Day 2 - Arcos to Soajo

The ever-helpful lady in the tourist office said that we had to prebook accommodation for Soajo in the nearby town of Ponte da Barca. This could be done by phone in theory, but we thought it would be easier in person. Besides, Ponte da Barca was reputed to be a nice town. So we took the main road, which was fairly traffic free as there is a new motorway running parallel.

In Ponte da Barca, which was indeed a beautiful little town worth a longer stay than we gave it, we managed to book a room, but failed to buy a map of the parque - they'd sold out and had no idea whether or when they'd get more!

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Hydroelectric generation station
We had to follow the main road up along the Rio Lima for about 10Km, leading to Spain. The traffic wasn't too bad, and there was a good cycle lane. The road to Soajo then parted from the main highway and dropped some 150m down to the river, where there was a miniature dam and hydroelectric generating station, then climbed some 300m to the village. The downhill bits had cobbles, but the uphill blacktop. We definitely didn't want to come back this way, despite the beauty of the road.

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Espigueiros (granaries)in Soajo
In Soajo, the first building was a café, where we could ask for directions over a cold drink. Our lodging was a "casa rural" next to the church. Our landlady, who spoke excellent English - her son had emigrated to the USA - told us the casa had originally been the church, and her grandfather had bought it when the town built a new church and sold the old.