Peneda Gerês National Park – day 5

DAY 1: Braga, Pitões das Júnias, Montalegre (12th May 2014)
Hike: “Trilho de Pitões das Júnias”
Accommodation: Montalegre Hotel (79€/ 2 pax / 2 nights)
DAY 2: Xertelo – Lamalonga – Minas de Carris – Xertelo (13th May 2014)
Hike: Trail from Xertelo to Minas de Carris
Accommodation: Montalegre Hotel (79€/ 2 pax / 2 nights)
DAY 3: Montalegre to Gerês (14th May 2014)
Places visited: Misarela bridge, Fafião, Tahiti waterfall, Arado waterfall, Pedra Bela Viewpoint
Accommodation: Gerês Aparthotel (85.5€/ 4 persons/ 2 nights)
Restaurant: Lurdes Capela Restaurant (11€/ person)
DAY 4: S. Bento da Porta Aberta, Covide (15th May 2014)
Hike: “PR 1 – Trilho da Cidade da Calcedónia”
Accommodation: Gerês Aparthotel (85.5€/ 4 persons/ 2 nights)
DAY 5: Portela de Leonte, Torneiros (Spain), Lindoso (16th May 2014)
Places visited: “Pé de Cabril”, “Prado do Vidoal”, Hot spring of Torneiros (Spain), abandoned house (near Compostela, Spain) Lindoso

The 5th and last day of our trip to Peneda-Gerês National Park (PNPG) quickly arrived.

We were hoping to have the same luck that we had on the previous day, but on that day we didn’t see the baker. So, we had to go to the town center to buy some bread for our lunch.
After that detour, we drove North. We parked the car in Portela de Leonte next to the former forest ranger’s house.
We divided ourselves in two groups. JB went alone to see the “Prado do Vidoal” (Vidoal Meadow). My brother, his girlfriend and I went on the opposite direction, towards the mountain known as “Pé de Cabril”.

Whale rock

Whale rock

It took us about 1 hour to arrive at the top of “Pé de Cabril” mountain. We started by following a trail and when it disappeared, we looked for the “mariolas” to guide us.
Near the top of the mountain, we had to cross a natural opening between rocks. This is a narrow and low passage. We had to walk by squatting to cross it to the other side.

When we approached this kind of tunnel, we noticed a lizard hidden in the vegetation. By its green body color and its blue head, it seamed to be the Iberian emerald lizard, also known as Schreiber’s green lizard (Lacerta schreiberi), which is an endemic specie of Iberian Peninsula.

Pé de Cabril

Pé de Cabril

My brother’s girlfriend stopped her climbing when we reached the final ascent to the peak. This ascent requires some rock climbing and special care is recommended.

When we reached a small platform with a stone wall of my size I felt very apprehensive. With some effort, I knew I would be able to climb it, but I was not sure if I would be able to descend it without loosing my balance. After a good look at every spot where I could hold myself and knowing that my brother could help me if I needed, I felt confident to continue the climbing to the peak.

The next hurdle were the metal steps fixed in the rock, known as via ferrata. In a gipsy, I joined my brother, who was already enjoying the amazing view over the fantastic landscapes of the PNPG!

Pé de Cabril

Pé de Cabril

It felt very good to be there, at 1236 meters. However, we had to go back. There were no incidents during the descent.

When we were half way to the former forest ranger’s house we found a large group of wild horses right on the path that we wanted to follow. We didn’t want to disturb them, so we decided to go by another way. Of course this was not the best option. As we say in Portugal “quem se mete em atalhos, mete-se em trabalhos”, literally translated to “who gets into shortcuts gets into trouble”. We found the trail to the place where the car was parked, but before that we had to walk through dense vegetation, to jump some ditches…it was not an easy walk.

Vidoal Meadow

Vidoal Meadow

JB was already waiting for us. He had enjoyed a lot his walk. He had the company of several wasps that were flying around him for some part of the path, but none of them hurt him. Despite that, he liked everything. The trail, the meadow, which is very big, and he even met two guys who were going to do the complete walk around the meadows. He felt a bit jealous of them, because he also wished to do that. This hike is on our agenda, if we return to PNPG.

At the time we left Portela de Leonte, there were some cars parked in there and we saw a few persons.

We continued driving North, we crossed the border and we stopped in the Spanish village of Torneiros. What is it so special about Torneiros? In this village we can enjoy the famous hot springs. Right next to the river with limpid water, there’s a pool with hot water. Unfortunately, the water is so hot that it’s impossible to go in there during Summer. I believe that that pool must be a great place to visit during Winter time.

Hot spring

Hot spring

There were 2 or 3 old men that were mixing the hot water coming from the hot spring with the cold one from the river. But the river’s water level was so low that they could only have their back or belly on the water.

My brother, who had so much expectations about the hot spring and spent the whole week thinking about the bath that he would take in there felt so disappointed…Poor him.

Castle of Lindoso

Castle of Lindoso

We crossed the river to the other side to make use of the picnic tables to have our lunch.

Our next destination was an abandoned house near Compostela. We went there to look for a geocache. After some time exploring the huge house, probably built in the 18th century, we returned to Portugal.

We stopped in the beautiful village of Lindoso. We first visited the Castle, dated from the 13th century, and then we went to the “Largo dos Espigueiros” (Square of the Granaries).

"Largo dos espigueiros"

Square of the Granaries

The Castle of Lindoso is one of the most important Portuguese military monuments, both because of its strategic location and because of the techniques and stylists novelties introduced in the Portuguese military architecture.

We went inside the castle by the drawbridge. Since the keep tower, which nowadays houses a museum, was closed, we just walked around it. From the castle we saw the biggest group of “espigueiros” we had ever saw! “Espigueiro” is a typical granite granary with grooves in the walls for ventilation and that is elevated from the ground by some stone pillars in order to avoid the access of rodents.
That area is known as “Largo dos Espigueiros” (Square of the Granaries) and is the biggest agglomerate of “espigueiros” in Portugal. It is composed of more than 50 “espigueiros”, dated from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Right next to the square of the granaries, there’s the “Cruzeiro de Lindoso” (Monumental Cross of Lindoso)

Before leaving Lindoso, we ate a snack in the picnic area next to the Castle. Then we drove home and it was the end of our incredible trip to “Parque Nacional Peneda-Gerês” (Peneda-Gerês National Park).

Pé de Cabril

Vidoal Meadow

Hot spring Torneiros (Spain)

Abandoned house (Compostela, Spain)

Lindoso

1 Response to “Peneda Gerês National Park – day 5

  1. Pingback: Peneda Gerês National Park – day 4 | Backpack Tourist

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