Let’s start with a brief description: I am 55 years old and have a comfort belly, but recently I have been more involved in sports on television than in walking, which must remain an important part of my life. So I am not what you would call a fit man.
Why is this important? Because I’m writing this article after two days in nature in which the Tobogã instructors pulled my body in a way I hadn’t done for a long time. At the end of the first day, after 3 hours of canyoning along the bed of the Carcerelha stream, in the heart of Serra Amarela, I felt muscles I didn’t remember existed.And yet, sore (because Miguel Montez didn’t make it out of the beating of hiking, rappels and slides at the waterfalls either), we made an appointment for the other morning to ride our bikes.
Tobogã, a nature sports company based in Entre-Ambos-os Rios, Ponte da Barca, had enticed us with the idea that the e-bike does almost all the work.
It may not be that much, but it makes possible an adventure that not even in my wildest dreams I thought possible: Overcoming slopes and climbing paths for 16 kilometres.Tobogan’s e-bikes are 2018 KTM bikes with bulky tyres and a dynamic 125mm frame assisted by a powerful electric motor. And it’s this last detail that makes all the difference.
The electric motor powers up to 300 times the pedal stroke, allowing even the least prepared to get over the steepest of climbs.
It takes effort, admittedly, because the electric motor is no substitute for pedalling, only power. And that’s at its best.
What fun it would be to get on your bike and let it do all the work for you. The best thing is to reach the top of the path, feel the tired muscles and have the sensation that we have just crossed an obstacle.
Tobogã has several walks in its portfolio. It’s possible to do, always with a guide and instructor, the Caminho de Santiago or the crossing of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, but those with less preparation or time can opt for various walks on the slopes of Serra Amarela, with prices starting at 65 euros per person.
Of course, after the canyoning scrubbing the day before, Tobogã’s staff chose to take us on the shorter route, and with some changes, because we stopped several times along the way to film and photograph.
This is an experience that we strongly recommend to all nature lovers and that we will surely repeat.
Canyoning on the river
Canyoning is nothing more than the practice of descending rivers by walking along their beds and overcoming obstacles
On the first of the two days we spent with the Tobogã staff, they took us down a stretch of the Ribeira da Carcerelha, high up in the Serra Amarela, on the way to Germil.
Equipped properly, with some boots that make so much traction that they need to get used to dry, neoprene suits and helmet, the passage of the obstacles was always exciting and challenging, but thanks to the Tobogã staff, made in complete safety. It’s fun and tiring, and at the end of the course we looked like silly boys who couldn’t take the smile off their faces.