Trip to Fojo das Pombas - Santa Justa Sierra - Valongo | Portugal
In the previous post i covered one of the several possible paths to walk towards Fojo das Pombas, but we only stayed on the path and i chose to make a new post to show this place that today i will share with a short summary of what it is and its origins and some photos that were taken with the phone, because if you had the opportunity to read the previous post, once arrived i had no battery in the camera and ended up taking some pictures with the phone… but i don't like the result, so i need to go back to make a well-deserved record of the place.
But for today we have to be content with these photos shared today.
The impressive heritage left to us in the mountains of Santa Justa and Pias is the result of the Roman occupation twenty centuries ago, with the purpose of exploring gold due to the potential and great mineral wealth of the region.
Behind, mainly in Santa Justa, there were two types of mineralization, vertical and horizontal.
Today we are facing the main vertical structure, known as Fojo das Pombas, extremely developed and where there will be an intense mining activity, a huge underground structure intercepted by underground exploration wells and galleries that give access to mining dismantles.
Today the entrance to the gallery is camouflaged among the vegetation and may go unnoticed by the more distracted ones who have ended up there without knowing what they could find ... and even if they find it, today it is blocked by an iron gate that was installed there by city council in partnership with the GEV- Grupo Espeleológico de Valongo “Valongo Speleological Group” to make entry impossible without permission.
But we were lucky, which in fact would have been expected, to find, wandering around alone, that who is known as the guardian of Fojo da Pombas, Márcio father, one of my childhood friends, and that was part of the GEV now extinct ... But he continues to guard and watch the space and that way he opened the gate so that we could enter to show my daughter this marvel that was once shown to me by my grandfather.
The gallery is vaulted and has rounded angles, thus providing greater stability to the walls.
The Romans used the technique of water and fire to destroy the rocks, first heating the rock with huge bonfires and then subjecting it to a thermal shock to facilitate its grinding.
After going down the gallery, we stop at the first platform known as Boca do Fojo, a huge unnatural structure excavated by man where it is possible to observe in the escarpments a great biodiversity made up of very different vegetation, due to its different sun exposure.
We were asked by my friend's father if we intended to continue descending, but as that visit had not been minimally prepared and we only had a small flashlight we decided to go back to the surface and agreed that we would return to go back down there a little more.
My daughter was absolutely delighted with this tour as you can imagine, on top of these days that confinement in which each exit is worth 10.
This is where i live, this is where i spent most of my adolescence.
This place is dangerous even for adults, but I know this forest like the back of my hand.
That´s all for today :)
See you soon
Thank you for watching :)