Bread and Faith’s Tracks

Arcos de Valdevez

The sidewalks that we propose to cross, passed, over the centuries, various rhythms of life and religious festivities, resulting from the syncretism between the gods and the fight for survival (the bread).

The bread’s cycle trail follows, from generation to generation, the cycle of life. But, the bread’s importance, in this community, reflects into the sidewalks, in the landscape and the variety of ecosystems that complement each other, namely the cultivation of the corn and cattle breeding. Testimony of this, is the extensive water-course that we will go searching, without arriving to its origin (Teixo), and back then, irrigating the immense cornfields of the Soajo. The mills that, like mushrooms, cross the water-course, to harness the immense hydraulic power and turn the grain into flour.   

The sidewalks that we’re going to cross, are paths of faith, always leading the pilgrims to the “Senhor da Paz” (Lord of Peace), to the “Senhora da Peneda” (Lady of Peneda), to the “S. Bento do Cando” and even to “Santiago de Compostela”. It was also through these sidewalks (calçada do Portinho, calçada de Pena Curveira, calçada de Lages, calçada dos Estrevelhadoiros), that cattle herds displaced in May, during the transhumance, up to Cova, Chã da Cabeça and Pedrada, and later, on the 10th of July, to the mountains of Peneda, where they would return on the 8th of September, after the Pilgrimage of Nossa Senhora da Peneda (Our Lady of Peneda).

Anyway, in these centenarians paths the pilgrims pass with infinite faith to fulfil one’s promise; boyfriends pass to be pilgrims with vows of eternal love; thousands of cars pass with gorse to the animal beds and, in April and May, with organic fertilizer for the fields that receive the seeds that later in September, will fill the “espigueiros” (cerals warehouses) with corn cobs that later follow on this sidewalk to the mills then turning into flour.
Points of interest:
Pena Curveira’s sidewalk;
Cruz Mills;
Murço’s Branda;
Soajo’s village

Typology: Small Route
Length: 4, 9 km or 5, 4 km
Duration (hours – approximate): 2h00 or 3h00
Type of tread: sidewalks trucker’s ways
Degree of difficulty: easy
Starting point: Lage – Soajo’s village
Arrival: Lage – Soajo’s village

Location: Arcos de Valdevez
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