sexta-feira, julho 29, 2005

Good bye

This is the last post before I leave to Bangladesh, i will arrive there on Monday where Suez and company will be hopefully waiting for their bottle of liquor at the airport.
This is going to be my 8th camp, 8th camp incredible, I am a veteran I am even interview because of this. Two weeks ago I was asked to talk a little about my experience for a newspaper, I am famous now! David the work camp gueek!

What is a work camp?
I could tell the story how they started but I am too lazy to do it, I am only going to explain what a work camp is for me.
Work camp is a place where you may find people from different places, with different ways of thinking, different religions all working for the same porpose ( help some community). The work can be a lot of things, like tanking care of kids to recovering a church or try to clean a river.
I have been a lot of things; I was a cultural animator, a river cleaner, a fire vigilant, a saints photographer, an archeologist, a church recuperation worker or a English teacher. I’ve to Portugal form north to south, eat to west, I have to Spain, France and Poland.
I have done mountain climbing, canooing, cave exploration, went to bars, free swimming pool use, balloon fighting, tradicional Spanish fiesta, youth week festival with a lot of rock music, a ska festival, lots of games, lots of cultural visits, winery’s, castles, old villages, recreative walking, going to discos and bars. I have drunk and ate tradicional food and drinks. I’ve met people from all over the world. I’ve friends everywhere, people that become important for me.

One thing I love to see is the appreciation of others for what you are doing.

I like work camps, I never feel like I am a tourist and I leave really knowing how a country can be, I leave that place really knowing it
It’s great

See you in a town near you

I leave in 2 days

Photo legend( church in bernardos-Spain my first camp outside Portugal

quinta-feira, julho 28, 2005

i am going to khalia, Rajoir upazzila, Mandaripur district, Daka division, Bangladesh

I am on my final days in Portugal.
This week has been bad because of so many things i have to do before i leave, but because i am lasy the majority are like they were last week. I have almost everything, i just have to buy just a few more things. I know now to wich camp i am going and what work i will do:"Leveling & Repairing of Village Road, Nursing & cleaning the Garden and Issue based discussion ". I am going to kalia in rajoir upazzila, in the midle of nowhere a few km south of Daka. The upazilla has 204356 people and 2048 sqkm. The majority are muslims but with a important hindu comunity There some religious facilities, Mosque 363, temple 286, church 7 and tomb 2. I am a bit sad because i wanted to go souther, in this way i will be really in the midle of nowhere, the guide doesn't say anithig about nice things here and i am staying there for 11 days. The study thems in this camp is pottery and boutique, i have i am not a big fan of this, we will have boat sight seeing but still learning about cup and dresses are not really my tipe. Despite this, i am happy to know that drinking is allowed there, one of the guys from bangladehs asked if i could bring strong alchol drinks. Their will be very few foreners there only be there about 4, french, irish and from nepal, 2 of them already had already arrived there.
So all thing are arranged

i leave in 3 days

quinta-feira, julho 21, 2005


A lot of ink was spilled about the next portuguese world heritage.
When making studies for making a dam in the coa river someone discovered some strange drawings he had just discover what is now know has Prehistoric Rock-Art Sites in the Côa. Valley. Not everyone was happy with this discovery, one dam was going to be built and this site was in danger, so there was a conflict between the ones that wanted the dam and the ones that wanted the paintings. The paintings won and in 1998 joined the world heritage list. Till today there are people that wished to have the dam instead.
"as figuras rupestres de Foz Côa" "is nothing more than exceptional concentration of rock carvings from the upper palaeolithic(22,000-10,000 bc), being considered the most outstanding example of early human artistic activity in this form anyhwere in the world" this word are not mine they are in the unesco site. Our antcestors loved to paint, art is in our blood.
Nowadays there is a park that even has a website in english.Vila Nova de Foz Coa is in the interior of Portugal, not very far away from the spanish border, 380 km distance from Lisbon but only 182 Km from Salamanca. This region has big problems of population desertification. So help this reagion and go there.(i have never been there but do what i say and not what i do)

Even it has so many cultural world heritage Portugal only has one world natural heritage and is not even in continental Portugal but in the Madeira Island in the Atlantic Ocean not very far away from Africa. I am talking about the Laurisilva of Madeira.
The original forest in Madeira island is called Laurissilva that already existed before the portuguese discovered this island. This kind of forest used to ocupy large extensions of the european continent, all the mediterranian basin, meridional europe and north Africa, disapearing because of the glaciers. The Azores, Canarias and Cape Verde maintained this kind of vegetation. By thye discovery of madeira Laurissilva covered almost all the island, today you may find it it the nort side distributed between 300 m and 1300 m altitude.
For more information about this go to

Photos and information came directly from the web sites above and from this one:

I almost can't belive it in just 10 days, 10 enormous days i live this sunny country to the other side of the world directly tõ the rainny Bangladesh.

