|The sky changes minute by minute with the strong winds coming in from the sea.|
The walk up the steep hill outside of our house is excruciating. Each time I go it’s a little easier, making it further. Yesterday, I traveled the furthest.
|This new discovery from yesterday baffles me. Any comments?|
After sitting so much while in Morocco I’m working hard to get back into shape. Although we walked a lot while in Marrakech, it was never enough when the remainder of the time we were sitting doing no cooking, household tasks, or laundry.
|The vine-covered wall across from our house on the steep road.|
Now busy doing everything for ourselves, I find myself feeling lighter on the feet and energized. For me, it illustrates that moving around frequently has therapeutic benefits that seniors (and younger) definitely need when it’s easy to get lost in a book or online as the hours whiz past us.
|This white cat hangs out by the “snack bar” at the top of the hill.|
Without a doubt, I’m deriving the most benefit from the steep walk on the road not only from a physical perspective, but also from the beauty I discover along the way. I happily take photos on the way down to avoid disturbing the beneficial flow of endorphins on the painful way up.
|The season for roses is nearing its end.|
From what I can tell, this neighborhood is mostly occupied by over 40’s working people. There are few children. A few of the homes are owned, managed, and maintained by Gina and her family as vacation rentals most of which are occasionally rented for one week or two, seldom longer as Gina explained. We are the rare exception, staying for two and a half months.
|Are these red lilies? The flower season is soon ending from what appears on the walks.|
When I walk up and down the road, I walk past several locals, mostly men, working on houses along the way, some being remodeled, others being maintained. There are a few garages where cabinets and woodworking is occurring, a seeming common occupation of the local men, not so much the women.
|Judite, our cleaning person, told me this morning that this is “pera abacata” which translates to avocado.|
The only time I see women is when an older woman wearing a conservative flower printed dress and a headscarf also walking on the road carrying something from here to there. They look at me more out of curiosity than as a result of my invasion into their neighborhood. I always smile. They don’t always smile back but, from the glimmer in their eyes, I feel they mean to.
|Not a clue.|
The garbage truck guys always wave and smile as do the other small service truck drivers seeing to the needs of the area. As I walk past the little “snack bar” which is actually a bar serving alcohol during the day and night, there are always two or three guys standing outside, throwing some comments my way.
|These must be bleeding hearts.|
I have no idea what they’re saying. I smile while continuing the trek up the hill, never turning my head to look. Good grief, I’m not delusional enough to assume they’re flirting with me. After all, I’m too old to assume that. For whatever reasons, they always look and comment which I take in my stride staying determined to stay focused on my mission…getting up the darned hill!
|These blue, sometimes purple flowers grow wild in Madeira.|
Overall, the people of Madeira are friendly. But, the language barrier always prevents one from determining as to their degree of friendliness. Nothing will ever compare to the people in South Africa with whom one can become close friends in a single night in the bar or over food. We did our share. We miss those people.
|Grapes growing in a private garden.|
After the walk each day, which takes only 25 minutes round trip and feeds into my passion for HIIT (high-intensity interval training), I feel energized and refreshed.
|These appear to be hydrangeas.|
Once we leave here on July 31st, we’ll be staying in hotels with health clubs for a month so I can return to my former routine. Then, we’re on to two cruises with workout rooms for another month. When we live on the four islands in Hawaii there are workout rooms at the condos.
|Variations in color of the greenery.|
I can’t explain how excited I am to return to the fitness routine that I’ve dearly missed over the past year, instead, doing makeshift at-home exercises with which I have trouble disciplining myself. Sound familiar?
|Tom thinks this is a water tank atop this roof.|
Five years older than Tom, I realize that staying strong and fit will determine how long we can continue to travel. That motivation alone drives me on, knowing that we still have so much more world to see. As much as we’ve done over the past year and a half, it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
|Poppies growing in a pile of vines and rubble.|
Speaking of icebergs, we’ll be in Iceland in less than three months hoping to see the Northern Lights. Gosh, I’d better keep walking up that hill with vigor. There’s so much ahead of us.
By the way, we managed to stop the produce guy a few minutes ago, buying two full shopping bags of fresh produce. Need I say that we’re thrilled?
Photo from one year ago today, June 19, 2013:
|This was the larger of two bathrooms in our 300-year-old stone house in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. Although we had many modern conveniences, the old house required adjusting to with its many steep steps and uneven halls and walkways which was definitely not appropriate for anyone who wasn’t surefooted. We paid special attention each time we walked from one room to another due to the uneven steps in doorways. For details of the date, please click here.|