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.


  1. Well done on that impressive parkrun time (and position). Sue and I will be trying to match the position over the next three weeks, but we’ll struggle to match your time.

    You said you would use my ‘report’ for the 5 January walk, so I suppose a link is all that is needed.

    Have a lovely time in Portugal...

  2. I for one would be sad if you discontinued. I know you post on Facebook, but I hate that platform and only look at it intermittently. I hate it for all sorts of reasons, and in particular I find it most user unfriendly - I can never find anything I want and it is difficult to follow a thread. Blogging does seem to be in decline with fewer comments these days, but I will battle on.

    1. Although Facebook has its uses (and it often makes me smile to see a 'memory' in the form of a photo I posted on that day X years ago), I agree that I wouldn't find it of any use as an online journal, due to the difficulty in finding posts again. My blogs give a much better platform for searching my own posts to refresh my memory about a place or time.

      It's just a pity that Blogger is making it so difficult to post at the moment, with seemingly all third party apps having stopped working if you want to post any photos and with the Blogger dashboard being so mobile-phone unfriendly.

  3. I'd also be disappointed if you stopped posting here, though I'd be quite happy to see you combine the non-walking and the walking activities into just one place.

    Despite the problems with Blogger and OLW, I will be continuing my on line diary for many reasons, even if at some point I have to pay somebody to migrate it to WordPress (which I also dislike).

    1. It's not just OLW that's stopped working. When Bloggeroid ceased to be able to post photos on 18 January I took a look at various other Apps and found reports that they had all stopped working on the same day too. So, once again, it's Blogger has tweaked something that has effectively disabled the ability to post via third party software. For the time being, I am posting text via Bloggeroid, then editing in the Blogger dashboard to add photos - but the latter part of the process is painful from a mobile phone.

      I did briefly look at other blogging platforms, but concluded that it's research best done from home, rather than on the road.

  4. Picasa has stopped as well. Something of a nuisance.
    Mobile postings with a few reduced size images at the head of the posting, just sent to the blog's email address, still seems to be working...