I leave in 10 days
10 days i leave
leave 10 days
je me vais en 10 jours
eu vou daqui a 10 dias
yo me voy en 10 dias, qualquer coisa assim

quarta-feira, julho 20, 2005


Six years after Mosteiro de Alcobaça, Portugal entered again in 1995 to world heritage list, this time with a place that is know has one of the most romantic places to go with your girlfried/boyfriend, also known for storys of witches and strange ceremonys in the sorroundings mountains, imortalised in many books but particularly in "Os Maias" by the portuguese writer Eça de Queirós, i am talking about the Cultural Landscape of Sintra.
Sintra is a nice village just a few km west of Lisbon and a obrigratory stop for who visits Lisbon. Sintra cultural landscape is a misture of monuments(palaces, convents, castels,etc,) with beautifull woods. Sintra is seen has one of the first places in Europe to start with the romantic architecture in the beggining of the XIX century. D. Fernando II transformed an old convent into a palace using a mixture of gotic, islamic and renaissance elements sorounded by exotic and local trees. Other followed and built using the same lines in the sorounding serra.

Just one year after Sintra, it was time reward the second biggest city in Portugal and one of the most proud of its origin:
Historic Centre of Porto- Porto only 300 km from Lisbon, the second biggest city in Portugal with their metropolitan area, also known has working capital of Portugal. The Porto city was built along the hillsides of the Douro river and has a beautifull landscape with 1000 year history. It was the romans that baptised city has Portus(the port). In this city you can see many and vaired monuments, including the stock exange, churchs, bridges, etc. This is also the city that gave the name to Porto wine even is not produced inside of the city, being only stored in the other side of the river.

Some interesting things that i heard about this two citys. Sintra was visited by lord byron and is told had writen some of his novels there. During the IIWW Sintra was a place where a lot of forenner diplomates were living and was a place full of German and English Spies.
Porto has a big number of english descendents, many of them associated with the porto wine culture has some of this big vinnyards belong to old english famillys.

This were very short introduction to this beatifull citys that show how much portuguese past is interesting. Here goes the links for more information and the origin of the photos.

I leave in 11 days

terça-feira, julho 19, 2005


After 1983 the Unesco continue to join Portuguese monuments to the world heritage list.
In 1986 Historic Center of Évora was the 5th portuguese place to join the list.
Évora is the main city in Alentejo region in the south of Portugal, it has about 56525 inabitants and has a great history. This quiet city was founded by the romans with the name of Liberalitas Julia, being after ocupied by the arabs and becoming part of Portugal in 1165. Like many other citys in Portugal, Évora golden age was in XV and XVI century during the Portuguese empire and when it was a also the kings residense. During those times there were built there churhcs,palaces, monestarys, military services,etc. The architecture of Évora had a big influence in the portuguese architecture used by the Portuguese in Brasil. Nowadays you still have well preserved city sorrounded by mediaval walls, many churchs, palaces, a great university, white houses from XV century and roman remains has the temple of diana (on top).

In 1989 Portugal was awarded again but this time for a single monument Mosteiro de Alcobaça
This old monastery was ordered to be built by the first king of Portugal D. Afonso Henriques, in 1153. During passing the primitive shape of the monastery has been transformed and you can find parts from the XIV, XVII and XVIII.
Inside you can also find two of the most beatifull tumuls of the XIV. These two tumuls belong to D.Pedro and D.Inês, the most famous portuguese love story. D.Pedro was a prince and the future king of Portugal, when he was going to get married he fell in love with D.Inês from his future wife weding cometee. When his wife died a few years later he decided to get married with D. Inês but D.Afonso IV(Pedro father) that was against this marriage ordered to kill Inês. When Pedro discovered that he ordered to kill Inês killers and nomenated Inês to be nomenated queen even she was dead. When Pedro died a few years later he ordered that his tumul should be next to D. Inês.

