Walking Trails of Morraceira Island – Four Seasons Hiking – Spring (Figueira da Foz)
Bathed to the north by the waters of the Mondego River and to the south by the Pranto River, Morraceira Island is a pearl of Figueira da Foz municipality. With about 600 ha of salt pans, fish farms, rice fields, marshes and cane fields, it has an impressive orniotological richness with communities of migratory birds that choose this place for shelter, rest and food.
We revisited this fantastic biodiversity in a hike organized by Figueira Sal Association, inserted in the event “Four Seasons – Salt of Figueira da Foz”.
In each one of the four seasons of this year it will be carried out a walk to let us know the different nuances and mutations of the Morraceira Island landscape. The first one was in spring, more properly last May 1st.
At the scheduled time the hikers arrived at the meeting point under the board of Edgar Cardoso Bridge, on the south bank of Mondego. Each, after the check-in and delivery of the participant’s kit, began the walk at his own pace. There were families with children, groups of friends, lonely walkers, in about 350 participants of all ages who filled the trails that flanked the salt fields.
The first stop was in Filipas salt pans for an old-fashioned coffee (or tea). Done as our grandmothers did it, coffee in big coffee mugs, accompanied with “tongues of cat” (cookies from our childhood) to remember old times.
Bathed to the north by the waters of the Mondego River and to the south by the Pranto River, Morraceira Island is a pearl of Figueira da Foz municipality.
We continued walking without wasting much time. Many of the old salt warehouses were enclosed or in ruins. The same is true for many plots from which tons of salt were once harvested and now abandoned. Fortunately the recovery of some of them brought a new life to Morraceira.
By the time we reached Sun Corridor Salt Pan, the Yoga class class had already begun. We breathed tranquility.
While some opted to relax with the activities proposed by the organization, others explored the salt pans and talked with the “marnotos” (salt worker), who paused their activity to explain the crop to those who had curiosity. A hard work that is not for everyone, as we have seen.
In “Tapada Norte” Salt Pan we tasted “salicornia” (samphire) liqueur, a special nectar made by Mr. Olípio who at the entrance of the warehouse exhibited some homemade products. A special thanks for his sympathy and for the experience that he has given us.
We continued the walk and were surprised by a flock with more than two hundred flamingoes that rested in a more discreet zone of the island. When they took flight they showed us the rosy nuances of their feathers in a beautiful scenery representative of the ornithological richness present in this ecosystem.
Before lunch we still had time for a homemade lemonade in the Donato Salt Pans.
At the bifurcation of the trails, between Tapada Norte Salt Pans and Tapada Sul Salt Pan, the snacks were served. We regained energy with a delicious vegetable soup and a roasted pork sandwich. For dessert, we eat the traditional “sweet eels” of Armazéns de Lavos. What a beautiful way to end the meal!
It was time to return and step by step, Edgar Cardoso Bridge where we left the car was getting closer and closer. The black-winged stilts, indifferent to our passage and to the hustle and bustle of that morning, were nesting among the dry grass.
A final suggestion. Although there were informative posts with the geographical and historical framework of the Salt Pans, as the route was not signposted and each hiker walked his own way, some participants didn’t manage to walk all the trails and visit all the warehouses with activities. A detail that is easily resolved with a signpost enhancement for the next event.
In short, we really enjoyed it, discover such a special and exclusive area of Figueira da Foz. Congratulations to Figueira Sal Association for the initiative.
Points of Interest:
Morraceira Island, Bird Watching, Salt Pans and Edgar Cardoso Bridge.
- Park under Edgar Cardoso Bridge.
- Bring sunscreen in sunny days and lots of water because shadows are non-existent.
82melevation gain uphill
89melevation gain downhill
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