Natural Park Peneda Geres, an unexpected musician

After the full day of calming and relaxing, “meditation” trip around the Natural Park Peneda-Geres in the Northen Portugal, we decided to see more and went to a view point near Ermida. Passing by this gorgeous view of the valley you are entering a small village, where the road ends. We had a choice – to take a picture of the village and go back, or to walk around the place and see the old houses made of untouched blocks of granite. That’s what we did.

2015-12-12_14.18.52Right in the middle of the main square there were several men chatting and surely looking at us like at aliens. Fortunately, we speak Portuguese so to make the first connection we greeted them and asked for a central cafe (there is always “Cafe Centrale” in each village in Portugal). One of them appeared to be the owner of the mentioned cafe and he told us that he would wait for us to give us a cup of coffee.

The village is nice to visit, but be prepared to smell some not nice product of cow’s digestion and to see all people of the village, because they would like to see the newcomers that they will “have to” discuss the following week or so 🙂

It’s a very nice city to discover, but don’t leave more than 30 minutes for that as it’s tiny. Pay attention to the architecture, as some of the buildings were built even on the blocks that seems like were found on the place. Some of them show the size of their citizens. Well, Olesya is pretty tall, but still it was such a small entrance.


After a nice walk, photos of the cow right in one of the squares of the village that was asking for some attention and posing for us like a professional model, we went back to have a cup of coffee with Senhor Zé.


The so-called “cafe” is a small room with some tables and chairs, photos and music instruments. We noticed them right away and thought they were used for local concerts and celebrations. Well, not really so…

It appeared that Senhor Zé, who was very talkative and nice to us, used to be the best harmonic player in the region of Minho (this was confirmed to us by our local friend from the place we stayed at). It took us at least 15 minutes to persuade Senhor Zé to play something to us. Seems like he was very shy, but in the same time he really wanted to play for us, so we managed to get him take the musical instrument out of the box.

When he started playing we were astonished. He transformed into a performer, started smiling, dancing a bit and we were even expecting him to start singing. He dived into his music and came back as a new person. His music captivated us, put a smile on our faces and made us dance.

Check the video of Senhor Zé playing and hopefully it will show you the energy he gave us.

Two of the local ladies came to the cafe right away and were sitting outside listening to the music. Seems like they were even jealous a bit, because they were laughing at Senhor Zé, when we were leaving. Well, he was funny as well, when he said that he would always be open play for a young ladies like us.

It was an encounter we would never think of, when we decided to walk around a small village of Ermida in the North of Portugal. We just wanted to have a coffee in their “Cafe Centrale”, but this wish turned out to be the moment of our lives to remember.

On our way back from the village we stopped ones again to enjoy the waterfall.


It was difficult to leave, but we are sure we will be back very soon!

Thanks to Lima Escape to Nature for helping us with the organization of this trip.

If you missed our first day in “Heaven”, you can find it here.


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