I leave in 12 days

segunda-feira, julho 18, 2005


All around the world we can find remains of the portuguese architecture, some of them categorised has world heritage. This weekend one more has joined this list. This week i decided to talk about every place in the world that is in the unesco list and in someway is connected to the portguese culture, starting of corse in Portugal.
Portugal has incribed in the unesco list 12 cultural properties and 1 natural properties. Being the first ones added in 1983 and the last one in 2003.
In 1983 4 properties joined the list:
Convento de Cristo in Tomar - This convent is localed around 123 km distance from Lisbon. The convent was build inside the Tomar Castle where the first people from Tomar lived. The castle was ordered to be built in 1160 by Dom Gualdim Pais, from the famous templar order. This monuments was really affected and transformed with the begginig of the portuguese empire and can be seen now has a simbol of the openning of Portugal to new cultures.

Mosteiro da Batalha- This monastery is located only a few hours from Lisbon 20 km from Leiria. This most important simbol of the second dinasty.In 1385 there was an very important batle in Aljubarrota against the spanish that wanted to control portugal, the king was so confiant that he was going to win that he prayed to the virgin mary and promised an monstery if he won.He won so he ordered to build this great monument. During the follwing years there were plans of expansion of the church and some alterations but they were never completed. Now we have unfinished monastery of batalha.

Mosteiro dos Hieronimitas and Torre de Belém in Lisbon- This two fantastic monunements are the most famous monuments in all Portugal and they are in the majority of postcards of my Country. This monuments are located in Belém in the west part of Lisbon city where people say that the first caravels left to the portuguese expansion.
The mosteiro dos Heironimitas or "Mosteiro dos Jerónimos"was started to being built in 1501 and finished very fast a century after. One of the duties of the monks in there was to pray for the ones that left near by to the new world. The guys that left really needed a lot of praying, so you have to understand why they where so religious( going to the rought sea without knowing where going and with a boat so fagril, you really have to pray).

Torre de Belém-The main objective of this tower, toguether with other that existed in the other side of the river Tagus and in Cascais was to protect the entrace of Lisbon. It was order to be built by the king D.João II in the XV century.

Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores
In the midle of the atlantic ocean, there are the beautifull islands of Azores. Angra do Heroismo in Terceira Island was a very important military port in XV and it was used has a recharge point to the ships going to India and other important comercial stops.

For more details: azores4.html

I leave in 13 days

quinta-feira, julho 14, 2005

I leave in 17 days

I leave in 17 days!
I have already taken the necessary shots(hepatitus A) bought the malarian medicin, the complex b pills, the diarreia pills and the mosquito repelent.Today i will buy the lonely planet guide. I have almost everything but still i don't have a camera.

Instead of only reading the portuguese news i read the bengally news and see the weather forecast. The forecast is very simple, rain, rain and more rain, humidity 89%, 26 degrees, wind 10 km/h, not bad.
I confess i need the monsoons, i am really tired of seeing fire news in Portugal, for sure there won't be much there. Well, a few weeks ago there was a big gas explosion there, but nothing is perfect.

"Cheaper Chinese, Indian fabrics flood local market"
Country's local fabric markets have become flooded with cheaper and low quality imported foreign fabric, specially from China and India through under-invoicing and false declaration. ".
I think i heard this new somewhere in Portugal, the only difference is that this happens in Bangladesh.

Hey young man/lady do you want to know for any reason the weather in Daka, this site is for you-

Like i said

i leave in 17 days

quarta-feira, julho 13, 2005

Pedrogão Grande

Normaly when people think about Portugal they associate imediatly to sun and beaches, but Portugal is much more. Like i said before, i was in Castanheira de Pêra last weekend and even it's only 80 km from the ocean, is a totaly diferent world. In the park i talked about in the last post, i met a nice belgian lady. The lady started comming to Portugal 20 years ago and had visited almost every part of Portugal, from north to south, east to west, she was even shocked when i said that i was never in Piodão(a histocal village, all made of stone that is in the midle of the mountains, that you can see in the photo) and in the end she decided to stay two years in Castanheira.
Near Castanheira there is Pedrogão Grande. Pedrogão of 4398 habitants is a litle bigger than Castanheira, it has even a disco called INOX. We were there during the night in the town, it was good turing around in that hot summer night, without seeing anyone, discovering a new place. This small place has two small gardens, the same amount of some bigger cities.There i discovered that kids are more and more radical.
Pedrogão is also known because of it's river dam. Near the town there is the river dam of Cabril, a very nice place to swimm and do water sports( everytime you go to a dam, you have to be very carefull, dam are very dangerous). The cabril dam is a dam of Zezere river, the biggest secundary river in Portugal that flows to Tagus river( the river that passes near Lisbon, and the biggest one that crosses Portugal).

