Days at the beach

Goodbye, old year! Hello, new! No two days the same, but always the same opportunity, to live life to the full. To cast aside judgements and embrace life. This is very much a blue sky blog, but there are darker days too. All are beautiful.

Yesterday I went to my least favourite place here in the Algarve, Monte Gordo. The sky was brightest blue but a sharp wind niggled the bones and I wished for a warmer jacket. Still, I was in a forgiving mood. Hard not to be with this glorious beach, stretching off towards the Spanish border. Seagulls wheeled in the air, shrieking at each other and fighting over the latest catch. A number of small rays seemed to have been washed up on the tide, a feast for the bounty hunters.

Just a few days earlier, and a few kilometres further west, I joined the new boardwalk at Altura to admire the drama of the skies and the deserted beach. Sombre though it looks, there was no rain, and the clouds retained the warmth of previous days.

Always there are ripples of shells to explore, harbouring each other in a companionable way.

We all of us prefer blue sky days and the warmth of the sun on your back. Life’s not meant to be perfect, is it? Tomorrow the sun will shimmer on that water again. Maybe, even today?

For those of you expecting a Monday walk, I’m trying to keep them fortnightly, so I’ll be here next week. Take care till then!

98 thoughts on “Days at the beach

  1. Beautiful reflections on life through your photos and words … to enjoy life to its fullest, embracing its gifts! ❀️ I love the seascapes, with the serenity of the blues, the drama and foreboding of the darker clouds. A lovely spot and especially considering this is one of your least favourite areas! πŸ˜€ Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing weekend, Jo! Xx

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  2. I read this one earlier and left it to go back and have another look at the photographs. They are really lovely and so indicative of what I remember Portuguese beaches to look like – I can even recall Monte Gordo from a previous (long way back) visit. I also like the contrast between the sun and shade, what a clever idea. Trust you have settled down again now after your quick trip home to see the family.

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    • Yes, life is pretty much normal, as I know it, Mari. Yesterday was another lovely walking day and a farewell lunch with friends who are moving to Obidos in the north. Struggling with getting our son on the mortgage ladder currently. Being in the Algarve is a definite hindrance to that but we’re jumping through hoops to satisfy the solicitor in the UK. Beach time severely limited today but I did fit in a few games of croquet. Thanks for coming back to me πŸ€—πŸ’•

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  3. You’re right Jo life is too short not to take advantage of a beach walk. Winter’s more dramatic and best of all less crowded. Hope you thought of a creative reason to tell your language teacher for not doing your homework.

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    • Suzanne, I never made it to that lesson, despite my very best efforts. When I got to my ‘teacher’s’ house there was nobody there except the cat. A very affectionate cat, but still, no Portuguese expert. I messaged the lady who said ‘oh, Johanna, I’m so sorry- we are at the cafe’. She had forgotten to tell me that was the arrangement. She named the cafe and I set off in haste. I passed 2 couples I know who wanted to stop and chat but I hurried past them, saying ‘Sorry, I’m late’. All would have been well but in my head I had confused the name of the cafe and headed for the wrong one, incidentally bypassing the correct one but they presumably didn’t see me. Disheartened to find them not there, I looked again at my message and realised my mistake. There was about half hour of our allotted time left but I really didn’t feel like charging back along the road. I gave up, went to the nearby newsagent and bought a birthday card for my son, and went home…early! You really didn’t ask for that saga, did you?

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  4. Any beach walk is a good walk in my book, especially long stretches of sand like these. I know what you mean about the development though. A couple of days ago I walked the coast path here in front of two resort. On my left, the ocean, whales, herons, turtles. On my right, dolphins in a little pool, loud music, people broiling in the sun. Not a hard cho8ice for me!

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  5. Just my kind of beach Jo – a shame about the rays, though 😦 If you have any spare blue sky you could maybe send some over here, I’ve had enough of the current grey and rain πŸ™‚

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  6. Ooooh! that last shot could easily be one of our beaches. It may not be a favo(u)rite of yours, but it has a certain charm of its own. Sandy stretches with nice clouds. You may have guessed that I was drawn to the moody shot just ahead of all the shells. Seems we don’t get nearly that many shells. Nor the variety.
    Wishing you great good luck with the Portuguese lesson! ☺️

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  7. Love the contrasting photos Jo. Same place but such a different atmosphere. After a week of cyclone winds and rain we were tempted down to our beach for a walk yesterday. Don’t often go there during peak holiday times.Oh dear it was heaving with every man, woman and child and all their dogs. Had to drive round and round to find a parking spot. But did enjoy the sea breezes and sun on our backs. But think we will wait till all the visitors go home before venturing down there again.

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    • When I’m walking beside the water with the sun glinting off it like this afternoon, but rarely, Malc. For me, it’s more about the people, and there is a lot happening at ‘home’ right now. It’s a choice I’ve made and if I’m going to have too many regrets then I’ll go back, won’t I? I don’t much like the long sticky summers and the plan was always to be back in the UK for part of them. I do get wistful for certain places, like Aysgarth Falls and the Yorkshire Moors and Dales, but truly, I made the most of them while I could. Many of the places I left behind feature on the old Restlessjo blog.

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  8. I was swept away by the drama in your photos, Jo. Grey clouds and the cold wind makes up for a bracing walk. I was fascinated by the manta rays washed up and the shells. An extraordinary walk, Jo.

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    • We were at my favourite beach this afternoon, Sheetal. No rays. I think it’s because it’s a very flat beach at Monte Gordo and they get trapped in the little pools as the tide retreats. Lots of shells though. Cloudy this morning but lovely blue skies and warm again now. πŸ€—πŸ’•

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  9. That slider on your first photo is cool. I guess it’s something in the new WordPress that I haven’t explored. Love the beach scenes, even though it’s your least favorite place. There are lots of those places that don’t have much to redeem them. At least you give them a chance! πŸ™‚

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  10. How could you do this to me! showing an Algarve beach. I love your contrasting pictures with the slider. In England I always like a winter beach walk best. In Portugal any season except a hot busy summer beach. I have never been to Monte Gordo. Why are you not so keen?

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  11. I love a beach whatever the weather – sometimes even more so when skies are dark, as long as there’s a bit of drama as there is in many of your shots!

    I’ve had a Monday Walk drafted for ages! I was too caught up in my 2021 retrospectives last week to share it. So I may post and link to your LAST week’s walk πŸ˜†

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    • Whenever it suits, Sarah. I round them all up ready but I don’t want to be restricted to weekly walks. It doesn’t leave me scope for more random stuff, like this. Maybe that’s a good thing? Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Such a wonderful collection of beautiful photos, Jo πŸ™‚ Life is short, and we only live once. Learning to live life to the fullest is an important step in making the most of every day. We all need moments to rest and relish in a sense of contentment, but staying in one place too long will leave you feeling a lack in life. Discover what makes your life feel meaningful and go after it. Thanks for sharing and have a good day πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

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    • Thanks, Aiva! We were back at the beach this afternoon- my favourite one this time- because why wouldn’t you? Grey skies gave way to blue and it was warm enough with a jacket. I find sunshine glinting on water irresistible.

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