Text and Photos Bruno Gonçalves
A remarkable urban action, powered since 1996, the green sidewalk (or, as some call it, “calçadão”) crosses Ericeira from North to South, uniting Foz do Lizandro with Ribeira d’Ilhas, the roofs and the housing to the foliage and the waves, the passion for sports to the relaxation and enjoyment of the landscapes.
Granting connectivity and continuity to the village, it registers an urban contrast between the pressure in the eastern side and the historical and natural seaside, and along these 5 km we can identify at least three distinct sections:
– the first, more conditioned regarding accessibility, delimits the old village, so that some prefer crossing the historical center, the coast, the beaches and the caves;
– the second one, more winding, part of the South Beach lookout (also known as the Guest Room) that goes to the Foz do Lizandro, passing by the Malhadinha lookout;
– the section that begins in S. Sebastião, going up and down, passes by the Matadouro Beach, the skatepark, the camping and the Milreu Fort, connecting three of the waves consecrated by the World Surfing Reserve: Pedra Branca, Reef and Ribeira d’Ilhas.
These last two thirds, more peripheral and contiguous to protected areas, are greener, with the sea always present, blended in a generally autochthonous vegetation, where stand, among the bushes, the reeds and pinewood that extends from the camping site and almost reaches the sea…
Granting connectivity and continuity to the village, it registers an urban contrast between the pressure in the eastern side and the historical and natural seaside
Hundreds of people from all over the county joined this path. We can accompany them, from dawn until evening, when the rain falls or the sun shines, alone or in groups; families, athletes and even competitors who train here and get inspired for their trials, such as the case of the triathlon champion, the “jagoz” José Estrangeiro. All these users raise awareness for the constant care and maintenance of the sidewalk, even calling to the possibility of some potencial new expansions, such as a section leading to Coxos, from the wooden stairway in Ribeira D’Ilhas.
With this green sidewalk, the National Road 248 has found a new life, having an healthy competition that underlines Ericeira’s vocation as a environmentally-friendly town (honorable mention in the Green Project Awards and the Achievement Award by Quercus, in 2008) and a precursor of healthy lifestyles. The sea inspires to such.
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