Covão of Ametade (Serra da Estrela Natural Park) (Butters) (***): The inverted viewpoint

Covão of Ametade (Serra da Estrela Natural Park) (Butters) (***): The inverted viewpoint

Before we read the beautiful Margaret Paes text on the Covão of Ametade in the Public Journal trails liked to give some geomorphological notes about this amazing place.

What is Covão of Ametade?

The Covão Ametade part of a set of 3 circuses glacial fed than the longest glacial tongue of the Serra da Estrela, and where today the river Zêzere installs.
The Covão of Ametade part of this first major circus feeder glacial tongue of the Zêzere and what is now the source of the river of that name. This glacial circus has not only a glacial Covão, but nothing more nor less than 3. The Covão further upstream is called Covão Cimeiro, the second is our Covão of Ametade and third, the smaller the Covão Albergaria.
This succession of depressed areas, poorly drained and circular is typical of mountainous areas subject to glaciation, usually resulting in small ponds. These were Covões snow accumulation zones, it becomes snowy and ice and feeds the glacial tongues of valleys. These glacial Covões is in French the name of umbilicus.

Covão of Ametade Serra da EstrelaThe Covão of Ametade is a circular depressed area, shaped amphitheater, surrounded by monumental very abrupt slopes and crushing, reducing us to our smallness and whose background was given an accumulation of sediments, which make possible the development of woody vegetation.
The amount of Covão of Ametade, westerly, You can identify a rocky convexity, Glacial constituting the ferrule (in French, lock), which almost closes the Covão Cimeiro. The same is true in Covão entrance Ametade, where it gives the valley bottleneck for Covão Albergaria.
In the case of Serra da Estrela, the most important circuses are not clearly individualize the glacial valleys, they constitute the headwaters of these valleys. This is what happens in the valley of Zêzere. The imposing Covão dominated by the fabulous skinny pitcher (***) and called Covão Cimeiro, It is a circus that is, while the head of the valley and is her first umbilicus, while the Covão of Ametade is already a umbilicus de vale.
We have to imagine perpetual snow with slow moving about 20000 years, where the glacial ice of the language of the Zêzere then flowed Plateau Tower, channeling in the Covão Cimeiro, Covão da Ametade e Vale da Candieira, as part of something so huge and telluric molder erosion grantio and time.

Text Ferreira de Castro, em a Lã e a Neve
"The mist was rising increasingly leaving bare the hideous foothills of the birthplace of Zêzere. A huge roundabout, grave, mysterious, unpredictable contours, began to appear, as if the mists of the beginning of the world to abandon once. They went up revealing huge soft granite, at the bottom, on the right, left, stones of all millennia, bastions of one block and rude traces, superb showed that, a majestic solemnity. This cyclopean and irregular wall, Full edges, creases, growing rapidly, through the fog that it was withdrawing. Each time it had higher, more arrogant every time – and so covered the tops dir would have no end.
The colossal amphitheater where they were strutted now, in all its magnificence. It was a rugged grandeur, Severe, this roundabout conducive to a temple of alpestres myths. It was sandwiched between amazing blooms of granite and ended at Slender pitcher that reminded carcass immeasurable castle once, which approached fulminating hot thunderbolts.
Dir would that nature wanted to defend and impregnate the mystery of the Zêzere spring – closing it as a fortress. It, however, it appeared that the river was only a pretext. It was a poor, trembling water line, sometimes very narrow, now wider, sometimes almost invisible, who threw from above by a groove or diaclase of black rock, open to give him better way. By your side, however, all loomed ".

For text by Margarida Paes Public trails
Always appreciate the landscape architect who invented the natural parks and the idea of ​​conserving nature. Here the fifth viewpoint of this trip to our heritage of views.
What a beautiful invention! Do not touch the natural processes, only keep what is and adapt a minimum the landscape, reminding men that the natural beauty of places should be preserved as a cathedral, because it triggers in us very strong emotions, very deep. So it is in the Covão Ametade, where we look up and have granite walls carved by millennia of snow, rain and wind, where thanks to the beauty of the place we feel our smallness, the immensity of our thinking and repeated continuity of nature.

Between white trunks of birches peace is much, even with grills and waterspouts required for camping, because there are very organized space clearings topped by water lines that will give the Zêzere spring. And these are their small tributaries and first, again accompanied with banks of birches. The effect is far from sun spots cut by silhouettes of trunks, um barcode as.
This is where comes the Zêzere and forest services, even before the National Park Service, They made this mountain river slow their race to the valley of Butters, to stop there a little behind stone walls, creating large surfaces where the sky is mirrored, thence in a wide quiet bed between curbs, passing under a bridge, and providing water to the birches (Birch Celtiberic) planted on its banks.
When the rains come in autumn or when snow covers the ground, the Zêzere thickens and boss of all, hear well your water cascading launching in the valley, after serving mirror birches that this station to become yellow and tree canopy covering the water surface with a layer of leaves. The riverbed was sent between curbs bordered white trunks of these trees and the road over the bridge gives us the mysterious magic of reflection symmetry and water murmur.
This is not a garden but it was designed by someone who raised him as a reversed viewpoint for seeing from the bottom up. Go along between trees and large rocks, and we need to get to the end of all gaps, the bottom of this Covão, to discover the majestic pitcher Slim, from where, at Primavera, after snow, to launch a thousand waterfalls that come together to deliver the Zêzere. The stone amphitheater created by pitchers Slim and Raso is so majestic and sweeping seen from below that could not be overlooked in this quest of our heritage of views. "

Additional note: I promise to go soon to Covão of Ametade, where I've been dozens of times and take pictures. Those published here were taken from this website:
Commons wikimedia
Antonio Cruz

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