Logbook in "Beira Alta Raiana" I
I - The beginning
Yes, it's true that I've always heard that to get to the most interesting places we had to take curves and turns on roads that seem lost in the landscape, but arriving and feeling the pleasure of the contrast with the city where we live is rewarding. Some of the villages and places we visited give even more meaning to this journey where their people genuinely welcomed us according to the tradition of those who know how to welcome.
So on August 24, 2020, another normal summer day, it was the beginning of a memorable trip with friends!
Bags packed, I left the house after lunch. I picked up 3 of the 4 friends with whom I was about to be able to share unforgettable moments and got on the motorway heading north... as they were already waiting for us in Almofala (a small village located in the border area that belongs to the municipality from Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, in Guarda).
First stop, the Abrantes service area. When we got out of the car, we immediately felt the dry and scorching heat, so common in the center of the country... after a brief stop we continued, this time towards Castelo Branco to make a delivery... it seemed that the journey had no end! LOL!
Finally, after two mini-breaks and with night approaching, we take the A23 towards Guarda...
Upon arrival, we were very well received. In fact, not only upon arrival but throughout the entire stay! A great blessing to the Mêda family and everyone who accompanied me on this trip, because without them none of this would be possible!
After a beautiful "banquet", we can enjoy moments of convivial relaxation that served to relax from the long journey but there was still time to grab the bikes and go to a clearing in the highest part of the village and capture some fantastic night records!
With our batteries charged, we took advantage of the first morning to visit Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo and buy some supplies for our stay and, at the same time, start exploring the area.
In the afternoon, we grabbed the bicycles and went to the border with Spain, located at one end of Escarigo, a village close to Almofala, where we could contemplate the magnificent colors of the sunset.
On the third day, it was agreed to get up early to go down to the river Águeda by bicycle, where we would spend the day, in order to avoid the typical heat of the interior bank, which anyone who knows it knows is not nice... What is certain is that were 11:30 and we still haven't started... (typical age-related logistical delays...)
Finally, with a packed lunch, we continued on to Torreia do Sol along a dirt track that went downhill (and I'm glad I knew how to go downhill, but I was always thinking that on the way back it would hurt, LOL).
The landscape is divine and we stopped to appreciate it. We were now starting to feel that we were far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the feeling of being surrounded only by nature was impressive. As usual, photos taken, we continued our way through the hills, always with breathtaking landscapes by our side.
As we almost arrived, we still had a setback, a small fall, perhaps the result of tiredness and the heat that was felt. Fortunately, it was just a scare and so we continued on our way, crossing the river Tourões (border between Portugal and Spain), which was dry, and we walked the last few meters that separated us from the river Águeda.
Six or seven kilometers after starting, there we were on the left bank of the Águeda, already in the land of "our brothers". We parked the bicycles and went for the long-awaited swim, as the heat was already intense!
We found a very quiet and virgin spot, undoubtedly a hotspot of the trip, which provided great photos!
And as well as the delicious lunch, tuna pâté sandwiches, the delicacy chosen by the group! LOL
With our bellies full, we took the opportunity while we digested to explore the surroundings and cross to the right bank, apparently more inhospitable, perhaps because of the sun exposure throughout the afternoon! We walk along the right slope near old haystacks, possibly former shelters for shepherds and flocks, who needed to spend the night when passing through that area, as there is nothing else nearby.
We ended up discovering a mini waterfall, which with a little imagination, we turned into two hydromassage chairs... very nice!! :)
At the end of the afternoon, it was time to say goodbye to the river, after a day full of experiences, and make our way back, now always uphill and loaded with backpacks and bags... I can say that it took a little while!