Zezere river starts in Covão da Metade in Serra da Estrela Mountain, where there is the point with more altitude in Continental Portugal(1993 m), and one of the few places where you can find snow all the year around. The photo is from covão, a very nice place to stay and camp, i camped there two times, but that is other story.

The river is also crossed by one the highest bridges in europe, i think the highest one is in France.

The village where we took lunch is also a bit famous, is in the midle of nowhere, it's not preatty or even has a lot of things there, is only famous because of it's name "Picha", translating to english it's Dick. Nice name and people from there are very proud to be from Picha.

All the photos are not mine, and i hope the owner don't get mad with me for using them. I really have to buy a camera.
Here goes the sources of the photos: images/PIODAO.JPG picha.jpg

if i forgot some source i am very sorry and i hope not to have any problem with the owner

I leave in 18 days

terça-feira, julho 12, 2005

Castanheira de Pêra

In the year 2000 the workcamps in Portugal only for Portuguese people were terminated, since that year only international workcamps exist in the Portuguese territory. It was in that year that i went to my 4th workcamp but my 1st international workcamp that took place in Castanheira de Pêra. It was the first time that i was with people from other countrys, there were people from France, Germany and Spain. The main problem of this camp, was that there were too many Portuguese, half of the campers were from Portugal. The work was not very hard, the main objective was to make an photo album with all the saints statues that existed near the village roads,this saints have the porpose to send the bad spirits away and bless the way. It was a very nice camp, i went to concerts, walked in the midle of the forest, went to Coimbra (the student capital of Portugal), but in the end i lost contact with all people from that camp.

This weekend after five year i was back to Castanheira de Pêra.
Castanheira is a small town that has around 3733 habitants( 2001 census), in the center of Portugal, two hours distance from Lisbon.

it's situated in the south side of the Lousã mountains, and has altitudes that may reach 1100-1200 altitude. The mountains are filled with trees, mainly eucaliptus and pine trees. The vilage souroundings have a very big variety of small water courses and where there are some river beaches.

This mountains have very tipical villages all made of stone.Unfurtunelly the majority of this villages are abandoned, mainly because of their remote location.

Now the Castanheira Town has a new water park where you have artificial waves(it's funny to see people so exited to see the waves). All the park was constructed inside the river basin. Next to the swimming pools the river flows to a lake. the lake porpouse is to allow diferent aquatic sports.

I am not very big fan of the park and i prefer going to the places like poço corga, a river beach. Near the river beach there is a very nice campsite own by a nice men from Netherlands that lives there for 10 years and speaks very bad portuguese.

Not very far from castanheira there is Santo António das Neves, a place where there are some old storage rooms where in the old time, people storaged ice to do icreams for the king

All this photos are not mine, because i still don't have a camera so i didn't
take any photos but still i wanted to share this place with you.

In the link
you can find more about this village and see nice photos like this ones. It's only in portuguese


sexta-feira, julho 08, 2005


Buenos dias/tardes

Yeasterday i had a very nice day. It started when i arrived to work, i switched by accident my computer from the plug, loosing some info for shure. Then when i turned it on, the computer had no access to the internet, so I was all day trying to find someone to fix that problem. When i was finnaly going home(because i have to have internet access to work) i found the computer technic.

It was great, he didn't had the administrator password for my computer so in the end..............................................................I continue without internet in my computer and i can't work.

After leaving work i tryed to get a credit card( is a good idea to have a visa card in bangaldesh), the store closed just one minute before i got there.

After all this, not all was bad, i made yeasterday a travell insurance, so if i die in bangladesh my parents will be richer( not much because is a litle insurance).

I leave in 23 days

quinta-feira, julho 07, 2005


Today i am having a litle problem with the internet and i am still waiting that someone responsible to solve it, so i decided to use another computer.

I am reading a very interesting book called " In the empire of Genghis Kan", it was writen by Stanley Stewart, an Irish writer that decided to cross Mongolia by horse.

Even the book is mainly in Exterior Mongolia, the writer starts his journey in Istambul, where there is old church from the mongolian times.

