We are in Northern Portugal on holiday and decide to go for a drive… Himself spots a sign that says ” Nucleo Megalitico” with a little drawing of some megalithic stones.
He’s enthusiastic: “Hey, that could be interesting, shall we go take a look?”
The kids aren’t sure but I’m keen so we do a “U” turn and head back to the small side road that was indicated by the sign.
A ten minute drive and several signs later and we are on a small road that leads to what looks like a very small lane.
At first it even looks like it might be someone’s driveway… but the sign did point this way so we venture in.
There is a new sign, designating some sort of lookout… but no new brown signs like the ones we have already been following and nothing to really indicate that we have arrived.
Himself thinks that the lookout sign was it, I’m not so sure and the way is narrow so without a good place to turn the car around, we carry on.
A short distance later we find the backs of houses, sheds and gardens and seem to have ended up in a village that is some sort of co-op and agricultural learning centre combined.
We take the scenic route though it and as the road weaves slowly into a rough circle, find ourselves at a cross-roads that looks familiar… ah ha! here’s the entrance to the little lane we were on before.
The brown sign the points down it, is the only one we have seen since we last sighted this same sign so we conclude that Himself was right and the the lookout is where we were supposed to be.
After finding a space to squeeze into and park we alight from the car and look around. Hmmm, it’s really not too clear, there is a long tree lined path that seems to lead down the side of the field opposite, and a tidy new gate to the path, so we start to walk.
The kids are delighted with the baby goats and lambs though the fence in the field, the animals mother’s are less sure of the noise our kids are making and move their broods away, Kiwi Daughter wanted to get a baby animal photo and gets rather morose about the fact that the animals are not willing to play the pose-for-the-photo game. I was quicker but still only got one shot…
It’s hot and we amble up the path, it’s been fairly recently made and we are keen to see what’s on ahead.
There turns out to be some sort of swampy clearing, filled with reeds and surrounded in a “y” form by a path that doesn’t quite encircle it.
On the side closest to the entrance path, there is a building, clearly for viewing into the centre circular area.
We go in, there is a large bare table and a large open glassless window facing the reed circle.
No information, no signs, no pictures.
We look in vain at the reed-bed, every creature with brains is enjoying a siesta in the heat…we spy a few insects but nothing else of interest, and certainly none of the earthworks or monolithic stones that we had hoped to see.
We walk back to the main path and try the other branch of the “y”.. .
Yeah! I see a large table like structure of the sort the usually houses information.
Boo.. . I get to it and it’s totally blank. There is nothing else… no more signs, no stones, no mounds, nothing.
We are rather disappointed but, OK we have had a small walk at least… Himself and I look around, another path maybe? Nope .. this one is it.
… maybe they haven’t finished here yet? or maybe we just have too little clue what we were supposed to be looking for?
It’s one of the hazards of getting off the beaten track, leaving the hordes and the bus tours far behind. You don’t get any guarantee of success when you try and find a very little known attraction down a dusty road.
Sometimes these places are very literally hidden gems and other times, well, … apparently just hiding.
Life’s like that sometimes isn’t it?
Win some, loose some…
We chalk this sight-seeing no-show up to experience. We walk back to the car and drive off to see what we can discover next…