Posted on Leave a comment

The Way of Saint James

Santa-Marina-Bailara-001-Espana

The Way of Saint James

What is the Way of Saint James? How did it appear? Why is so important?

What is the Way of Saint James? How did it appear? Why is so important?

More than a pilgrimage is a spiritual journey within us, steps towards to self-knowledge.

The History of the Way of Saint James dates back to the time of the birth of Christianity.

In the middle ages pilgrims came from all over Europe on the road to Santiago de Compostela with the intention to pay a promise or any other religious intent. In this way they contributed to what would later be called the Way of St. James or, as it is known in Spain, “El Camino”.

After an impressive growth over the centuries it felt abruptly to the point of to be counted 40 pilgrims, during the 19th century.

But something happened that made the flame burn again and in 1999 an impressive number of 155,000 pilgrims were counted.

What happened?

This is a long story that I will tell in a few posts.

Keep tuned.

David Monteiro

Originally posted 2013-06-15 09:26:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Posted on Leave a comment

Salto do Cabrito, a handsome waterfall, São Miguel, Azores

azores-portugal-006

Salto do Cabrito, a handsome waterfall, São Miguel, Azores

One cannot imagine this walk’s beauty before you did it. Its name is Salto do Cabrito, near Ribeira Grande at São Miguel, Azores.

The Salto do Cabrito walking trail at São Miguel, Azores, is marked to be done in the opposite way than the one I usually do it but I have my reasons.

Having said that, start walking at Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande where you can find some fumaroles/boilers making bubbles on the outdoor water tanks.

Caldeiras da Ribeira Grande has thermal baths dating back to the 19th century and is a pleasant place to start this adventure.

The first kilometer will be walked on tar.

I find quite annoying walking on the tar roads. However, the surroundings are so lovely that it really doesn’t matter.

Anyway, by the time you will arrive at the small electric plant, you will have to climb some stairs to walk on a platform on top of some big tubes/pipes, kind of a catwalk metal grid.

Well, you can find it odd, but you will love it.

It will allow you to have a top-bottom perspective that will be even better inside of a small canyon you will have to cross.

At the end of the canyon, you will find a handsome waterfall called Salto do Cabrito “little goat’s jump”.

Like in any other linear walk, you will need to organize transportation to the beginning where you left your car.

This is one of the walks we do during the Iberactive tour to the Azores.

In the photo gallery, you can have a better idea of the place.

A gorgeous place.

David Monteiro

Posted on Leave a comment

Walking on the Lousã’s aqueduct – Portugal

Levada-Lousa-001---Portugal

A hidden aqueduct in the well preserved valley is a jewel and you can find that quite close to Lousã.

Wild horses in Portugal at Gerês National Park.

Water was always one of the most precious resources in the world and around here that not different.

In this case water’s value shows itself by the power it has to produce electricity with its weight when falling from a certain height … simple. But, to have that in this narrow steep valley, a small aqueduct was built to conduct the water along the valley keeping the altitude as much as possible until the right place.

The result was a beautiful two miles aqueduct in the middle of the valley where one can walk.

How to access to the aqueduct? It’s not too easy but I can think about to nice ways to do it:

  1. Starting from Senhora da Piedade (Lousã) it’s possible to find a single trail that will take us to a small village called Talasnal. At this village we can taste a small cake called Talasnico e find the trail down to the aqueduct walking towards down the valley. The trail will last for (+/-) 150m and after that it will be walking across the bushes. Always walking down you can not miss the aqueduct and after finding it is to follow it until the trail that will take us back to the starting point.
  2. There is an entrance to the aqueduct from the EN236 road at N40° 05.470′ W8° 12.814′. From Lousã you can take a cab until the spot, find the aqueduct and walk back.

Have fun.

David Monteiro

Location: Lousã, Portugal

Posted on Leave a comment

Climbing “via ferrata” a wonderful adventure

A via ferrata (iron way) is a climbing route where you will find metallic structures installed on the rock walls.

According to some sources, this kind of climbing routes had their origin in Italy, where the alpine guides of Madonna di Campiglios (Dolomites) started to place some support metallic structures to facilitated their tours with customers.

This idea was than very well received by the Italian army that came to develop the concept between 1915 and 1918 allowing their soldiers to progress on apparently inaccessible mountain terrain and getting some advantage towards the enemy that couldn’t imagine such structures.

After the world wars, from a military use the “via ferratas” started to have only a touristic use and to be spread out to other countries.

More recently there was a great effort by the Spanish authorities in the direction of installing many “via ferratas” of excellent quality that allow an excellent sensation of adventure tothose that are more experienced climbers as well to those that are not so experienced.

In the area of the Spanish Pyrenees there are has a dispersed set of excellent examples of “via ferratas” and that gives the possibility of fantastic vacations.

Although the “via ferratas” allow an easier progression than climbing on the plain rock, the use of these structures respect a set of security rules that, in case you are not familiarized such techniques is preferable to use the services of a guide.

The via ferratas are graded in many ways. There are some difficulty level grading that can go from an easy level of 1, also referred as A, or an extremely difficult level or 5, also referred as E. You can find other kinds of grading that involve other criterias suchs as a psychological factor of the “via ferrata”.

During the tours I promote to climb via ferratas, concerning the lodging terms I opt to present possibilities of reasonable economic lodging but with the basic comforts as privative bath. However, is always possible to find lodgings in accordance with one needs and pocket..

A memorable adventure.

David Monteiro