SERRA DA ESTRELA IN CENTRAL PORTUGAL
Some years ago Ian and I spent a few weeks in Central Portugal. In memory of all the forest fires which destroyed so much trees plants and animals (and most of all human life) that was lost there over last summer, I have decided to enter a few thoughts, photos, and words from my journal of those days. It will show the fresh beauty of the place, and like many I hope that the land will recover in all its glory.
We were staying in a small village called Orca in the centre of Portugal, close to the town of Penamacor and Castello Branco. It was very hot already during our stay even though it was only towards the end of April. One day we decided to travel to Covhila which lies on the foot of the Serra da Estrella Natural Park and mountain range. Here is a little of what I noted down at the time.
Journal entry of April the 28th ~ INTERESTING ROCKS AND MAGNIFICENT VIEWS
We made a day trip to the Serra da Estela mountain range, the highest mountains in Portugal, while we were staying in a lovely little hotel in the historical centre of Covilha. It was possibly one of the most amazing days we spent in Portugal. The beauty of the landscape, plants and rock formations, topped up with actually being able to hold snow in my hand, while we had been baking in temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius in the valley below, was lovely. There were interesting stones and flowers to discover. We drove down into the Glacial Valley where the village of Manteigas was to be found, the views leading up to discovering this village were wonderful. It is a trip I would advice anyone to take when visiting central Portugal.
LOOKING DOWN TO THE GLACIAL VALLEY
This was not only a fantastic view, it was also very interesting of geological interest. This U-shaped valley was gouged out by a glacier during the last Ice Age. Manteigas is a very lush and quite large village surrounded by mountains, it lies bathed in the sun and water streams down to it from all sides. This assures a good supply to make everything grow well and look very green and fresh. We had a lovely traditional Portuguese soup there with Spinach in it, after a generous helping of fresh Olives and bread. We finished off the meal with a nice desert made of layers of coffee ice-cream and pastry, delicious!
Granite rock formations
You are climbing up to nearly 2000 meters high, a very good road, the views magnificent!
AMAZING SCENTS AND A WELCOME COOL BREEZE
The scents all over central Portugal are just so sweet and lovely, so much so, that you breathe with pleasure. The heat does help with this, but even high up on the Serra da Estrela I experienced these lovely scents. I wish that I could bottle it and bring it home, but meanwhile I did breathe with pleasure.
SNOW AT A HEIGHT OF 1750M
Well I have enjoyed this little journey into my past. I’ve got lots more that I will share. At the moment I am going through many photos of the past few travels, on some of my memo sticks. I’m taking at least a year off Facebook and it is amazing how much time more time I have to spend on other things. Wading through thousands of photos is no mean task, but it is enjoyable. I hope that you have enjoyed my journey into the past too.