Thursday, May 04, 2017

Granite Soajo

We selected Soajo as our base for visiting the Peneda-Geres National Park for accessibility and availability of accommodations. Accessibility means weekday only buses, but a midday bus on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We arrived on a Wednesday and left on Friday, and had 48 hours of granite. We stayed in a granite house, walked on granite roads, looked at granite grain storage, mills, tanks....

The grain storage structures were particularly interesting. They look like coffins to the unsuspecting; the locals call them espigueiros. We read that they were specifically instrumented to store corn, a New World crop that ripened late into the summer when the rains started. I had expected to see a handful. Instead we must have come across upwards a hundred in dozens of locations. Awesome!

We rented a small house on the outskirts of Soajo.
Soajo, Portugal

The house was very close to a cluster of espigueiros, granite granaries.
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, the town, has character.
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

The communal clothes washing tank.
Soajo, Portugal

And a nice viewpoint. Notice the granite-reinforced terracing in the 2nd photo below.
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

We took three very nice walks. The first, down to the nearby river and back up.
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

The second, a 20-kilometer ramble up to the high ridge separating Soajo from Peneda, then back....We see some lambs has we leave town.
Soajo, Portugal

The first part of the walk is on the old granite road going up, up, up.
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

We saw only these two hikers the whole day - plus some cows.
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Old mill house; mill powered by water.
Soajo, Portugal

Inside the mill.
Soajo, Portugal

The cattle in this area have distinctive horns.
Soajo, Portugal

Continuing on the old roads to the hamlet of Adrao.
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Sun-Ling gets me to pause for a photo.
Soajo, Portugal

Looking back at Adrao.
Soajo, Portugal

Finally up to 900 meters and we take a break a the cross and the weather stations with a fine view NORTH to the villages of Peneda (right) and Gavieira (left) and Tibo (below).
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

And back to town, partially on the paved road. Here's a close look at a granite wall. Beautiful.
Soajo, Portugal

We also saw some domed stone structures. Some were dwellings, some were mills (we guess).
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

And a third stroll on the morning before we catch buses to Braga.
Soajo, Portugal

Passing an irrigation channel (at right).
Soajo, Portugal

Loads of ferns along this part of the old road.
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Stone bridge.
Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Soajo, Portugal

Check out the ruts in the road; put there on purpose I believe to keep the wagons from sliding off the rock.
Soajo, Portugal

Almost back to Soajo.
Soajo, Portugal

More mills.
Soajo, Portugal

Just before I took this pic, a surefooted older lady with a stout walking stick breezed by us headed downhill.
Soajo, Portugal

Getting ready to plow.
Soajo, Portugal


2 comments:

Crash Eddy said...

You still haven't shown us a photo of a quarry. Whence comes all this granite?

john said...

Crash, We never saw a quarry as such. And since the ground is basically solid granite, it seems that the surface granite is cut and used right in the place it is needed, with no big hole left that could be deemed a quarry. Does that make sense?