Jo’s Monday walk : Praia Verde and beyond

I usually try to vary these walks, but today I’m taking refuge in a happy place. I was smitten with Praia Verde from the very first time I saw it. The approach is through a forest of umbrella pines and, as you crest the top of the hill, you can’t fail to breath a sigh of delight. The pines tumble down the hillside, ending at a deck and smart restaurant. Once it was a more humble, beachfront restaurant with exceptional food. I can’t vouch for it now because I can’t afford the prices. Nor see any good reason to pay them when the money could be so much better spent. But I can still admire that view.

I saunter on down towards the beach, which idles away in both directions as far as the eye can see. Today I’m turning left, heading towards distant Spain. The tide is rolling out, and seabirds far outnumber us humans.

Already there are fishermen, waist deep in the water, fighting the sand to release the shells and molluscs it harbours. I shiver, though the sun is warm. Their bikes lie propped on the beach, forlornly waiting for home. And then, a treat! A rider gently coaxes his horse towards the water, pausing to smile and salute. On firm sand once more, he gallops off into the distance as I gaze after him.

The exuberance of walking on the beach carries me along, until I reach a boardwalk that heads a little way inland. Fondly known as the Chameleon Trail, these pine woods stretch from Monte Gordo all the way to the Guadiana River, the border with Spain. The little creatures are a protected species and you’d have to look very hard to find one.

On the boardwalk at Monte Gordo are a number of restaurants, and wooden benches at intervals. You can bring a picnic if you like, and watch the fishermen at work on their nets.

Finally the boardwalk leaves the beach, returning to the woods, though if you prefer you can continue on along the sands, until you reach Vila Real de S. Antonio at the mouth of the river.

The woods are lovely at this time of year, white broom and prickly pear lapping at the base of the trees. Several paths wind through them, as they wrap around the town. I emerge close to the lighthouse, and from there it’s a short distance to the river that divides Portugal from Spain. Where better to indulge in moist cake, laden with local figs?

For most of this walk I was accompanied by a lovely lady called Denise and her small but happy band of walkers, and I’d like to extend her my thanks for being great company.

Share the beauty of Tuscany with Alegria!

Montefioralle- A Tiny Italian Village Hidden Behind Stone Walls

And Corsica looks incredibly beautiful through Drake’s eyes :

Isolated cosiness

But I’d be very happy to walk with Sarah in Costa Rica too :

On the Pacific coast in Drake Bay

Teresa shares a day out with her daughter :

A Special Place

While Alice takes a walk with her granddaughter on a special day :

Presidents Day Walk

And Terri gives us a little encouragement to stay fit :

Fitness Friday: Five Fixes to save your Workouts

A positive bonanza of walks from Mel! She’s feeling adventurous this year :

Going Bush in the City – Introducing the Great North Walk

Life Out on the Wallaby Track – Learning about the Aussie Swagman

And a blast from the past with Vanessa!

Hiking to the top of Tibidabo Mountain in Barcelona

Janet might be feeling a touch prickly :

Monday walk… Chihuly-less

But Margaret is definitely wallowing!

Her Name was Mud

While Christie is walking in some famous footsteps :

Strolling through Key West: a walking guide to the southernmost city in the continental U.S

Not so easy to be light hearted in these times, is it? Lots of fund raising is going on, among my walking community and elsewhere. Few of us can imagine how it feels to be a displaced person. How lucky are we? Take care, till next time.

124 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : Praia Verde and beyond

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