I have discovered a beautiful area, not far away at all. That is a blessing, especially early on a Sunday morning. “Come on Mira, in the car girl!” I urge my darling-of-a-dog to jump into the back of the car.
We are going to discover a new hiking trail, a “terra-batida” near the church of Samuel
I like to walk on asphalt. The unfortunate thing is that asphalt also attracts cars, which in turn is less attractive to us. Fortunately, there are quite a lot of very quiet roads in the area, where you can banter, relax, without having to worry that you will be flat-on-the-street. A “terra-batida” is even better; worn cart tracks that were later reinforced with stones by tractor tires.
There is a whole network of those roads, through the hills and the woods.
Sunday morning is a great morning to go for a walk because then everyone sleeps in. Everyone? No, there is a small group that resists the need for Sunday rest and idleness and goes to listen to the Word of God in church.
The church of Samuel is apparently very attractive as it is busy every Sunday
It is beautifully situated between undulating hills full of pine trees and eucalyptus, which pretend to be a real forest. (You also have very straight plantations – that’s hard to ignore, and doesn’t do much for your outdoor feeling.) The cemetery is next to it, a large square in front of it, and not a house to be seen in the surrounding area. So the people inside are the only ones who can enjoy the sacred Word.
That didn’t sit well with the parish priest, it seems, because he has set the sound system to maximum, and it will remain on as long as the service lasts. Just as I bless the silence around me, and enjoy the peace, the church service starts, kilometers further along fine to follow.
Why do those people bother to go to church, if the church comes to you this way?
It’s not bad, you know, actually quite charming, but I can’t get near my car for an hour, if I don’t want to be deaf. We walk on, Mira and I, when the congregation starts a hymn. The microphone stays on, and Mr Priest bravely sings along. Ai!
Mr Priest is often just next to the next note
Despite the fact that you can say that the portuguese are a musical people, the priest was apparently standing last in line when the distribution of tonal purity began. It’s cringe-inducing false. Then – after an unintelligible sermon – a serene piece of music with a female choir and a solo soprano begins. Nice.
But oh! – the soprano also is just off every now and then.
You just kind of cringe at it.
Could it be the sound system? The Doppler effect or something? That it has this effect at (or even over) the maximum?
Don’t know. I only know that on Sunday morning I look for another hiking trail. Less devoted but quiet.
We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal.
A big step, especially with two small children.
You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.
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