Trip Through Dams and Caves - Santa Justa / Valongo | Portugal
Guess where we're going today! That's right, one more trip around Santa Justa sierra, which has been our escape to get air and maintain social distance at the same time.
Incredible how lucky we are, because it seems that with all this mountain that surrounds the city of Valongo, nobody remembered to come for a walk, or run or simply graze to the middle of the mountain, and thankfully, in each of these exits we travel a few kilometers along the various trails that wind through the middle of the mountain and we do not cross anyone, only us and the sound of the animals that live there and to which this reality is completely alien.
The entrance has always been made through the same place, we parked the car on Ivanta street and from there we entered directly into the forest through the first path i shared here.
This time we didn’t go towards the small football field, we decided to go ahead on the old path and enter further towards a field that we can find above known as the field of straw, a huge flat field that is at the end of a long stretch and where we used to camp, now that i remember it was maybe my first camping experience there, not counting that time i camped in my grandmother's field in front of my house, an authentic adventure.
Once here, we decided to go through the dense vegetation to check if there was still a small dam where we used to bathe and catch some frogs and toads that we later trained for a jumping game, the one that had the frog that jumped higher had the lunch paid for that day by the other participants, old times! And there it was, today very different from what i remembered, perhaps because i was smaller at the time and everything seems larger than its actual size, but it's all a matter of perspective.
There she is, camouflaged among herbs and branches in a dark environment of still waters with a slightly dubious smell, i am not sure what happened in the meantime, but just like on the rocks near the small football field where we played, i think here, too, someone tampered with the dam to be able to water the fields a few meters further down.
In front of, one more choice to make, either on the right, a path going up towards the top of the mountain, or on the left towards a very interesting place that i haven't visited in a long time, i think the choice is obvious, so we went on the left path and after a few meters down and after a final turn, along it is already possible to verify that something happened here, this is not a completely virgin forest place, there are enough indications that someone passed through here and that there was immense work moving the earth.
It is possible to find immense caves and fojos "pitfalls" that lead me to believe that the exploration of gold made by the Romans several centuries ago may have started here and perhaps for some reason at some point they gave up and opted to prospect on higher ground, because many of the fojos have not been completed and many of the caves are going nowhere, or perhaps at some point in history someone has covered the holes.
One thing is for sure, this mountain looks like Swiss cheese, all potholed, full of caves and underground galleries and walking through these hills and still being able to witness these pieces of what was the history of this place is absolutely precious.
I know a lot of people, lovers of geology who travel for immense kilometers to travel to this mountain to visit all these structures, and i living next door, with so many memories lived here.
We are so lucky :)
That´s all for today :)
See you soon
Thank you for watching :)