Here in the mountains of central Portugal, a levada is an ancient water way. They were built as small channels or aqueducts, where the water was diverted from a river and lead into feeding mills or for irrigation purposes.
With the abandonment of the land, also these fantastic structures were left to disappear and be absorbed by the growing vegetation.
At Corga, we are lucky to still have a few, but so far there were always more pressing priorities, so we never looked into restoring them…
Until this week! Oh it was hard work, my limbs are aching from all the physical effort, but it is oh so worth it!
At the furthest bit of our land, a small stream sings his gurgling song. There are a couple of little bridges, a beautiful wooden swing that survived the fires and the constant sound of flowing water.
Below, stands a magic cluster of land that we only discouvered after the fire. It can be reached going down a steep set of steps on the side of the above terrace. To the right, a big triangle was opened on the wall: it’s an old water mine. The freshness of the place is soothing and the magic palpable. From the mine, water runs into the old levada.
The levada was buried in years of falling bits of earth. For two days, we worked to clear it, anxiously waiting to try out the big tank in the end of the water channel.
It is leaking a bit, needs fixing, but i can already envision with my mind’s eye beautiful summer days spent in that place, deep dips in the cool water and relaxing by the shade of the scented laurel.