Foggy Walk from Fuente de Cantos, on the Via la Plata, Spain

foggy walk to Jafra Spain on the Via la Plata

foggy walk to Jafra Spain on the Via la Plata 

Yup, yesterday I was raving on about the wonderful spring weather along the Via la Plata, and sure enough we wake up to fog! Temperatures were reasonable enough for walking about 10 C  and it didn’t rain on us. The fog cleared about 11 am, in the meantime I tried to get creative with the landscape photos.

foggy landscape along the via la plata, Spain

foggy landscape along the via la plata, Spain 

later in the day, after the fog cleared we came across small stream that had to be crossed, our biggest challenge; not getting the boots wet or falling down.

crossing the stream along the Via la Plata, Spain.

crossing the stream along the Via la Plata, Spain. 

Always something new along the Via la Plata.

 

 

Happy First Day of Spring, from the Via la Plata, Spain

El Castilllo de las Torres, El Real de la Jara

El Castillo de las Torres, El Real de la Jara, Spain

it is the first day of spring, and I must say that Spring in Spain has been wonderful. Most days when we are walking temperatures start about 13 – 15 C and be mid day when we are done around  23 – 25 C. Yesterday we did get a sprinkle of rain, but most days are clear or there is only a light cloud cover. Did I mention it is nice?

It is hard to document the sounds that we hear. At times there has been roosters crowing to walk us up, is sounds pleasant, and I guess it is, but at 4 am not quite so nice! At least some of the goats, sheep, and cows are wearing bells, so we can hear them clang in the distance. The occasional farm dog barks as we go by. Most of the roads are quiet, the occasional car, or tractor, although we have had times where we had to walk on or near the highway, and we had to listen to the cars swish by us at great speed, this was a little unnerving. Most of the time we are walking in the beautiful quiet country side, listening to song of the birds.  A wonderful way to spend a spring day.

 

Almaden de la Plata to Monesterio, Spain; Via la Plata Day 6

Leaving Alamaden de la Plata

Leaving Alamaden de la Plata 

The walk the last couple of days has been very pleasant; we walked through pastures, farmland, and part of the Sierra Norte de Seville, a nature reserve that protects more thank 177,00 hectares. We have walked past farms, and seen sheep, pigs, goats, cows, horses,  and of course plenty of farm dogs. We walked groves of olive, orange and apple trees, as well as oak and cork trees. The spring flowers are blanketing the meadows, growing along the ditches, and beside the lanes. While we have also spent a little time walking on dirt roads, and highways, the last two days has been very pleasant. We have also seen a couple of old castles, one in El Real de la Jara that are being restored, the one pictured below is about a 10 minute walk along the Via la Plata from El Real de la Jara, and has been left to the storks….

via la plata, leaving El Real de Jara, Spain

via la plata, leaving El Real de Jara, Spain 

resting in the shade

resting in the shade 

baby goat

  baby goat  

daisies

daisies 

wild lavender

wild lavender 

Castle Towers near El Real de la Jara, Spain

Castle Towers near El Real de la Jara, Spain 

The towns have been small and quiet, and we are finding our way.  We have only met 3 – 4  pilgrims, and seen a few more on the road from time to time, but very few in comparison to the Camino Francis, the most well known of the Camino routes.  I remember the Camino Francis and walking out-of-town each morning we would see a line of pilgrims in front of us and behind us. While on the Via la Plata we can walk all day and not see anyone, except the occasional passing vehicle, or farmer driving a tractor, so the walk is much quieter. I realized on this walk, just how much we relied on other pilgrims to interpret for us, as we speak little or no Spanish. In fact to say we speak a little Spanish would be an exaggeration, but we have been able to get by, with the help and patience of some friendly people; sign language, the occasional passer-by that speaks a little English, and by using goggle translate when we have wi-fi.

Overall spring is a beautiful time in Spain and we are enjoying the Via la Plata….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portimao Portugal

the beaches of Portimao Portugal

Today we visited the Praia da Rocha beach of Portimao Portugal. Arriving from Toronto Ontario, Canada it was warm and sunny, and such a change from the cold and snow we left behind.

The beaches are still empty, the busy summer tourist season has not yet arrived, by Easter the number of tourist in the town will increase, and the restaurants and shops will be overflowing with activity.

