If I had my way, I would have stayed longer at the Camoes Garden, Macau’s biggest park and just enjoyed the scenery, the sound of birds and sauntered along its shaded pathways. Or I might have just sat at one of the stone steps a distance from the gazebo where an aspiring chinese opera singer was practicing her song with a mentor. Or just jogged its trails and had my own spot for stretching.
I was invited by the Macau Government Tourism Office-Philippines (MGTO) together with other travel writers and bloggers for a familiarization tour to this interesting place last May and it was a beautiful experience with its cuisine, glitz and old world charm. Its in the old quarter of Macau and going there via a series of old housing tenements and up, passing by a temple overlooking these dilapidated buildings was like walking an alley in old Manila, but cleaner and without the foot traffic.
Once you get there, be in for a surprise. Who would’ve wondered that wandering around will bring you to an oasis, an energy booster for the tired soul. The air is crisp and clean. Huge trees and palms and bushes with some dating to when Luis da Camoes, Portugal’s greatest poet, purchased the area during his exile and where he built a house and raised pegions.
Early that morning, several old Macanese were gathered at one area while a few feet, under the shade of trees, a group was doing traditional Chinese exercises. At one monolith, were chess players while some of my group took off their shoes and walked the stony path that massages the foot. But owners with their caged birds sitting while watching their pets got my attention more.