On 16th May 2014, during our trip to Peneda-Gerês National Park (PGNP), we went to Covide to go for a hike along the pedestrian route “PR 1 – Trilho da Cidade da Calcedónia” (Trail of the city of Calcedónia). It was midday when we initiated the hike. Because of the strong sun, that wasn’t the best time to start our walk. Luckily, we walked under the shadow of trees along the 1st kilometer.
A small section of this path is part of the “Via Nova”, also known as “Geira”, which is a roman road that connected “Bracara Augusta” (Braga), in Portugal, and “Astúrica Augusta” (Astorga), in Spain. We passed by a placard that indicated the XXVI mile.
There’s a group of geocaches distributed along the “Via Nova”. During our search for one of them, I had a bad meeting with a wasp that had its nest right next to the container. My finger got a bit swollen, but in the end of the day it was back to normal.
We had planned to look for a couple of geocaches along this trail. One of them was hidden in the highest summit of that region – Tonel. Tonel reaches an altitude of 919 meters. It is only 10 meters higher than its “brother” Calcedónia.
My brother and I climbed to the top of Tonel summit while our companions awaited for us on its foothill. We followed the GPS coordinates of the geocache, went up and down, from one site to another… then we just enjoyed the view from there and returned to the path without finding any cache.
When we were approaching Calcedónia summit, we had to walk through a kind of tunnel made of several rocks. Right after that, we passed by a big rock that looked like a whale.
Maybe because we were expecting to find something signalling the gap that would allow us to climb to the top of Calcedónia, we were not able to recognize it when we passed there. The worst, we even took a picture of the it! So, unfortunately, we skipped the best part of the trail.
However, it was not necessary to go to the top of Calcedónia summit to enjoy a great view. We had a fantastic view over Covide and the surrounding mountains when we began our descent. And speaking of the descent, that is a rather steep descent!
For me, the last kilometer was the hardest part of the trail. As I already said, the descent is very steep and the path is a bit gritty. Therefore, the path is slippery and we need to walk carefully.
It took us almost 6 hours to finish the trail.
Characteristics of the route
Arrival and departure: Calvary Square, Covide
Scope of the route: panoramic, scenery
Extension: 7 km
Duration: 6 hours
Level of difficulty: moderate