The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday 28 January 2019

Monay 28 January - The Salt Pans of Castro Marim/Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal

Before putting fingers to keyboard for this post, I took a quick look to see when I last posted on this blog. It appears that post-worthy walks are so few and far between that I may as well abandon this blog - but I won't, because: a) it's still a useful resource to aid my own memory; and b) we are scheduled to do some blog worthy activities later in the year.

Of course, as an aid to my memory, it would be more effective if I did actually blog the blog-worthy walks. It's just occurred to me that the walk we took with Martin & Sue on 5 January is missing from the record. I am not quite sure how I failed to write a post about it - I certainly intended to. You can find Martin's account of the day here.

Skipping forward from my last blog post to today (via a trip to France that got suddenly and unexpectedly curtailed in November, Christmas at home and, starting a couple of weeks ago, a long drive from home to the south of Portugal, via Belgium), a toss of the coin this morning between 'move on to pastures new' or 'go for a walk around the local salt pans' came down on the side of 'stay and walk'. So we did. Only 10.6km, almost dead flat, but in temperatures suitable for shorts even if fleeces were required for most of the outing.

Very pleasant it was too, if we ignore the sections on road at the beginning and end, the latter of which was the most offensive. The salt flats would have been even more worthwhile if we were of a bird watching bent. As I didn't inherit my father's interest in birds, I only managed to identify the flamingos and the egrets.

A couple of snaps:

Can you spot the big JCB-style of digger sitting inside the mountain of salt on the right?

Looking over the heads of the flamingos towards the two hill-top (/pimple-top) forts at Castro Marim, which is where we are currently staying. We took a look around the forts yesterday, although the newer of the two is only partially accessible to the public.