When I was a kid (way back in the 80’s) we had to make up stuff to do to keeps us busy, my thing was writing little stories about the most random stuff and drawing/painting whatever picture caught my eye… I grew up and those things got lost… (I kept the writing with letters and later in life blogs) but the drawing was completely forgotten until a month ago when I went to one of those paint nights and my love for it was rekindled (my aptitude is still mediocre, but who cares?!)
Since I have the best husband ever, he got me a little kit with a desk easel, paints, brushes and canvases and I’ve been playing around with it… It may not be great, but it relaxes me and it’s an awesome way to disconnect and get focused on something other then a screen.
Well, and that’s it… Whatever hobby, interest, past time you have, enjoy it!
Growing up my outdoor activities were limited to “going to the beach” and hiking was not something I ever imaged myself doing – woods, bugs, sweat… pass!! But then I moved to the US and married a hiker… I had never hiked before 2008 and now I love it!
In September we went to Portugal to visit my family and friends and we did something that I had never done there – hiked! We hiked the Brandas de Sistelo trail.
Sistelo is a village situated in North of Portugal, set in the foothills of the Peneda Geres National Park, on the left side of the river Vez. The trail is an easy loop (about 5.3 miles) that winds through different brandas (brandas are “villages” made by shepperds to move with herds in search of better pastures. They were used mainly in the summer, when the fields around the village were being cultivated).
The trail is fairly easy with the occasional increase in altitude (the highest point in about 2700 ft) and it’s all around beautiful. You walk through villages, through open ridge and the views are spectacular. The scenery is so much different from anything I’ve ever hiked here…
I took so many pictures… here are some to show a little of it (as usual, the pictures don’t do justice to this incredible place!)
This is a very, very pretty hike through the woods. Mt. Waumbek is one of the shortest 4000ft, but a 4000ft nonetheless!
The summit is marked by a pile of rocks in the middle of a wooded area, and one of the most memorable things about the hike is the fireplace (what remains of a cabin) in the middle of the woods before the summit.
This is not a loop, so be ready to turn around and go back the same way, which is not our favorite, but it really is a very enjoyable hike.
The parking lot can be tricky to find and so can the trail!! It is located at the end of Bangor Street in Gorham, NH. There is no actual parking lot at the trail head, so you can park on the street or in a little sandy area before the trail head. Make sure you walk to the end of the street – that’s where the trail starts (don’t be like us and enter the woods by the sandy area and walk for 2 miles until you realize you are in the wrong place 😉 )
Moriah is 4,049 feet and the trail is relatively easy, compared to other 4,000 ft mountains (it can be dangerous when wet, a big portion of the Carter-Moriah trail is rock.)
The summit is above tree line and offers amazing 360 views.
I made a video of the top, but for some reason can’t post it… I’ll work on that…
Okay, this isn’t hiking, but… it is well worth the walk! If you have never walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, I highly recommend it! It is s a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) path marked with red brick through downtown Boston, that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States – from the Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown.
Along the trail you will find ground markers, graveyards, churches and buildings, and the USS Constitution. Most of the sites are free or suggest donations but the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House charge admission.
We ended our day with Wicked at the Boston Opera House 😉
The drive to this hike was through one of my favorite roads – the Kancamagus Highway! After parking you actually have to cross the highway to get to the trail (so, be careful!!)
(the parking fee is $3 for the day – we buy the season pass)
The trail is a loop known as the Hancock Loop Trail, which is reached from the Cedar Brook Trail and Hancock Notch Trail, starting at the Kancamagus Highway parking area (parking is $3 a day or you can get the season pass, like we do)
Hancock Notch Trail – leads from the Kancamagus Highway to the Sawyer River Road. For the Hancocks, follow this trail 1.8 miles to the Cedar Brook Trail.
Cedar Brook Trail – from the Hancock Notch Trail to the Wilderness Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. From the Hancock Notch Trail follow the Cedar Brook trail 0.7 miles to the Hancock Loop Trail.
Hancock Loop Trial – To North Hancock the trail runs 0.8 miles (1,150 feet) to the summit. To South Hancock the trail rises 0.5 miles (1,000 feet) to the summit. The trail runs 1.4 miles between the peaks, and rises and falls over three small false summits.
The summits are wooded (and small) and the views limited, but it just felt good to be out here, regardless!
So… as usual, it has been forever since the last time I came here and actually posted something… and all of a sudden, summer is over, October is almost over and I posted nothing! Mix of laziness, other things to do and pure ” I don’t feel like it” – no shame in admitting it!
Anyway, we were able to hike a few times (not much), start renovating the kitchen, go on vacation to visit my family in Portugal, so…it was somewhat busy! And we got to enjoy a sunset cruise (back in June) sponsored by the company I work for, and it was pretty cool. It was cold, it was windy, it rained and that made the pictures so much cooler!