothing so beautiful as this. This is a canal turned paradise. Every step is lovely.

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  5. Looks like a marvelous walk Jo – and surely you deserved cake after such a trek! Beautiful images of your adventure. I didn’t remember the loss of your ring stone. That happened to me once long ago. I was shopping and list the diamond from my engagement ring. We looked all over the store I lost it in but never found it. It’s a heartbreaker for sure.

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    • The ring has been at the jeweller’s for 3 weeks, Tina, and I’m hoping to have it back soon. It was a horrible feeling when I realised the stone was gone. We had finished the walk and were relaxing in the sun with a drink. I looked down and it had gone. We searched around the cobbles and retraced part of our route but it was impossible. My last hope was that it was in our baggage somewhere or the car, but we never did find it. Still, a wonderful weekend till then.

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      • Such a sad ending to a nice day Jo. From experience I can tell you you’ll eventually get over it and only think of it at moments like the one I had when I read your post. Then I remembered vividly crawling around on the JC Penney floor looking for my own stone! I had to laugh but in my case it was a very long time ago!

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  6. Looks like a lovely walk although I’m sorry about your amethyst loss on the first one. Your last sentences answered my question about whether you’ve started walking regularly again. I’m going to have to try to get things together to join again. But have a marvelous week!

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    • Hi Janet! A fortnight ago I said I’d publish the walks fortnightly, but then I posted again last week, And now this! I don’t like the walks to get too distant in memory and I no longer keep a diary- just photos. In fact, this sort of is my diary, which is probably why I keep it going, so don’t worry about joining in. I’ve never regarded it as a challenge. Just something I like to do and to share. Thanks, hon! Off to croquet this morning and lunch with departing friends. I’ve cooked at home the last 3 evenings, which is almost an event in itself!

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  7. Good grief, Jo, I checked my engagement ring when I read about you losing your amethyst from yours. Weird panic moment 😉 Always enjoy your walks around one of our favourite countries. Two years from now Les will get the okay to travel again, who knows where we will land up going too. Definitely have fun dreaming. Enjoy your Tuesday.

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    • It’s been 3 weeks now, Suzanne, and I still haven’t got it back. Used now to the nakedness around the finger but I really would like it back soon. Two years is a lot of dreaming! Look after each other and stay well in the meantime. Sending hugs! Croquet today and then a farewell lunch with friends. Lots of those at this time of year.

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  8. I’m glad the gate opened for you. I wonder how many people do not think to try it? Your weather is soooooo much better than ours. The scone looks delicious. I love slightly burned sultanas strange as that might sound.

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  10. I thought Levada was a term only used in Madeira? When did it become current in Portugal? What a delightful walk but I’m sorry about the loss of your amethyst. Will the insurance company accept its replacement from a Portuguese jeweler? Lovely pictures as usual and that deep, deep blue is always so affecting. We’ve got blue skies and lots of sunshine these days but oh, it is cold! It is 1 degree outside today but from my well-heated flat you’d never guess it. I have to remain indoors (which I’m happy about) because I’ve got what I now know is the Supercold, a set of flu/cold like symptoms that can last for up to 3 weeks and are the result of us continually washing our hands, sanitizing, and not picking up germs to fight normal infections! I digress, back to your photos, I love the way that splash of red flowers lifts the picture and adds its warmth to the one beside it and my eyes keep going to that cake with cream. (I’m in the ‘feed a cold’ phase).

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    • I don’t know the history, Mari, though I did try to find out, but I think they have existed as long as the Madeiran ones. They’re part of the same country, after all.
      I hadn’t really thought about the insurance aspect. It wasn’t the most expensive of rings. I’m not to be trusted with fine jewellery 🤣💕 I just want the ring back on my finger.
      Sorry about the Supercold. Covid and it’s avoidance has a lot to answer for. I can recommend scones with jam and cream as a cure, or at least to take your mind off your troubles. 🤗💕 So happy to have you here! Get well soonest xx

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  11. A wonderful walk with a nice little treat.

    A year or two ago after walking up hill in snow I stood on the edge to take some pictures. I was satisfied with my walk on the weekend. Only after coming back home I realized I lost the centre diamond from my ring. I still go on long walks and take pictures 😀

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  12. Oh what a fabulous walk. Wonderful Jo 😊

    but when are you going to purchase your set of Carta Militar de Portugal?! They really are superb maps. Incredibly detailed; there are 30ish just for the Algarve alone!

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