Portugal in 200 Days

Portugal in 200 Days

the small town of Mértola in the south to Ponte da Barca in
the north, I found a country that was a beguiling mixture of rustic
charm and historic splendour, with increasing flourishes of
modernity. I have sought to show a side of Portugal whose values
and way of life seem similar with my own. From market traders and
fishermen to pilgrims to gypsies, I was drawn to those whose lives
seem somewhat distant from the glare of the fast changing modern
world, and who form the underbelly of a country where much is
changing. I found these people to be polite and warm-hearted, often
leading a traditional way of life, usually guided by religious
beliefs and principles.

They live and thrive in a diverse landscape; from the open
plains of southern Alentejo to the more mountainous north. Along
the west coast the terrain is wild and rugged, with glorious –
often empty – beaches, and majestic cliffs that have been sculpted
by the pounding waves of the Atlantic Ocean. To the east lies an
interior of mountains and broad river valleys. Portugal is a lush,
fertile land of agriculture, abundant with fruit and olive groves,
wild vegetation, vineyards, and forests of eucalyptus and cork
trees, which extend well beyond the horizon. Throughout my travels
imposing castles and impressive monasteries appeared regularly, as
did the quiet villages, often, it seemed, devoid of inhabitants –
and when people were to be found they would often be sitting in a
café passing the time of day.

Buy the photographer’s book, 200 Days in Portugal,

| markbenham.co.uk

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