#17 - Return to Gerês

Gerês is, without a doubt, the most precious corner of Portugal where everyone who likes hiking and nature feels in paradise. 2019 was, for me, a year full of adventures, many of them spent here and, after some beautiful walks at the beginning of the year (see here), now on a last visit to this magical place I opted for a trail of about 24km, the start near Vilarinho das Furnas, more precisely at the coordinates: 41º46'02.3''N, 8º11'25.4''W

The beginning of the route, still at dawn, promised a walk without technical difficulties or accentuated unevenness. Thus, we started the journey close to the side of the Homem River, taking advantage of the dawn and the wonderful light originated by the sunrise to appreciate its beauty.

We leave the side of the Homem River and go up to the dirt road that is part of the Geira Romana trail, immediately following through the Mata da Albergaria where we continue on our way.

Along this path, created more than two thousand years ago by the Romans as a communication route between Braga and Astorga (Spain) in an extension of more than 300 km, we crossed with several milestones (huge granite stones that indicated the distance to arrive to the destination), proof of the Roman presence in this place.

We now continue parallel to the river, surrounded by a forest of oaks and giant trees with their long trunks covered with moss. Due to the humidity present in this area, we witnessed the existence of several frogs that crossed in front of us as well as some huge, black slugs, so we walked with the utmost attention because we didn't want to step on them.


One of the highlights of this route are the well-known waterfalls of Portela do Homem. The main lagoon was a little crowded with people (as usual) so we followed a little more along the Minas dos Carris trail to find, a little higher up, more lagoons and these without anyone. So, in this more calm and peaceful environment, we stop for a few hours to rest and dive in the fresh and crystal clear waters.

After the well-deserved rest, with a fright in the middle when a 50 cm snake passed right by my side while I was lying on the rocks, we continued on our way.

We continue to the old Spanish border, where some Garranos roamed freely in the area.

We now return the way back, taking part of the "Bridges" trail, crossing some old wooden bridges, among them the most recent São Miguel Bridge where the Homem River flows ferociously underneath.

Or the bridge over the Rio do Forno

we return to Mata da Albergaria and follow the dirt road, returning by the same initial path to the starting point. 24 km of walking with the will to repeat the next day. Gerês has a hidden world so that we, adventurers and hikers can explore it, always with all the respect that nature deserves from us.

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