Home | Short Stories | Nº 126 – The right book at the right time.

Nº 126 – The right book at the right time.

Saturday 30th April 2022.

The news that are missing from the media
The „forgotten news“ of 2022

This year, the ranking of what has become known as the „Forgotten News“ is dominated by an environmental issue.

The extinction of the butterflies

A third of all butterfly species have already disappeared from our planet. The reasons for this are the lack of habitat and food plants, the use of pesticides in agriculture and finally climate change. However, butterflies have – similar to bees and other insects – an elementary role within the ecosystem: they contribute to the pollination of plants, creating a fundamental base for food production; the butterflies themselves, and most of all their caterpillars serve as a food source for many other animals; last not least their presence represents a visible bioindicator for the state of natural spaces. Representing an important food source for many other animals, they also act as an important „early warning system“, as a threat indicator. The loss of diversity amongst butterflies is not only regrettable in itself, it also has grave consequences for the ecological balance. While the decline in insects has been the subject of repeated media reports, the extinction of the butterflies has so far received very little attention.

And now for the gem among the 2022 news

6,409 km of clean mobility along cycle paths: the Road Book is available now.

Portugal by bike?!

Park your car in the garage and put the key somewhere you are likely to find it again once the summer is over. After the first guide was published in Portuguese five years ago, the „Road Book 2022“ has arrived in an English version too – with plenty of updates and new material. Paulo Guerra dos Santos calls himself a bike tourism consultant. And in his profession he is a true enthusiast, as well as an unbeatable perfectionist. So those planning to visit Portugal by bike now have a 276-page (digital) guide and the relevant map material at their disposal, with bike tours, both short (30km) and long (50 km). Or you may decide to simply pedal from north to south: hundreds of kilometres with tips for trips along the way. Literally hundreds of kilometres…. The package weighs in at 113 MB and includes practically everything you need to saddle up your trusty steed and cycle from east to west: good accommodation options and even better food… for the download price of 64 euro. And most of all: there is plenty of information on the cycle paths!

The www.ecovias.pt website is a veritable treasure trove of useful information: Santos has listed 20 eco-vias there, taking bikers on their own or with family and friends to sights on lakes, at the seaside, in the mountains, in cities and historic villages that even most Portuguese might not (yet) know. And it’s a gap in the market in tourism. Those who want to get to know Portugal should rent or buy a bike, and off you go.

So why go on waiting and what for? This is the question we want to tackle today, as the book is appearing at the exactly right time: let’s plan the summer holidays now, and instead of getting on a plane get the right (electric?) bike for you and equip it for long distances. Exploring Portugal by bike has got to be boundlessly beautiful. Just take plenty of time, as well as a love of adventure and the Roadbook 2022, and leave the pandemic behind: recharge your batteries! „For life is like a bicycle: to keep your balance you have to keep on pedalling…“

„Life is like a bicycle: to keep your balance, you have to keep on moving”

…  Albert Einstein



Uwe Heitkamp (60)

trained TV journalist, book author and hobby botanist, father of two grown-up children, knows Portugal for 30 years, founder of ECO123. Translations : Dina Adão, João Medronho, Kathleen Becker
Fotos: ecovia


Check Also

Nº 138 – Word gets around!
A guest contribution by Matthias Toying

Saturday 3rd December 2022. So these days Monchique is hosting a walking festival. In the …