Our second trek in the island of Santo Antão went through the gorgeous Paúl Valley. It was the day after we did the trek from Ponta do Sol to Igreja de Chá. Since at the end of that trek we met a guy who offered a lift back to Ponta do Sol, we agreed with him that the next day he will pick us from Ponta do Sol and give us a lift to the crater of Cova do Paul – the starting point of this trek.
Overview of the trail
The trail goes from the Cova crater, through the green Paúl Valley to the town of Vila das Pombas. It’s always descending, at the beginning quite steep. You begin at 1280 m. high and end 10 m. above sea level.
We did this trail by ourselves using the previously mentioned “Rother” guide. In this book, the trail is marked as “light” in terms of difficulty but, for me, it was “medium”. It’s around 15 km. long.
Adventures while trekking
At the beginning of the trek, you’re amazed by wonderful views and actually can see the ocean and the end of the trail.
We started to go down and met a guy with a sack of potatoes on his shoulders coming up fast. While we were descending he managed to go up and down three times.
The first part of the trail is descending the hill. Then the green and the fertile part starts: you pass banana plants, coca palms, mango and papaya trees. Also, more living houses. We passed one house where the owner wanted a lot to sell us bananas. We bought them, direct from the source; but they were the most expensive 4 bananas we have ever bought 🙂
Also, we passed the charming Chã de João Vaz village, where we stopped in the “O Curral” for lunch.
The end of the trek
We finished trekking in Vila das Pombas town. There was a bus station; so we checked if and when there is a bus to Ponta do Sol – our “basecamp”. Since there was some time until the bus, we headed to a nearby cafeteria to sit and rest.
I absolutely recommend you do this trek because of the amazing views it offers and the better feel of local life you get while passing the villages along the way.