Hiking Trail “Discover Alcanede” (Santarém)
At about 23 kms northwest of Santarém is Alcanede parish, just outside the Natural Park of “Serra d’Aire e Candeeiros”. That’s why this is a prime location for discovering this natural park and that was my intention when staying at Meio Center during the weekend.
I arrived on Friday late afternoon, but with time to enjoy the last rays of sun on a little walk through the village. In “Largo do Lopes”, the bustle of the weekend was felt in people arriving home, the working day ended and only would resume on Monday, at least for the most people. Alcanede is also synonymous of mining and processing industry which is one of the main activities that characterize the region, along with agriculture, livestock and forestry. But today was Friday and to a lot of people a weekend of rest approaches.
In “Café Central”, conversations are animated and the stories of the week are told. I walk to north towards the Roman Bridge. I walk down the street with the same name and there it is, still firm and timeless, making the crossing of the river of Nede. Possibly erected in the III century, has three arches and a ramped board. The Village Fountain stands out on the other side next to a small Picnic Park. Meio Center is just next door but I will continue to discover Alcanede before check while it is day.
Walk through “Calçada dos Paços do Concelho” I started the climb to the Castle. At Manuel Alves Frazão Street I found “Capela da Misericórdia” and right above, the pillory topped by a representation of D. Afonso Henriques. I continue to walk towards “Igreja Matriz” and opposite to this, first in asphalt and then through a dirt track, I increasingly climb the road. Through the treetops I saw the village houses below, getting the last sunlight of the day.
I get to Alcanede Castle, currently consists of two towers and where the entrance is through a perfect lap bow door. The door was locked and I could not visit the inside. This castle, like many others, was erected to support and defend its people and the territory around, also serving as a prison in the Middle Age.
I get to Alcanede Castle, currently consists of two towers and where the entrance is through a perfect lap bow door.
Outline the castle and down the hill by the other side, a trail guide me to “Encosta do Castelo” Street. I return to the town center and after “Comércio” Street, follow the “Cidade de Santarém” Street up to the fire station of Alcanede. Here, I enter the “Saudade” Street as the sun almost hides behind the hills. The olive groves are bathed in this golden color as I walk briskly to the end of the route. To my right I step through the cemetery and after re-enter the village center, I finish the walk in “Largo do Lopes”. It’s time to check in and prepare the hikes for the next day. I would know Santarém and its Historical Center and visit the neighboring municipality of “Rio Maior” to hike the “PR1 RMR – Marinhas de Sal”.
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