We chose our AirBnB well; we have loved staying in our ‘tree-house’ high in the hills, nestled in the trees with great views Our hosts are wonderful, and provide a breakfast on the door each morning. A great way to start the day.
After the death-defying driving on squiggly wiggly roads yesterday, we decided to do more of the same today so we could see more of the park, and more importantly, get to the trailhead of what promised to be a good hike. But from our place we first have to drop about 300 m down to the lake and then climb up again, all on winding roads. I’m getting more used to it, and and enjoying the driving. The views are amazing, but I don’t have many opportunities to appreciate them; need to keep my eyes on the road. But we did stop when we crossed the lake because the mirror reflections were stunning.
We safely navigated the serpentine road up to the trailhead for Poço Azul (Blue Pool), with a stop to admire the view.
This trail did not disappoint! We had a wonderful hike. All Trails had it listed as 8.7 km and 300 m elevation gain, so it was right in our range. We topped out at 800 m elevation.
First we were greeted by “goats on the road”. It was a big herd, complete with bells on their neck and many small kids. I was amazed at the assortment of colors.
The first half was easy going on a dirt road. Signage was non-existent and we were glad we had downloaded the All Trails maps because there are many paths and roads winding through this area. It kept us on path (mostly). As we made the easy initial ascent we loved the expansive views, the interesting rock formations and the colours provided by the abundant blooming heather and broom. There were a couple shepherd huts along the way and we even found an abandoned swimming pool!
The heather showed so many shades of purple and the bright yellow of the broom against the green branches really added colour and vibrancy to the hike.
The second half of the hike was more of a hiking path, scrambling over rocks etc., including a short steep descent down into a valley, and then back up.
Our destination was a lovely pool with a cascading waterfall. The water was very cold. We cooled our feet, but others there bravely swam (for short swims)
As with any out and back hike, we appreciated different views on the way back. The first km from the pool on our way back was stunning, We were contouring along a river vally, high above the river, and the view down into the valley and up to the mountain tops up high, and far ahead of us into the distance was very memorable.
We really loved this hike in this unique ecosystem. We understand why it’s protected as a park, and we are glad that we got to experience just a bit of it. More adventurous and capable hikers can do a lot of long distance hiking here; it would be an interesting destination for anyone interested in a hiking holiday.