At the same time he describes his trip, he makes a parallel with one that took place a few centuries ago.He describes the travell that two catolic monks made a long time ago to the Mongolian territory, years before the famous travel of Marco Polo, their main porpose was to make contact with the Mongolian king and convert has much people has possible( he hadn't had much success)

Reading this book i discovered very interting things about Mongolian history and culture that i really didn't know.

One curiosity:
Mongolia before the comunism was an eclesiastic state just has Tibet, in the beggining of xx century had about 100000 lamas, and existed 700 big monesterys and more than 1000 smaller ones. During the comunist times the majority of the monestarys where destroyed and about 20000 lamas where killed, the rest were sent to prisioners camps in Mongolia.

I still didn't finished reading, the writer is now near Tsetlserleg.

I leave in 24 days

P.S.I took the photo from, you can find more nice photos there.The photo was taken in Gov-Altai mountains at the west part of Mongolia near the Russian border.Mongolia is not only desert

quarta-feira, julho 06, 2005


After comming from bangladesh i am going to germany but this time i am going at work.
I am going to do a litle corse about coastal and marine management, i hope to learn things so i can bring them to Portugal and give my contribute to our society.

This is the site course so if you want to known what is about there is everything at

The course is going to take place near Rostock. I heard that is a nice city of the old east germany, is in the baltic coast and everyday you have ferrys to danmark and to other baltic countrys. The trip to danmark only takes one hour so probably i will go there so i can say:
I know very well danmark( i was there about 10 minutes)!

The place is called warnemuende
Has you can see it looks to be very nice.
When i come back i hope to have better photos.
The photo is from the website above. To see more about that place you just have to click on the link

For the ones that say i am crasy

Good morning!
Normaly when i start talking about strange countrys(the ones that are not so turisitic or from global knoledge) people say that i am crazy and they are not interesting at all.

well, in the other day i was in this site that is about a couple that during 2000,2001, 2002 decided to have a trip around the world. in that site i discovered very nice photos that they took from very "crazy countries".
This one is from Uzbekistan, has you can see it looks like to be a very ugly monument and nothing interesting. i think is fake.

This ugly landscape, and very boring one( i think that south of spain loret del mar is much more beautifull) is in Kyrgyzstan. It has a serious problem i don't see any supermarket or cinema neer there.

To tell the truth i think this photos are not very well taken and i think i can do better so i have to go there to take them but from a diferent angle.

Thanks for the photos Wes and Masami, they are very nice

I leave in 25 days

terça-feira, julho 05, 2005


The floods in my vaction destiny has already started. Unfortunelly is one thing that is normal there, every year lot of people have to move, fortunelly i think nobody died this year because of the floods.
To know more what is happening there here goes some links:

The Daily Star - English-language
The Bangladesh Observer - English-language daily
New Age - English-language daily
The New Nation - English-language daily

Bangladesh Television (BTV) - government-run
ATN Bangla - private, via satellite and cable
Channel i - private, via satellite and cable
NTV - private, via satellite and cable

Betar-Radio Bangladesh - government-run
Radio Metrowave - Dhaka, commercial music and news station aimed at younger listeners

News agencies:
Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) - official, English-language pages
United News of Bangladesh (UNB) - private

I have to thank bbc for this links.
Thanks BBC


it's very nice to have a blog, is like you are writing for the all world but in reality in the begginig you are only writing for the ones that you sayed: i have a blog!
i have to tell the truth that i am not a fan of blogs and i only read one or two.
But my blog is going to be known has the blog of the minority of the minority, the alternative of the alternative and if nobody reads it i won't know so there is no problem.
i bet in a month my blog will be the most known portuguese blog in bangladesh and next year the most read in mongolia, and who knows that in ten years the portuguese blog most read in central asia.
i leave in 26 days

segunda-feira, julho 04, 2005

Dia um

Today i created my blog. I had a very strong influence of my co-worker. She decided to create hers and why not, i created mine.
well i should write in portuguese but because i have more friends outside my country i think i will write in english.
it's good to pratice my vocabulary and if i give some writing mistakes i always have the excuse: i am not english!!!
A small presentation of my person! i am portuguese and geographer and very proud of it.
i have a dream, to go to every independent country in the world.
In a month i am going to bangladesh. it's a great country to visit during the monsoon. the other great thing is that is going to be the first time i am going to travel by plain. I already started to imagine good things like crashing in the midle of jugle and then beeing caught by a flood and trying to swimm to survive sorounded by crocodiles and houses.
i almost can't wait
i leave in 27 days