PR9 – Trilho Canos de Água (Water Pipes Trail) and Santa Luzia

Location: Viana do Castelo, Minho Region, North of Portugal;
Meeting Point: The front of the Sacred Heart Basilica of Jesus of Santa Luzia;
End Point: Meeting point;
Difficulty level: Easy;  Length: 10.2 km; Time: 3h 00m;  Type: Circular;
Cost: FREE!
Points of Interest: Santa Luzia Sanctuary; Arches of Fincão; São Mamede village; Aldeia Velha (Old Village); Casa do Radar (Radar House); Military Shooting Range; SantaLuzia’s Belvedere and Citânia the old city.

Trail map:  PR9 – Trilho dos Canos de Água12977248_10207429535309140_6043011184452487338_o

Viana do Castelo is an excellent location for those who are interested in living closer to nature, as it bathes both in the Lima river and the sea, and is sheltered from the hardships of the north wind by the leafy mountain of Santa Luzia, that houses a wide variety of interesting monuments. It also offers a beautiful extensive coast of beaches, providing conditions for nautical and mountain sports, and the most qualified expressions of culture in ethnography, folklore, artisanship and gastronomy.

It is in this fascinating scenario, capital of the Viana District, that the Secção de Montanhismo e Natureza da Sociedade de Instrução e Recreio de Carreço (Mountaineering and Nature Department of the Education and Recreational Society of the Carreço village), otherwise known as Amigos do Chão, promoted integrated hiking leading to the markings of two footpaths of small route, in the mountain of Santa Luzia, called PR8 – Trilho do Chão (PR8 – Ground Trail) and PR9 –  Trilho dos Canos de Água (PR9 – Water Pipes Trail), giving a strong contribution for tourism and sports in the region. The one covered here is PR9, inaugurated on July 27th 2003, in the annual program of the Federação Portuguesa de Campismo e Montanhismo (Portuguese Federation of Camping and Hiking).

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We gathered around a table on an open patio of a little caravan café, feeling extremely lucky as it has been a very rainy spring but the sun came out to allow us on our journey.

After some time, you start to understand the reason of existence of this trail: multiple pipelines that supply water to the city of Viana. We arrived to the Arcos de Fincão (Arches of Fincão), two arcs of parallel aqueduct that catch water from the mountain’s water mines and through which follows the trail.arcos de fincao

From the arches, we encountered something completely different: the trail passes over the old granite pipelines! And do these pipes curve! aqueductos

We decided to take a detour to a water mine, but then returned to the original path.

A dirt road took us to the village of São Mamede, where the Festa do Mel (Honey Fest) takes place during the month of August, next to the chapel.

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A signboard indicates the direction of Aldeia Velha (Old Village), the place where São Mamede had its origin.
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On arriving to Alto do Frade, we found a peculiar Plane Maisonette, called Casinha dos Aviões (Little House of Planes) or Casa do Radar (Radar House). This is an unfinished building that was built during World War II to control air traffic. Unfortunately for the contractor, the war ended leaving the construction with no purpose. It is worth climbing to the top of the tower to admire the landscape.

 

 

We even made a friend along the way! Since ancient times Santa Luzia was used for grazing of cattle, and where scrub and gorse were extracted, required to produce manure for agriculture. (Sometimes, you can catch wild horses as well!)
Isn’t he adorable??

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The prelude of the return to the asphalted road, past the Carreira de Tiro Militar (Millitary Shooting Range), took us back to the starting point, past the Water Tank Tower, a belvedere, and the Citânia de Santa Luzia, the ruins of the old city. The Citânia, an archaeological site of Castro culture, is one of the most important for the study of Romanization in the North of Portugal.

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Nearing the end, just behind the Basilica stood three big stones with engraved messages about the site. Since I am familiar with a bit of this city’s history these messages were a great addition to the end of our adventure. Although they are much more meaningful and poetic in Portuguese, I thought it would be nice to translate.21

A welcoming location where visitors encounter peace and tranquility, in association with its history and culture.

IMG_5090Santa Luzia is a natural beauty!

 Unfortunately, we did not have more time on hands, but I recommend complementing this trail with a few other of the landmark’s great experiences, although additional, symbolic, but well worth costs apply:
– You can reach the Santa Luzia Sanctuary by riding the  yellow electric funicular;
– If you wish, you may raise the difficulty level of the trail by climbing the stairway, parallel to the funicular, made up of 659 steps;
– Visit one of the many Pousadas de Portugal (Portuguese Lodges) at the Santa Luzia Hotel and indulge in a good Portuguese coffee whilst contemplating the scenery;
– Climb up the Basilica’s Zimborium to hace upon a clear panoramic view of this lovely city; – Visit the Citânia de Santa Luzia; the ruins of the old city.

For dinner we treated ourselves to Sushi! We had a really nice time and were still feeling that extra Serotonin, thanks to the lovely sunshine.

A perfect day to my 28th birthday!

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Random Facts About Me!

Now this is an old one that I posted on Facebook back in 2011, originally called the “20 Facts” (the number of random facts I came up with about myself at the time), but it just sat there in my note section for a while. I thought I would bring it up a notch and add on to the list. I think this makes for a fun first post so you can get to know me a little better.

