vor 11 Monaten

CHECK #3 Bayern


Travel ENGLISH HIKING A miracle cure that makes you healthy and happy Will the hikers arriving from Germany and Switzerland be just as enthusiastic as I am when they see the beauty of the only national park in Portugal, Pendeda-Gerês? And how will we get along in the men's group? These were the questions swirling around my head as the group guide. Yet it was already clear to me when I was greeted at Porto Airport: it’s a match. Eight sun-hungry men with hiking boots in their luggage were happy to swap the cold, wet weather in the north for a warm late summer in Portugal. 72 CHECK BAYERN #3

Travel Northern Portugal is extremely diverse despite its small width of only about 200 kilometers. From the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the country rises above the mountains of the Peneda-Gerês National Park with a height of up to 1545 meters above sea level and extends over the Montesinho Natural Park to the Spanish border. The flora is just as varied as the relief. The scent of lemons and oranges wafts through the air near the Atlantic, especially in the spring months. Inland, olive and almond groves stretch as far as the eye can see. In the high areas, otherworldly beeches and oaks dominate, enchantingly populated by mosses and ferns. Together with my Portuguese colleague Rui, we went on five medium-level day trips during the hiking trip. Along the way we had many exciting stops: Mount Pedra Bela, the impressive Arado waterfall, a small mountain where we treated ourselves to a short, textile-free bath in the rather cool but clear lake. It was here where we really realized that we have hardly met any other hikers so far. The north of Portugal, not far from the Spanish borders, is sparsely populated. The landscape is characterized by plateaus littered with granite blocks, pastureland and ravines. When buildings are in sight, they are only ever a scattering of small villages on the edge of a range of hills. These are made up of small stone houses that are several hundred years old. We will never forget the natural spectacle at the Blue Lagoon (Poço Azul), which is formed by the naturally dammed River Conho. The crystal-clear water and several cascades that flow into the lagoon look almost kitschy as they are so instagramable. We adjusted the program of the last day of hiking at short notice. It started to rain and for safety reasons we could only plan a shortened route. Rui spontaneously Photo: kampus became our driver and city guide. Together with him we explored the city of Braga, which is over 2000 years old and was only some 30 km away. The picturesque alleys, house fronts with colorful tiles and the UNESCO-protected pilgrimage church Bon Jesus do Monte with its impressive staircase gave us a cultural highlight at the end. The best reward for me as a group guide are the happy faces of the enthusiastic travelers who have become friends and can still benefit from the hiking experiences and the many new impressions they have gained for a long time to come. Author: Marcel Sonderer, group guide The tour operator Pink Alpine runs the guided gay walking tour in northern Portugal several times a year. The next trip is planned for October 10–17, 2021. More information at Why is hiking healthy? Hiking keeps you fit – both physically and mentally. The fresh mountain air and the beautiful backdrop help you to escape the stress of everyday life and clear your head. In combination with the steady movement that is exercised when going uphill, there are numerous positive health effects. So it‘s time to put on your hiking boots again, feel nature and enjoy the views. CHECK BAYERN #3 73

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.