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…Years later, and due to my school failure*, my father decided I should go every day to the high school library where he worked at, so that, under his watchful eye, I could do my homework and study, and then, if time remained, entertain myself with the only thing around: books.
I read many things that I liked, but I also read many things because I was forced to... The truth is that I read a lot of books at the time… Still, I have to look on the bright side: in the end, it was good to instruct me, and many books I read at the time led me through the rest of my growth path. As I had always had a passion for animals, I quickly found the books that interested me the most. They were all about the "Natural Parks of Portugal". After reading them, I made a summary of the fauna and flora present in each park, in a kind of naïve-kids-notebook-infographics.
The Peneda-Gerês National Park was the “crown jewel”. It had all the fauna that I liked the most. It was even better than Montesinho Natural Park because the brown bear had endured longer there, before becoming extinct.
The desire to return to the National Park was reborn in me, I wanted to see all those animals the books I read referred.
But the years passed and there was no way I got to go there... Until one day I went to summer camp and stayed in Braga (a larger city close by the park) and one of the activities planned, on the third day I believe, was a visit to the National Park.
I waited impatiently for that day, but the visit was nothing more than an hour-long ride on a bus, with me, nose against the glass, waiting to see the animals; waiting for a stop to venture into the forest.
But the bus did not stop and the animals did not appear. And this chapter ended there, my return to the National Park was just an endless time closed inside a bus, traveling through an infinite series of curves and counter-curves, without a single stop...
*school failure: my final average was 4 (out of 5), but as I got a 3 in History and French, my father was upset.............
Na minha infância, o Gerês era algo que parecia tão mas tão longe…só em Setembro no regresso das férias em Espanha era habitual passarmos 3 dias pelo Gerês, sendo que o primeiro dia era o da chegada pela hora de almoço e o terceiro para regressar a casa logo ao inicio da tarde. Coisa que eu não conseguia compreender. Porquê que só ficávamos um dia completo no Gerês? Fazíamos uma viagem tão grande para só lá ficar um dia completo. Estas eram então as minhas férias, uns dias por Espanha, ansioso por um dia no Gerês, aquele que para mim era o local mais idílico que conhecia, a Mata da Albergaria a floresta mais densa e pura e o Miradouro da Pedra Bela um verdadeiro tesouro. E depois, depois tínhamos as cascatas…