The one lane cobblestone road into Soajo gave us a hint of what was to come. Looking down at the valley below we could see hundreds of acres of terraced vineyards, farmland, and lovely little homes. We rounded the corner and were met by three wild horses on the street in the village. As we parked the car, we could see several cows grazing freely in the fields.
We took a walk through town, admiring the countless old stone homes throughout the village while looking for a spot to sit and have some lunch. We found a restaurant open near the village square and after being presented with the five options being offered for lunch and learning that beef is the specialty of Soajo, we decided on ordering that of course. Lunch was served for two on a huge platter and included grilled veggies and potatoes and a side of beans and rice with Portuguese sausage. For the most part, traditional food here is simple and delicious. You don’t find a lot of sauces or frill. What you do find is quality ingredients, seasoned simply and deliciously. Today’s lunch was no different and I loved this little village with all my heart.
After lunch, we headed out of town and towards Geres National Park with plans for some hiking. It was beautiful and sunny when we entered the park and there were groups of people swimming and sunbathing at the little waterfall as we drove by.
And then all heck broke loose! It started to rain a little and then steadily increased to a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning followed by the most intense hailstorm. All while driving down a steep, narrow road towards our destination. As Colin got us through safely, I was looking forward to getting out of there and to the amazing hot springs waiting for us to soak in up ahead. Oops. Turns out what I had thought was natural hot springs was actually a medical spa for elderly people to come and drink hot mineral water five times a day to treat medical ailments. Our hotel is filled with an ELDERLY population and us! And there are no hot springs. Just hot water to drink. 🙂 We still feel like it was a great day though and Colin isn’t annoyed at my poor translations so we’re happy and tomorrow calls for more adventures.
This post is one in a series posts on my visit to Portugal. You can find all of my posts here:
Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.