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© 2017 John Kiely        john@purlieu.photography             Phone +447736849388

Fuseta (or Fuzeta)

January 8, 2019

Fuseta seems to have a split personality, well in the way that it is spelled.  If in doubt I look at the signage on the Train stations.  The signs on the building are Fuseta, while the metal signs are Fuzeta.  The same is true throughout the town, both spellings are used.  I have decided to use Fuseta, as this is the spelling used on the council offices.

 

Fuseta was my first experience Portugal since Porto over twenty years ago.  My strongest memory of Portugal was the people, so warm and friendly, things haven’t changed.  It is a small fishing town consisting of traditional buildings on narrow streets, nothing fancy, no flashing lights or amusement arcades.  The main attraction is the beach, which is a barrier beach reached by ferry or water taxi, oh, and the food.  We didn’t visit this though; we were content with the small beach by the campsite ad the miles of paths around the salt pans on both sides of the town.

Café/Restaurante- Parque campismo

 

They say that within two weeks you either hate Fuseta, or you have become Fuseterised.  From what I can gather this means that you will leave one day, but maybe tomorrow, we fell into this camp, we both loved the place.  From our point of view it is impossible to separate Fuseta from the campsite, in particular Café/Restaurante- Parque campismo( fuseta).  The ‘marmite’ effect seems to be supported by online reviews, people rather love or hate the place!

 

 

It turned out to be the perfect place for me to achieve my goal of reviewing my practice.  There was so much time and space to walk and work.  I couldn’t retreat to the safety of working in woodland, because there wasn’t any.  There were, however, almost surrealistic landscapes around the many salt pans and miles of coastal walks along planned cycle and foot paths.  We ended up staying here for just over a month, and we will be returning next year.

 

 Dawn is always a great time of day on the coast, usually I was on my way to the salt pans with Kelsey, my lurcher.  Pollarded trees look strange in the autumn  and winter before the new, thicker growth takes place.

 New apartments spread out from the densely occupied town.

 The rai line is unfenced, obviously people in this area know better than to stray onto lines.  

 Modern houses, villas, are developed from smaller buildings as you move away from the town.  This is right on the edge of the Via Formosa Natural Park.  The light on this day was quite flat, close to mid day, so I was looking at the similarities in form, accompanied by contrasting texture.

 The ruin of an agricultural building on a small plot of land being cultivated for food.  This building caught my eye each day, but it never seemed quite right.  The tree directly in front of it was covered with bright yellow flowers.  On this day most had fallen and the tree no longer distracted from the building, the composition became more balanced.

 This area was where the cycle path left the salt pans.  The stone has the look of a toppled grave stone, but was in act part of the remains of an old water power mill.  The play of light up the tree trunk always attracted me, as shadows increased as the dense foliage blocked the light.  On tis slightly overcast day the effects were more subtle.

 A small coastal pine above the old water mill.  The narrow bands of sunlight create a path through the frame for the viewers eye to follow.

 

 One thing Fuseta does will is skies, particularly at sunrise and sunset.  The last ten minutes of light is always interesting to work in.

 I initially thought that this structure was a lifeboat station, but it turns out the boat house is part of a water sports venture.

 The Via Formosa, so tranquil - until the summer.

 

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