Jo’s Monday walk : Parque Florestal de Amarante

How about this for an entrance?

There are few things in life more lovely than a walk in nature. Add water to the equation and I’m completey ‘in my element’. Parque Florestal was right on my doorstep in Amarante. Who wouldn’t be tempted? The Saturday morning market lined the riverbank- just a quick peep, for it would likely be gone when we got back. The river is quite wide at this point and is spanned by some stepping stones for the fearless, as the water gushes past them. I was mesmerised by the rush of water but not so brave, or foolish, as I might once have been. We would save a closer look for later, and followed the path into the woodland beside a gently gurgling stream.

Stone benches were heavy with moss, the light through the trees scarcely bright enough to capture them.

Beyond the sound of gushing water, all was peaceful and calm. We had the place almost to ourselves, unless you count a grazing goat in a field blazing with sunlight. But I’m rushing ahead! Let’s enjoy the dappled shade and myriad of wild flowers.

The river flowed quietly beside us. Ahead we could see an overhead bridge, surrounded by forestry, with rocks studding the surface of the water. Beautiful, isn’t it?

And part way along this path, the most wonderful surprise. My only surviving uncle, in Poland, phoned to wish me ‘Happy Easter’! In Polish, of course. He speaks no English and I struggled to remember a few phrases in response. But it really didn’t matter. I was smiling as though he could see me, and he chattered on, as he does. A link to a wonderful time in my life.

Remember that goat? On our way back his owner appeared. I’m not sure if he was pleased to see us or not, but we saw so few people that morning that I smiled and waved anyway. The trail ended at a peaceful wooden deck, with a bench where you could sit and listen to the frogs and, just maybe, spot a river otter.

We retraced our steps along the riverbank to the cascades and the stepping stones, but opted to cross over the bridge and see them from the other side. My balance isn’t up to making the crossing the daring way.

In the evening we ate at Tasquina da Ponte, a very local little restaurant with wooden benches and great desserts, right by the bridge. The steps up to Sรฃo Domingos were atmospherically candlelit, in readiness for the Easter procession.

It all looks so peaceful and calm, but what you can’t see are the rally cars, lined up on our side of the bridge. The closing ceremony for a weekend of racing was taking place, and the cars were revving their powerful engines late into the night. It all made for an Easter to remember, with one more episode still to go.

Another of those places I love to mooch around. Many thanks again, Sarah!

Faro’s old town: sights and impressions

Natalie has a few architectural treasures to share :

Weekday Walk: Exhibition Place

Lavender, or something sweeter? Drake takes us to Grasse in France :

Scents in the nose

I don’t think I ever saw a more magnificent display- thanks so much, Alegria :

Magnolia Alley Niagara Falls- Love at first sight

Teresa had such a good time in this city!

Day 3 in Prague

Last Day in Prague- Part 1

Join Alice for a nice gentle stroll, or sit a while :

Benches on the Halifax River

Say goodbye to Berto and Corna and the beach :

Bye-bye Langebaan (for now)

Listen to the sound of the waves with Mel :

Stretching My Legs in the Booti Booti National Park, Forster NSW

Or be an escape artist with Indra :

A City Escape

You might gather that I was smitten with Amarante. And there’s still another walk to take there, on a disused railway track. Join me next time and we’ll do it together. Meanwhile, have a great week!

98 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : Parque Florestal de Amarante

  1. Pingback: A grey Castelo Branco | Still Restlessjo

  2. Oh my Jo – you had me with the wisteria’d entrance! As for the crossing, perfect for anyone between 15 and 20 years old and treacherous for the rest of us!! A beautiful stroll indeed.


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  5. Hi Jo,
    I love a walk by a river, such a gorgeous gallery you’ve put together. My husband had a Polish Grandfather, he does have a slavic looking face as well! I’ve got a walk coming which I will link to this post. Not sure if that is the correct thing.


  6. Coming back to wordpress after a short hiatus and reading your post was like coming home. Beautiful pictures of a place far, far away. What a delightful walk! Also a discovery that you had a Polish side too.


  7. What a wonderful walk Jo. I felt like I was there with you, though Iโ€™m glad I missed the sound of the revving race cars. How wonderful to have the place all to yourselves. And the happy call from your uncle reviving happy memories.
    Thank you for sharing my Magnolia post.
    Hereโ€™s another walk for you. This time in a lilac garden, which has 535 lilac trees. Can you imagine? You donโ€™t have to. Iโ€™ve updated the old post with a new video so you can see for yourself. Enjoy!
    Have a beautiful day! ๐ŸŒธ


  8. Certainly a peaceful and calm offering, Jo. I am in agreement that the addition of a water feature in a natural setting is the most sublime of enjoyments. The stress can sometimes melt off in minutes! The night shots are appealing, once again. I think this had to be a perfect day!


    • It’s somewhere I’ll probably never go back to, Debbie, because I might not be able to recreate the bubble of delight I felt that day. As near perfect as it could be!


