Archive for August, 2011

The first contact I had with this place was through the window of a rolling train. I was traveling from Algarve to Lisbon and, looking and the desolated landscape of the cement jungle of the south suburbs of the big city I saw it… I had time to perceive a huge swimming pool and some buildings around before losing visual contact.

From that initial contact, I did the same train trip a few more times. Occasionally I would remember to look at the place, but after a couple times I got to the conclusion that I had observed all I could from there.

A couple of years later I saw a new published “geocache” and taking a look at the location map I confirmed my first suspicion: the box had been planted right on that mysterious spot. Unfortunately I couldn’t go there right away. Actually it took me about a year to find the right conditions for a visit (some company with a car).

The abandoned place used to be a hotel.The Hotel do Muxito was built in 1956. Just a year before the revolution which brought a democratic government to the country (1974) the hotel went  bankrupt. During the turmoil which embraced Portugal in the years after the revolution, the hotel was taken by several revolutionary movements, from the radical left wing. Apparently some of these groups even used the grounds of the hotel for guerrilla and paramilitary exercises.

Well, after the revolutionary winds and some good doing projects (social support, social tourism, support to a circus group of artists and students and some more things of the kind) the place was finally abandoned.

Some of the local inhabitants, people who still live the nearby, remember the good old times; they mention the big football teams who were coming to stay in the hotel before an important match or for intensive training, when the Hotel do Muxito was the only place offering all commodities necessary for sport teams.

Some years ago, there were rumors about a huge renovation of the place, which would transform it in a mega senior home. But so far, the only visible activity there is paintball and softball.

On the top of all caution usually advised in places like this, I would exceptionally encourage people to visit in a team. The place is not far from residential areas which are, in a way, problematic. You might find some strange people wandering around the abandoned complex. When I went there, a small dog was barking as hell in one of the corridors. It was obvious that the little creature was defending one of the “bedrooms”. I assume his human master lives there.

Coordinates: N 38° 37.617 W 009° 07.965