Mediterranean Odyssey 2019 travel blog


Hotel from Piadao - hill we walked down.

Street in Piodao

Piodao again

Sunday today and it was very quiet when we awake. All you could hear with the window open was the whooshing of the wind turbine blades on the mountains around us.

Breakfast doesn’t start early - 8am. But it was a good selection. A bit of a logic problem going on. Bowls on the opposite side of the room to the cereal, butter near the meat and not near the jam and spreads, some cups too small for the coffee machine (as J discovered as the coffee overflowed everywhere!) we had a good meal with some pastela de nata to finish off! ( well we were planning to walk.

We double checked with the receptionist. This one said 10 minutes down to the village and 15 up. That didn’t sound too bad thought J. We headed out and down the steps and across the road to the path. But where was it? The sign had been uprooted by some jerk building a house. He had also built a driveway over the path. J found where to go and despite C’s protestations , convinced her that this was the path. And it was. Most of it paved with slate layed on its edge, so it was rough but not slippery. It was quite steep in many places. All C could think of was coming back up!

It was interesting though, past a little church, small barns, veggie patches, grapes, trees ( including fruit trees), over stone bridges and along terraces built of stone. Eventually we reached Piadao village.

We spent some time exploring the narrow stone streets, steps and lanes. Washing strung out on lines running along the top of terraces, mainly blue doors and windows, flowers in pots, a communal washing pool (spring water), troughs with scrubbing grooves outside houses, chooks in stone hen houses, cats sitting on warm slate roofs, and occasionally a loud clang from the church bell. We tried for a coffee at a restaurant, and when we said cappuccino they pulled out a Nestle Satchel - no said J and we left. Further down in the main square below the church we found another cafe. The coffee here was very good, and the owner gave us 3 liqueur samples to try - berry, chestnut, and elderflower . The latter being the best. The chestnut tasted ok but J said it smelled like toilet duck!

C sat on a stone bench in the shade and J explored the swimming pool - fed by the natural streams. Very clear and very cold. No-one was swimming!

At lunch time, we tried a different cafe - overlooking the town and the valley. Bread rolls with egg and salad, smoked ham and sheep’s cheese - very nice. The sheep’s cheese is pale yellow and a bit stronger than mild. Goats cheese white and not very tasty. We decided to go back to the hotel to get the car. C was persuaded to sit in the shade while J walked back to the hotel. He headed off up the road as it was a more gradual climb, and had quite a bit of shade. It took 35 minutes with occasional stops for recovery and photos. He will get the Polka dot jersey at the end of today! Then back down with the car to collect C and me!

Where to next? We had figured out which road we would be leaving on tomorrow, and it leaves from Piadao. A few km along it is another village we wanted to see - Foz de aguar. We decided to go and look now rather than stop there tomorrow. The road was still narrow, with some spots only wide enough for one car. Through a town called Torno, and a bit further on we arrived. Nowhere to park in the village ( 1 lane wide remember) and the houses are all up and down the hill with connecting steps as it is steep. We drove a bit further and turned down the road to the Piscine Naturel - another natural pool. We parked, then walked alongside the stream and reached the pool. It was surrounded by stone paths, grass and shady trees. At one end the weir, at the other a stone arch bridge over each of the entering streams. Very picturesque. People had been swimming, and others were arriving. High up on the hill above was an unusual church with a lattice framed tower. Higher up than the bridge on one side was a old suspension bridge - simple cables with wooden cross members to walk on. No-one was keen to load test it!

As expected, there was a small cafe/bar with a patio, umbrellas and tables. So J and C relaxed with a long cold shandy. Then home for a siesta!

There is a pool, but with only a few days reawakening, we are struggling to get clothes dry. There are some smalls in the car, and a few hanging in the window of the room. Unfortunately nowhere as good as the lines in the village!

We haven’t decided on tea tonight - hotel or somewhere in the village. There might be goat stew or wild boar on the menu!

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