Travel

The Route to Portugal. Pt 3

on
November 27, 2017

For spot number three I chose again an interesting looking piece of river about 10km from the Portuguese border. It was a nice drive, mostly one long road through forests of green pine.

While driving I saw a sign for an outside Thermal Bath. Hot baths were something I had wilfully given up when deciding to live in a van and it had been over two months since my last one so the thought of having a nice soak while watching the sun set was more than enough motivation to make a detour!

I followed the signs and had a look. The baths were built by the Roman’s and consisted of four pools of varying degrees of heat and depth surrounded by small stone walls. Around some of the pools were coffin shaped baths big enough for one.

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There were a few people here and it looked like it was free so I jumped into my swimming shorts and found a space in one of the pools. After two months without a hot bath it was glorious to have a nice soak. I stayed for about an hour just flopping around in one of the pools like a lazy seal. It had a great view over a valley and the sun was just setting behind one of the mountains. Perfect!

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After the baths I didn’t feel like moving too far so drove for 10 minutes towards the border. I stopped to take a picture and noticed a small path heading into the forest. It looked interesting so followed it along to a small lookout area with a nice view of the valley and viaduct opposite.

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In the morning I explored some ruins by the riverbank. They looked very old and with the baths being of Roman origin it’s possible that these might have been Roman ruins too.

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It was really strange walking around here. A bleak almost lunar landscape scattered with fallen buildings and rubble. I felt like I’d been transported to the plains of some post-apocalyptic world.

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