I've posted about my latest vacations, but I still do want to share the experience of the vacations BEFORE the last ones. They were also spent in contact with nature, in Gerês, the only national park in Portugal; and since I finally got some time to do another photo round up, let me show you what was I up to in one of those hiking days.
Gerês has a ton of official and unofficial hiking trails, and this day I decided to do one of the seemingly cooler ones. It's classified as a hard trail, and it's a round trail of around 13km, passing by oak forests and waterfalls.
Trilho do Sobreiral da Ermida do Gerês
There is a nice viewpoint right at the beginning of the trail, with unobstucted sights of the landscape and a typical small mountain village, called Ermida - the trail rough translation is "Trail of the cork oak forest of Ermida, in Gerês".
And armed with (apparently) decent gear, a backpack with enough water and food for the day, off I went! The typical forest in Gerês is made of a variety of oak species, but it wasn't what I've found in the first kms; pines and ferns ruled the landscape.
Still, the path was clear, the views were great, and there was even cool stuff to find along the way!
These are called egagrópilas in portuguese, and I think the correct translation is pellets: these are remnants of fur and bones, normally regurgitated by birds of prey and some carnivore mammals after having their meal. Been a while since I've found them!
Now, you might have noticed thay I've wrote "apparently" decent gear. Yep, me at the beginning of the trail, contemplating my old mountain boots:
Man, it definitely pays getting good hiking boots; they have years and they are still awesome!
Also me, just a couple kms after starting the trails:
And that's how you learn about something called polyurethane hidrolysis, and how you should never spend long time without using your hiking boots.
With a hard trail ahead, hiking alone, risking a twisted ankle or worse wasn't probably the best course of action, so I had to turn back and rearrange my plans; still managed to do the walk until one of the things I really wanted to see, a waterfall called Arado.
Definitely worth the effort, right?
After contemplating the waterfall and taking some photos, time to drag myself back to the car, rush to get a new pair of boots, and adapt to the situation. The answer? More trails, of course! 😁
Trilho da preguiça (Lazyness trail)
This one is a shorter trail, but it was actually one of my favourites: the forest is stunning! And yes, here the typical forest of Gerês blooms in all its splendor. As the latter trail, it starts with a viewpoint to the surrouding forest and the river down below.
But just after the first meters of the trail, this is what you find.
Oaks and lush green vegetation all around. It's a great trail to do on a hot day, since there's shade in almost all of the trails due to the thick forest; if I recall it's marked as medium difficulty, but apart from two slightly harder inclined parts, it's not that hard to do.
There are plenty of small waterstreams during the trail. I did try to find some of the natural fauna, but apart from the everpresent lizards, didn't had much luck here.
At some point, the trail crossed the road to the other side, and there's a point that can add some confusion. Luckily, there are GPX files of the trail available online in the park's websites, and with a little attention we can find the trail signs on the road marks.
And from this part onwards, no more confusions: just bliss... and two more waterfalls!
I had high hopes for these two waterfalls; one of them, called Leonte, was supposed to be pretty big, so I created an image of a huge waterfall comin down the mountain... and found this:
Yes, the photos is crappy, but in my defense the light wasn't helping and there wasn't space to take a photo from a further distance. This was in early summer, so I guess in early Spring there's a lot more water, and a different setting. It wasn't a bad sight, but nowhere near what I had antecipated.
The forest yes, was just perfect. So as it's said, it's not about the destiny, it's the journey.
And as I was close to the end of the trail, Cascata da Laja appeared; and though the waterfall isn't as high as the previous one, what lacks in height compensates in charm, and in a perfect surrounding.
From the waterfall, it's an easy walk until the end of the fun.
After these hikes, relaxing and going for a swim in one of the many fluvial beaches is just the cherry on top!
There's nothing lazy about the lazyness trail, but I would place this trail in the top three of the must do trails in the park, at least in the central area. It's the perfect image of the iconic beauty we can find in this region!
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