This was to be our last day in Portugal. We were a bit sad to leave but we were also looking forward to the next part of our journey which would start once we crossed the border back into Spain.
Our typical motorcycle travels consist of a mix of stopping to experience the beauty and culture of a region and the pure joy of carving through a curvy country road or riding off-road in challenging terrain. Today’s trip was mostly about riding and discovering the joy of some of the best backcountry motorcycle roads that northern Portugal has to offer.
We left Braga and rode well-maintained, two-lane roads, with large shoulders. Perfect for enjoying a day of Portuguese sun and the backcountry!
Beautiful scenery competed for our attention from the curvy roadway. Fortunately we stopped often to snap pictures and kept our focus on the roadway while riding.
Before long we were in the beautiful Peneda-Gere’s National Park and nearing the town of…
…Soajo. Here we parked the mules, changed into some more comfortable clothes, and walked around the town enjoying the quiet streets and warm afternoon sun.
There are many great hiking trails that start from the town. One could easily spend a month or more here enjoying the hikes and wonderful scenery of the region.
The Granaries of Soajo
These granaries, built in the 18th and 19th centuries, were used by the entire community to store grain and corn.
These impressive granaries are carved from granite slabs from the surrounding Pineda mountains.
They are purposely elevated to keep the rats and other rodents from eating the communities storage supply.
Some of the granaries are still used, especially in the village of Lindoso, where more than 50 of these granaries remain.
We were impressed at the level of love that went into the crafting of the granaries. They are so well built that they stand today some 300 years later!
Riding the Backcountry Roads
The remainder of the afternoon was spend riding through remote country roads where we saw more cows and horses than we saw cars.
Stopping to enjoy the Minho River carving through the countryside and separating the countries of Portugal and Spain.
When we first saw these Cachena Cattle we were a bit intimidated by their long lyre-shaped horns. However, they were all pretty docile and didn’t get spooked by the motorcycles.
A great day of riding with temperatures in the low 90’s (32 C)
This ended up being some of my favorite riding of our travels in Portugal. It was a wonderful final memory of our time in this country traveling along the south and western coasts.
We hope to return to Portugal and enjoy the inland areas a bit more and hopefully ride the entire Portuguese Adventure Country Track. Perhaps in 2021? We’ll see…
Valença and Tui International Bridge
Our final goodby to Portugal, as we crossed the bridge between countries, and starting a new chapter of our motorcycle travels. Adeus Portugal. ¡Hola Espana!…
Next Blog Post
Join us next post as we trade in our motorcycle boots and riding gear for some hiking sandals and backpacks and begin our pilgrimage to Santiago. Buen Camino!
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28 July 2020