Enjoy!

I am Portuguese/American, born and raised in the famous Big Easy – New Orleans, Louisiana (USA);

I love cars!

The strangest things that I have eaten are snails, frog legs and crocodile (yum!);

I am a perfectionist. I bore people out of their minds when I am incapable of turning my back on something that, in my mind, is “out of line”. I drove my friends mad in college on group projects;

I hate washing dishes!Oh, I’ll do it if I have to…and the high pile is about to fall over;

I literally stand by my sixth sense to death. It RARELY ever fools me;

I am a Foodie. I love anything that is food related. In fact, I grew up in my parents family Italian Restaurant “Ciro’s Pizza and Spaghetti House” on Maple Street, which was a hit back in the day. Do any of you New Orleanians remember?? The majority of my jobs as a student where in restaurants and one day I would not turn down the opportunity to own one. On the contrary, proper table service suits for a very happy me!

I care for a valuable resume and get involved in everything that I believe will make me a better person and professional;

I admire ambitious and mindful people, who know what they want in life. They are a driving force for my life;

Trying to actually keep my glasses ON my face is always a hassle and things just don’t seem as real to me as when I use contact lenses (am I the only one with this strange feeling??);

I always try to be a better person with each passing day;

I have chronic bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis that make me suffer terribly in cold and humid climates. Tissues have been my best friends for years. “Anyone need tissues? Vanessa’s got them!”;

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I am a blood donor and try to donate twice a year;

I love being frugal and using my money the intelligent way!

My pet peeve’s are rude and judgmental environments (… and stepping down from my soap box!).

I am horrible at math. Like seriously super drop dead BAD at math. Which to be honest is a bit contradictory when I say that I for God adore Finance! It gets pretty ridiculous when I try to count change sometimes or mentally calculate every time! (what would the world be without our beloved bank cards and calculators?!);

My favorite book is The Secret. I feel like it has given me a completely different perspective on life;

I have been a ballerina since age 6 and have practiced all kinds of dance styles since then: 6 years of classical ballet (USA), 6 years of Modern Dance – Graham Technique (USA), 10 years of Belly Dance (Portugal) and other random styles such as Flamenco (USA), Hip-hop (Portugal), Contemporary (Portugal), Jazz, etc. I like Belly dancing the most.

I am somewhat clumsy with simple, random tasks like opening and closing doors or buttoning up my coat (oh the frustration!);

I am a very distracted and forgetful person. I might as well look at someone in the face and not notice them or forget what I had for lunch;

The violin and the piano gave me enough musical knowledge to teach myself how to play the acoustic guitar, although I have hit a dead end and would need classes to develop skills;      

I have been ever so lucky to have learned 4 languages over the course of my life: French, English, Portuguese and Spanish (a friend of mine actually knows 12 languages!whaat?);

So far, for a longer or shorter period of time, I have lived in 5 different countries: USA, Portugal, France, Belgium and England (YES, my life has been oh-so-blessed!). However, it’s impossible not to misspell!

 I tell everyone that I am from the World as I have never really settled in one place for long, even so, I consider Portugal my home;

My favorite colors are Black and Pink, but not together. I am weird like that;

I am a Nurse!             

I am allergic to fake jewelry (I’ll just have to use the nice stuff i guess, oh well!);

I keep a list of favorite quotes;

I am a total sucker for Traveling! I L-O-V-E. LOVE. To. Travel! Discovering world cultures, traditions and languages… one day I hope to travel the world, which is one of the goals set in my Lifebook;

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I am an overall pretty easy person to please. My interests are broad and I am fond of TOO MANY things;

 I rarely reject challenges. I love trying random things and having different experiences;

I have already been sprayed with pepper spray (there you go for someone who adores different experiences!);

I enjoy public speaking;

I hate going to bed early but while it may feel really great staying in bed in the mornings…I hate waking up late, because…;

…I love being productive! For me, time in bed is time wasted (not such a healthier point of view). Talk about complicated stuff!;

I highlight WAY too much (something I also do with my Amazon Kindle App!);

I never feel like I have “nothing to do”. To be honest, I have wished endless times for my day to double so that I can learn and experience double the things!

I eat with my utensils on the wrong side for a right-handed person. This is particularly a challenge with fish cutlery;

I am always late for everything;

I don’t really watch TV unless I am really in the mood to. Which is hardly ever;

The Sun and Nature are one of my favorite things because they keep me at peace

Everyone has their phobias. Mine are: Tripofobia (aversion or disgust of objects with irregular patterns of holes, such as beehives, ant hills and lotus seed heads) and Thanatophobia (fear of death);

I am obsessed with learning things through internet research (on my favorite topics, obviously.), see it as a hobby and spend way too much time on it;

I love defining life goals, organization, and making lists. Lately, I hardly ever have my mind set in the present. It is either in the past or in the future.

So there you have it, a list of a few random facts about me. I hope you got as much of a kick out of it as I did with writing it. What are some random things about yourself? Maybe I’ll get more ideas from your comments and add on some more!

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