Mata dos Medos

The forest has a scary environment. The enormous amount and height of pine trees hide the daylight. Is almost impossible not getting lost in the dark heart of the forest. The “Mata dos Medos” is located on the top of the Fossil Cliff of Costa da Caparica,  Almada, and occupies a range of 5 kilometers along the western coast of the Setúbal peninsula, covering an area of 338 hectares. Weird trees with bizarre format populate the dense forest.
The forest is mainly characterized by the presence of stone pine and pine wood. We crossed the forest by a sandy path. On his return, several dogs were coming up through the dense bushes. It seemed guarding their territory, throwing us a look of suspicion and some contempt. It was a moment of tension because we did not know what would be the reaction of dogs. Fortunately, as appeared, they disappeared.
They showed to be well fed. Probably with the food giaved by the people who attend a picnic park near the Mata dos Medos. There is a book called “Contos da Mata dos Medos”. A collection of short stories by Álvaro Magalhães and Cristina Valadas for childrens. This area was planted by the orders of King D. João V, in order to fix the sand dunes – “os medos”- which invaded agricultural land of the interior. Common buzzard, the little OWL the Mottled Owl,.Badgers and hedgehogs lives in Mata dos Medos. At the end of the course we can see the beautiful view of the beach.

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Municipal Slaughterhouse of Bombarral

The old Municipal Slaughterhouse of the town of Bombarral was inaugurated in the earlies 50’s, and was active until the end of the 80’s. It was integrated in a national system of slaughterhouses run by the state which supervises local slaughthouses in all municipalities.
The managers of the slaughterhouse were public servants paid by the state, but the employees tasked with the meat processing were hired and paid by the local butcher shops. Meat distribution was mostly for the butcher shops in Bombarral, and some other stores in the rest of the municipality. Portugal’s entry into the EEC (European Economic Community) and a policy of reduction of state intervention marked the end of the local slaughterhouses, with these being replaced by larger facilities with regional and district reach, and controlled by private companies. By today’s standards, work and sanitary conditions were appalling. It was not unusual to see severed animal’s heads lying in the floor, together with pieces of meat and fecal matter. Some of the employees were alcoholic and that was reflected in the quality of work and in the maintenance of the facilities. Today it is heavily degraded and abandoned. There were talks of reusing the place, but nothing was decided.

Ferdinand of S.

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