PR9 VCT – Trail of the Water Pipes (incomplete) (Viana do Castelo)
The “PR9 VCT – Trail of the Water Pipes (Viana do Castelo)” is a circular hike with about 10 kms at its full route, starting near the Temple of Santa Luzia (or Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus), in Viana do Castelo. To get there we can take the funicular from the city center or if you prefer, walk up the 659 steps of the staircase parallel to the lift or go drive the road that winds the Monte de Santa Luzia up to its summit, where we find this magnificent building.
In front of the temple, near the wall that runs alongside the road and where you envision the best landscapes of Viana do Castelo and the mouth of the Rio Lima, I found the panel with the hike information. With a low degree of difficulty, the route is developed by the Sierra of Santa Luzia, down to the Fincão Arches, continuing the water pipes and up to the village of S. Mamede and return, enjoying the magnificent panoramic views.
I started walking north, following the road that surrounds the temple. At the fork next to the Inn, I follow the direction “Water Pipe – Fincão” and immediately after the ruins of a house, I start to walk down in a forest path where a leafy vegetation interleaves to show me the ocean scenery in the north coast of the county. I come to Fincão Arches, two imposing parallel stone arches that are part of a complex water supply system of the city and that sustain today water pipes, originating from several mines of the mountain.
I come to Fincão Arches, two imposing parallel stone arches that are part of a complex water supply system of the city.
Through the arches I advanced a little further north, walking along the granite structure of the barrel in a narrow and closed trail. Later I find a new arch and down to its base to rise soon after, a disorganized cluster of rocks. Still in the dense forest to a new structure in stone, a “water house” the shift to a mine. This was only the 250m but I chose to move on, because the path that would lead me to water mine wasn’t well defined and it seemed to me to miss some cleaning and maintenance.
At about 150 m from this place, against the way a mare and her pony. Two beautiful horses that wandered through the woods and seemed something suspicious and frightened to see us. When they are young the adult one may become even more protective and aggressive. In this section of the route, the dense vegetation prevents trail exit to circumvent any “obstacles” like this. Taking this into consideration and the fact that my daughter, who was with me in the pouch, is getting a bit saturated, she who loves follow us on our walks, it was not necessary to consider a lot to opt for the safety and welfare of my daughter.
Therefore, I made a u-turn and turned left, going up a forest path until I find the road that would take me back to the temple. With this shortcut i missed the place of São Mamede which will be for the next opportunity.
At about 500m I leave again the asphalt to follow right on the marked trail to the water tower. Back on the road I made a small detour to bypass the “Citadel of Santa Luzia,” the ruins of the Old City, and visit the Inn.
I return to the park adjacent to the temple, taking the opportunity to say goodbye to the fascinating views over the city and the mouth of the river Lima that are offered to me in the last few meters of the footpath.
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