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!
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.
Hydroelectric generation station
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.
Espigueiros (granaries)in Soajo