The Valley of Buracas do Casmilo, near the village of the same name, in the municipality of Condeixa-a-Nova, in the middle of Sicó Mountains, are cave openings that are no longer there because they were abruptly crushed by the ground of the mountain that is above, and with them, legend has it, he buried Moorish gold so as not to return to the surface.
Ancient gold, formerly Moorish in possession, is said to have come all the way from Soure Castle nearby, at a time when the Saracens had to retreat to the South as a result of Christian attacks from the North.
With large cliffs, this geological formation corresponds to what remains of several rooms of a huge cave inside the mound, resulting from the lowering of the center part of a duct that uncovered its extreme side parts creating a valley.
The surrounding area of Buracas do Casmilo is very popular for outdoor activities such as climbing, mountaineering, rappelling or hiking.
A pedestrian trail has recently been created that begins in the village of Casmilo and traverses the karst landscape of the region through fields of grayish rock drilled and carved by deep, narrow grooves. This walking route allows to know the natural limitations of the region, as well as to appreciate how the populations overcome these constraints and lived for years in harmony with the environment.
During my short visit to this place I came across two groups of people who were on the same route, the Burmese Valley of Casmilo being the icing on the cake because besides being a resting place, it is also appreciation of this scenario that seems to have been carved.
The limestone relief of the Sicó Massif is dominated by dry surfaces, with strands of bare grayish rock mixed with Mediterranean vegetation. In these places, rural communities are very limited by the available water resources.
And in regions where surface water is practically nonexistent, dry valleys and karst depressions occupied by rainfed and grazing crops predominate. The waters flow underground, through a dense network of caves that feed the region’s reserves. And when it comes to caves, the culprit is always the same: limestone.
In addition to the unusual effect on the landscape, these holes were entrances to much larger tunnels as I mentioned at the beginning. Elliptical or circular in shape and with very variable dimensions, the smallest holes can be about 2 to 3 meters wide and 1 to 2 meters deep.
Already the largest do not go unnoticed and may be more than 10 meters in diameter and 5 to 7 meters deep. In one of them you can even see a small wall built with rocks at the entrance and inside a small pile of rocks also seems to be a frequent site of bonfires.
What today is a mixture of geological curiosity and stage for extreme sports, was once the shelter of people of calcolithic and paleolithic, as evidenced by some collected materials and paintings that were fixed for years on those walls loaded with folds.
The recent opening of the dirt road just over 1 km to the pits has improved the accessibility of the site, but some say it has not brought the desired progress to the population.
An increase in visitors would be expected to make the village a little more dynamic, but this did not happen and the village continues to weaken with just over a dozen elderly people, remaining forgotten in the Sicó Massif.