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    • I keep saying it but this was exactly what we needed, Sarah. I almost didn’t want to leave but the rest of the trip was just as good in it’s own way. Thanks, hon ๐Ÿ’Ÿ


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  12. You really do have some fabulous walks in Portugal and this is another winner. I love all the shots of the river and flowers. The stepping stones would be very tempting, especially to see the views from out there in the middle!


    • Gotta be done, Gunta! When we first saw the bridge it had banners over it, and we wondered what was going on. Then that evening we heard it! But as with most things Portuguese, all done with a love of life that makes you smile. And it didn’t disturb the peace of our morning walk in the least.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seems you’ve found a good place… “all done with a love of life that makes you smile”. Wish that could be said about some of the folks surrounding us here… though we find some to offset that. Luckily it’s not ALL bad!!! ๐Ÿ˜Š
        Wishing you a lovely week ahead… all done with love of life! ๐Ÿ’ž


  13. I was with you all the way and enjoyed the walk, the babbling brook (or gurgling river) whichever! As for that shot of the bridge with reflection – well, it must surely be one of your best. I just love it. All the flowers are gorgeous and the wistaria reminded me of the one I planted two years before I downsized and the new owners invited me back a few years later to see it – it was magnificent and my heart did have a sad moment that it wasn’t mine. So, congrats once again on a lovely post.


  14. What a nice walk in Amarante. It was too miserable when we were there, plus we didn’t have enough time to explore much on foot. I love that wisteria-covered arbor. And all the wildflowers. Thanks for taking us along!


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  17. This looks very English. I can imagine you would love living around here with the more varied climate, but Mick would miss his beach! Lovely wisteria on the pergola. I wouldn’t even contemplate those stepping stones as they seem to lead into a weir! And after a rather nasty headlong tumble this weekend I am definitely not taking any risks.


    • I suppose it does look a bit English, Jude, though I didn’t really think that at the time. We were so lucky with the weather. I understand they had a month of rain before we got there, which always colours your outlook, as well as making everything so green. I would miss the beach too, but not the summer temperatures. Funnily enough our friend in Obidos has complained about cool, damp weather this weekend and is coming to Cardiff this week hoping for sunshine! She’s coming to see Ed Sheeran. That’s devotion! It’s her husband’s birthday treat but he’s not terribly appreciative ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ’Ÿ At least I confine myself to watching Rafa on TV! And thank God, on the right Eurosport channel this week ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’—
      How did you do that? In the garden? This ageing business is a pain in the butt. And elsewhere! Much damage done? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eurosport has the tennis so no French Open for me this year, such a pain. Only way is to listen on 5 live sports if there is a match I want to hear. Not the same though.

        Went flying in the garden as I was bending over pulling out FMNs – as I went to stand up I just started moving forwards and couldn’t stop! Until I crashed into the granite wall and fell on the flower bed! Quite a weird experience and a bit battered and bruised today.


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    • Always best to post the link too, Anabel. Pingbacks don’t seem to be reliable. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ’— It is a rather messy profiterole shot as I think I started eating before I remembered to take a photo ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ’—


  19. So wonderful Jo. I loved every minute. I would be tempted by the stepping stones but as they are wet I would have to have the right footwear. To be centre stream and among the gushing water would be divine. Perhaps the bloke thought you were goat rustlers ๐Ÿ˜‚


  20. Wisteria flowers are beautifully fragrant, providing a feast for the senses. One of the first places where I had a chance to see blooming wisteria was in Portugal. It was a sight to behold ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing and have a good day ๐Ÿ™‚ Aiva xx


  21. Such a beautiful walk Jo – Amarente looks so pretty and tranquil (racing cars aside!). How lovely that your uncle phoned from Poland – hope he and the rest of the family are keeping well (it must be a bit stressful with the troubles in neighboruing Ukraine). It looks like you had a wonderful holiday and Easter xx ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Easter really was a real treat this year, Rosemay. We had friends staying in the Algarve and were tempted to stay for the celebrations there but we had promised ourselves this one and it worked out so well.
      I keep in touch with the Polish family as often as I can. My cousin is a baker and they have been doing their best to help feed the Ukrainians. ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿ’Ÿ

      Liked by 1 person

      • I imagine he must bake some delicious things Jo ๐Ÿ™‚ There must be so many people in need of help and support at present – it is heartbreaking to see it all on the news and read the reports. Quite unimaginable.
        On a happier note hope you’re enjpying the beautiful Algarve spring xx ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh, that wisteria! I think I would walk through fire to reach a scene like that! Of all of the spring flowers, I miss the wisteria the most.
    Go ahead and keep walking; I’m going to sit here, savor the view, pull out my paper and paints, scoop a cup of that nearby water, and paint some or all of that wisteria! You can probably circle back in a few days, and I’ll be ready to re-join society!


  23. Jo, your opening sentence is such a statement … water and colour on any walk just spells absolute tranquility! What a beautiful picture of the bridge reflecting in the water … thanks for yet another scenic walk!


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