We drove North towards the belvedere of Lagoinhas, where we stopped just to take a few picures and soon after head South-east into the beautiful village of Santa Barbara, whose houses showed the obvious architectural influences from the Algarve and Alentejo on the Portuguese mainland. In fact the early settlers are said to have been from Southern Portugal.
The sixteenth century baroque church of Nossa Senhora da Purificação in Santo Espirito is the one I had been looking forward to visiting, not only because of the photographs I had seen before but also because according to written records the location it is erected on is where the first Holy Spirit mess is said to have been carried out.
There was a cemetery next to it. I must confess that until 2006 I rarely visited cemeteries because they seemed to bring about feelings of emotional unbalance and sadness and it wasn't until I lost Faye that I fully understood what someone had told me long before "they are the best places to ponder on life " ... and they might just be.
We continued driving south until we reached a belvedere within the area of Maia. We were to soon find ourselves looking up at the vineyards on man made terraces, which almost inevitably led us to think on what perseverance really is about.
We then walked towards the cascade area, where a wine press location dating back to the sixteenth century (1576) was signalled out informing the passers-by that back then around twenty barrels of wine used to be produced.
Before heading back to Vila do Porto we still risked driving into a forested area where we were forced to leave the car at and then continue our "adventure" on foot for what seemed an endless walk ... (by then under heavy rain). Our intention was to locate the Calçada do Gigante said to have an incredible view.
Having reached the cliffs and although some doubts remained as to whether we were looking at what we had set our mind to, we left the place almost soaked to the bones believing we had ...
(To be continued)