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washed out hiking Portugal

Posted Nov 16 2010 12:00am

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

I’ve always seen northern Portugal on lists of the best hikes in Europe.

Yet I knew nothing about it.

Miserable after a couple of weeks in rainy Netherlands, I booked a next day flight to sunny Lisbon, Portugal, my first visit.

How did that work out for me?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube .

Record rainfall, I was told.

Unflapped, I headed north to Peneda-Gerês National Park  (PGN), the only National Park in the nation. … Certainly this squall would blow itself out quickly.

… An important feature of the landscape is the constant presence of water. Brooks and waterfalls are common at every mountain slope and the park is crossed by several rivers, namely Cávado, Lima, Homem, Rabagão, Castro Laboreiro, and Arado. There are dams across most of these …

My first day I took 2 day hikes, learning by the second to bring along an umbrella. This was my only photo in perhaps 7hrs walking. (I didn’t want to get the camera wet.)

Stashing a Summit Stone atop the boulder at this reservoir lookout:

Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal

I wanted to take photos like this of the famous stone granaries, protecting the corn harvest. They look like tombs.

Soajo Granaries

It rained all night and continued next morning. Here are a couple of pics of my day hike up to the top of one of the ridges. A group of photographers had driven up, attracted by the weird light.

Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal

Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal

Could the weather finally be clearing?

This long trip might have been a complete wash out, … except that I was rescued by a couple of students from Canada, one now living in Portugal.

Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal

Suddenly life improved. The rain stopped. And we enjoyed a terrific hike and scramble, finally able to see the entire vista.

Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal

more of my photos

We could easily claim we were in the U.K.

My memories now are of PGN are of a wonderful chance encounter with new friends, rather than of wet, mildewed clothes.

Peneda-Gerês National Park photo group on flickr

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