Populo and Fornos do Pinhal, Northern Portugal

Our journey in Portugal continues in spite of the fact that we are currently not there, but I would like to show you some more beautiful places we visited whilst we were there. Right now we’re in Germany and even had some lovely snow on Sunday, but we’re staying in lovely warm Portugal blog wise!

 Our campervan
From Chaves we went south towards Alijo and the small town of Populo which boasts a Megalithic site and a beautiful church. I think the church is Igreja de Sao Bartolomeu (of which there are several of this name in Portugal) and it is well worth a visit. The photo above is of the little chapel on the hill on the site of the old castle and the church is a little below it.

The site is called Castro do Populo or Castro da Touca Rota which apparently comes from the Latin for “castrum” or castle and relates to the time from the Bronze Age (9th century BC) until it was subsumed by Roam culture (1st century AD). Phew. All info from Wikipedia, thank you! These castro’s are hilltop forts and there are many well kept sites in Portugal, this being one of them.
 Walking in the woods
Aside from all the jargon, it’s just really pretty and there are wonderful walks in the forests and hills surrounding it. There was a huge market there on the weekend we left (typical), which is apparently well worth visiting. (I think the last Sunday of the month, but check first!)
 Forno do Pinhal
From there we decided to do a bit of cross country exploring, which can be very “exciting” with a big campervan like ours… Personally, there’s only so much excitement I need in my life, and driving through Fornos do Pinhal was more excitement than I needed! As the road got smaller and smaller, I decided to get out of the car and jog ahead just to be sure we could actually fit through the narrow lanes.
 Forno do Pinhal
People just waived us through with the calm of not being the vehicles owner, but we managed to get through unscathed and without ripping off anyone’s balcony in the process. We were rewarded for our sweat by a beautiful overnight spot overlooking the village and surrounding hills. A full moon and beautiful walks in the vineyards and I could (almost) forget the drive there.
 Forno do Pinhal
To my relief, we managed to find another way out that didn’t involve moving of walls or buildings. The beauty of purposefully getting lost is that you discover beautiful places you wouldn’t normally find. And believe me, we find them by the bucket load!!
 Forno do Pinhal

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