Hiking in Vale da Trave (Santarém)
Vale da Trave is a village from Alcanede parish, municipality of Santarém, also known as “Land of Herbalists”, as indeed I could prove watching the wooden board at the village entrance. This designation, now brand image, is due to the fact that in this village, the plants are being used for remedy for almost everything such as medicinal purposes, food, cosmetics and ornamental products. So this is an important activity in the region.
On the border of the Natural Park of “Serra de Aire and Candeeiros” (PNSAC), Vale da Trave is also part of the hiking route “PR1 (STR) Algar do Pena”, the small circular route with about 9 kms starting at the Underground Interpretation Centre of the Cave “Algar do Pena” (CISGAP). The weather conditions were far from the most favorable ones for the realization of this route and so I opted for a short walk in the rain in Vale da Trave.
I started on the lagoon, now reclassified, where once was common to see herds of goats and sheep to quench the thirst. On its banks it was built a sidewalk and following this, a grassed area which surely delights the visitors and locals in the warmer months of the year. An evocative panel of activities in the field and a mill honor the people and the history of this region. A small picnic area, surrounded by olive trees, invites to return on milder days.
In the lagoon, now reclassified, it was common to see herds of goats and sheep to quench the thirst.
I walk toward the center of the village where the recently restored chapel takes main highlight. On “Cipreste” Street, the access road to the CISGAP, the Cruise seems to welcome passers-by. Near, the building of the former elementary school was converted at the Community Center of Vale da Trave. I walk along the streets of the village and olive groves dominate the landscape that surrounds it.
I return to the lagoon where this short tour ends.
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