Sunday, April 23, 2017

On Guarda

Guarda only made it onto our itinerary less than two weeks ago. We are glad for the switch. Guarda, at 1000 meters above sea level, bills itself as the highest city in Portugal. We had in mind to do some hiking. Even though the online maps show a smattering of trails, it was not immediately obvious where to go. Since Guarda has enough historical monuments, it does not really to promote its hiking potential.

In the end, with the help of the tourist office, we made two great day hikes. The first day, we made a 23 km loop out of the popular the Quinta do Maunca hike. The second day, we took the bus to Frenao Joanes and walked back to town - 16 kms. Both days we crisscrossed the Portuguese Camino (Way of St James) many times, first we have come across in Portugal.

Guarda itself is another one of those towns -- what does everyone do here?!

Waiting for our bus to pull in to Bay 6; somewhere between Coimbra and Guarda.
Portugal

We had a 1 hour "layover" in Viseu so we walked up the hill to visit the Old Town.
Viseu, Portugal

Viseu, Portugal

We pulled into Guarda around 5PM and trudged uphill to the Hotel Santos were we had a reservation. It wasn't until the next morning that we realized the hotel was literally built against the old granite city wall. Very cool!
Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

The next day we headed straight to the tourist office when it opened at 9AM and got some great information on local hikes, studied them some, and set out on a 23 km loop that was very rewarding. The walk started right at the city wall and the old road.
Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

This part of the walk was also part of the Portuguese Camino (Way of St James); see stone cross and windmill.
Guarda, Portugal

We turn away from the Camino and follow the windmills. First time in my life so close to modern windmills.
Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

Heading towards Alvendre, Portugal

We reach the village of Alvendre; nothing much happening but they have a fountain or two, and many stone dwellings.
Alvendre, Portugal

Alvendre, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

We cross the expressway and walk by the railroad tracks where there's some farming.
Guarda, Portugal

The last 4kms (all uphills) are through Guarda, and we spot some low maintenance lawns and a Chinese store (inports).
Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

Finally we pick up some provisions at the spiffy new Mall (right) which is across the street from the old City Wall.
City Wall (left), Shopping Mall (right) - Guarda, Portugal

Day Two: AM walk around town; then ride the bus about 15 kms SE and walk back to the hotel. Here's a city gate.
Guarda, Portugal

On the old square.
Guarda, Portugal

The granite Cathedral with tourists (right) and construction crane (left).
Guarda, Portugal

The Modernist bank building.
Guarda, Portugal

We take to bus to Fernao Joanes and start walking, but first we walk up to the town's "threshing stones".
Guarda, Portugal

Of course there is a fountain and a community oven.
Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

A few kms later, in nearby Meios, we spot a community clothes washing tank; the first of several that day.
Guarda, Portugal

We are on the Camino again!
Guarda, Portugal

We begin a long descent to the river, and will eventually climb out of the valley on the switchbacks of the dirt road (left center) in the distance.
Guarda, Portugal

Stone Chapel on the Camino.
Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

Cross the river and up the other side.
Guarda, Portugal

We took a short break a few meters too close to this flighty stork's nest.
Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

We reach a plateau of sorts with a 360 view (from atop a concrete pylon) at the Old Fort.
Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal

Then back into Guarda and the hotel.
Guarda, Portugal

But first a quick stop for provisions at the La Vie ... which has self-checkout!
Guarda, Portugal


THE END









4 comments:

Kathy said...

You guys take such long hikes! Have you considered walking one of the Caminos?

Crash Eddy said...

My oh my, that's a lot of granite. Did you see a quarry from whence all this granite came?

john said...

@Crash - After much back-and-forth, SL and I concluded that they pretty much quarry (verb) the granite right where they build with it. Will discuss more when we see you in person. -john

john said...

@Kathy, we may in the future hike parts of the Camino as day trips, but I doubt we'll set out for days and weeks; however, the future is unwritten.