A view of Portimao Portugal from Foia Mountain

A view of Portimao Portugal from Foia Mountain

From the beach we drove up the Fioa Mountain, with an altitude of 902 meters (2959 ft.) it is the highest mountain in the Algarve, we could just barely see Portimao through the distant haze. I am told the winter rainy season has just ended, and we are hoping this is true, so the hills, are green, and the plants and trees are starting to bloom. Everything loose lush and lovely.

stone stacking, Portimao, Portugal

stone stacking, Portimao, Portugal

we also found samples of Stone Stacking, I love the idea that a person can be so patient as to stack stones, often tip to tip, and I have no idea how they might stay there.

the final images is just part of the backyard and view where we are staying, there are also lovely gardens, and the flowers are starting to bloom. They also have several seating areas in the garden to we can sit and enjoy the sunshine. I will try to post some pictures of the garden and flowers tomorrow. Bob and Sharon have been wonderful tour guides, and I am sure we will have lots to see tomorrow as well….

Sharon & Bob_Portimao_IMG_5481-2

I guess it could go without saying, but I will say it anyway, we are enjoying the warm temperatures and sunshine and oh so happy to be out of the cold….

Happy Friday; beautiful pink tulips to start the weekend off with.

spring pink tulips

spring pink tulips

“The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.”
-Arthur C. Clark
Arthur C. Clark wanted to inspire us; don’t set goals for what you think you can achieve, set goals for the impossible, dream big.
I picked up the quote on the Truly Twisted Marketing blog. I just recently started reading recently.
We are kicking off the weekend, and we will have two days to do what we want to do, what blissfully wonderful things are you going to be doing? Not sure, take a few moments, gaze at the beautiful pink tulips and dream.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
 

Minter Garden, Chilliwack BC.

Water Wheel; Minter Gardens, Chilliwack BC

Water Wheel; Minter Gardens, Chilliwack BC 

Happy Tuesday to everyone, for my fellow Canadians I hope you had a great long weekend. It was great to have an extra day for family and friends, and to use it as needed. In Calgary we had great weather, so we got a little gardening done; some flowers, lettus, peas and tomatoes planted.

This image was taken last summer at the Minter Garden, Chilliwack BC, one of my favourite gardens, I believe it is about 32 acres and I would recommend a sunday visit.

 

 

Ostrich Fern, unfolding in the spring sunshine.

Walking up this morning, I smile
Twenty-four brand new hours before me
I vow to live fully every moment,
to see the beauty that is everywhere. 
We had a great visit to Vancouver, it was an opportunity to visit with family and friends.  To visit the sites, some old favourites like the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden, and some new sites like the Capilano suspension bridge. This photo was taken while we visited the UBC botanical garden, the sunshine on the delicate unfolding fonds was beautiful.  One special feature of the gardens is the Canopy walkway, which is worth the price of admission.  A 308 meter aerial trail system suspended about 50 feet in the trees offers a view of the upper part of the forest and forest floor from a unique perspective.  The Catwalk suspended as it is, feels like walking on a trampoline and with more that one person on each section walking with the or against the bounce is great exercise. Great fun and worth every minute.
I hope you have a great day, and beauty unfolds before you. 

spring pussy willows, in the spring

warm setting sun,

fuzzy pussy willows,

spring is in the air.

Monday I was visiting Cochrane Ranch, near Cochrane Alberta, the willow trees were past the bud stage, but seemed to have a halo around them when seen in front of the setting sun. It is friday and I am looking forward to a long weekend.

Words, may they be as beautiful as pink tulips

Words can travel thousands of miles.  

May my words create mutual understanding and love. 

May they be as beautiful as gems, 

as lovely as flowers……………….Thich Nhat Hanh 

I am reading a good book by Thich Nhat Hahn. In it he offered this lovely poem, or rather mediation prayer, as a reminder that our words have impact. If you are angry or irritated the other person will receive your negativity, he suggests we be mindful of our words and the impact they have.

So I offer you a lovely flower; may your day be filled with flowers and gems.

jolly jump ups!

The jolly jump ups have not yet made themselves known in my garden this year – it won’t be long now. But it seems to have been a busy week with little time to get out and photograph the world around me, and I am anxious to get out into the garden, so I thought I would dig, (pun intended) through some of my old image files and find a spring like picture to brighten the day. It is just +1 degrees here in Calgary, but things are looking good for a sunny warm weekend.  Yes I might just get some pots planted.

I hope you have a bright and sunny Thursday.