On the final day of our week….we visited the beautiful island of Armona, which is accessible by water taxi from Olhao.
Leaving Olhao. It takes approximately fifteen minutes.
We arrived at the dock in Olhao to see the welcome site of Nuno and his lovely dog Boli.
Nuno is a marine biologist, and his family have lived for many generations on the Algarve. The perfect person to tell us about this unique coastal lagoon, – which is a paradise for bird watchers and a rich source of shell fish and leading contributor to the local economy.
Two of the group enjoying the ride along with Boli.
Armona is part of the Ria Formosa National Park – an area which is a very important stop over point in the migration routes between Europe and Africa – and so much more.
The largest population of sea horses in the world are found here, although because of new fishing methods their numbers are sadly dwindling.
Nuno showed us this beauty. It is the male sea horse that becomes pregnant.
Arriving at Armona.
The Island is approx 9 Kilometres (6 miles) in length by 1 Km (0.6 mile) wide. It has quite a large community of beach houses and several cafes/bars and a well stocked shop. There are no cars on the Island, which of course I love.
It reminds me of some of the outer islands in the Bahamas. A perfect place to rent a cottage for a month (out of season) to paint, write and think.
Once again, we had sketch books and cameras at the ready and a lot of beautiful work was produced that day.
I just happened to see this cat against the white wall and loved the drama. Managed to take about four images before the cat spied me and disappeared.
I encourage people to go off on their own to find places where they can sit, focus, observe and sketch.
One of the group enjoying a lovely moment with nature and sketch book.
Many interesting nooks, crannies and jumping off points for paintings, in between the cottages….
And the beaches are lovely.
We had a fantastic lunch experience on the roof of Armona 4 – a restaurant situated by the arrival dock. Lots of grilled fresh fish and vegetables – along with conversation and laughter.
This is John, who looked after us so well, taking a much deserved rest after lunch.
Before we left the Island, John made us his specialty cocktail…..and my oh my was it special:)
Then back to The School for our final evening meal together. This is the walk form the water taxi towards the school.
I now look forward to returning to Olhao during the last week in June, in the autumn/winter for some long painting weekends and again next April.
Meanwhile, the Hummingbirds continue to weave their magic.
I hope everyone enjoys a lovely weekend. I plan to paint:)