This is a placeholder for text I would add if I weren’t suffering from a bout of mild food poisoning after dinner (For some reason, it’s only me, not Paulo.) *
In the meantime, photos of the tiny village we hiked to from Piódão yesterday and links to some information about the suspension bridge and the area.
This village, Foz d’Égua, has just a handful of houses, but its particular location is a choice one along a river. Some information from the Geocaching.com: (scroll down to the bottom for English, although I suspect this is copy/pasted from Google Translate, anyway):
The village of Foz d’Égua belongs to the parish of Piódão and shares with it the mystical beauty of the Açor Sierra. The village is characterized by its rural aspect, with its typical houses of shale and slate, surrounded by nature in its purest state, rich in fauna and flora which here find their natural habitat. For many years, these villages and community lived isolated and remote. For several years, however, on top of this mountain road use to pass the Real Road connecting Coimbra to Covilhã.
Its origin is very remote, confirmed by the five dozen paintings of the Neolithic and Bronze Age discovered in the area of the village of Chãs D’Égua, which are regarded by experts as just the “tip of the veil” of a much larger and rich patrimony. In fact, it is thought that the actual place name of Chãos D’Égua came from Roman occupation, around here they created the mare to be tied in cars, sports and combat. Foz d’Égua is located in a country beach of great beauty, the meeting point of the stream of Piódão with the stream of Chãs, which run towards the river Alvoco few miles below, in Vide.
You will notice in some of these photos that there’s been some modernization — the bridges look quite recent, the houses have modern features, the precision of the stonework looks rather 21st century. From what I understand, there’s been a restoration movement in the schist villages of this region, which I’ll speak more of when I get around to posting about Piódão. For now, here’s the Aldeias do Xisto (Schist Villages) website in Portuguese, and the Tourism of Central Portugal website, with highlights of the schist villages in English.
April 13, 2014
Album: Central Portugal Camping Trip
* [OK, feeling better now... don't worry, no graphic details from me, it was over quickly. But it's an odd feeling afterwards, once the offending food is banished. First of all, I don't want to smell fish for a while. Also I wonder how I managed to poison myself with my own cooking. Paulo's fine, and we ate the same thing!]