Portugal’s Caramulo Motorfestival Is A Bucket List Event
Photography by Pedro Ramos Santos
For several years, Caramulo’s mountain hosts one of the greatest Portuguese auto festivals, the Caramulo Motorfestival. Every year, fresh news came through friends that the festival was an experience worth being lived and, this time, I decided to hit the road by making my way to Caramulo village, which sit on the mountain with the same name.
Upon arrival, I caught sight of a massive crowd that was being oriented by volunteers so that the classic cars and motorcycles that were arriving from all over the country could even get into the circuit. The ambience and the energy were smashing, along with the scent and the sound of classic engines, both helped to make the experience as good as it gets.
Into the distance, the sounds of the engines were breaking through the crowd’s buzz, in the historic Rampa do Caramulo: the first hillclimb series had already started.
The road, which hours before was just for usual traffic, became the stage of one of the most simple motorsports ever, the hillclimb. The climb extends for more than 2.8 km (1.7 miles). In order to make the day run as smooth as possible, classics, sports and competition cars quickly line up at the starting line. The course is known for its fast curves and two straights, where competitors reach really high speeds, ending at Cabeço da Neve, at the top of the mountain.
In the paddock area, pilots meet again, discuss times and compare them with results from previous years, meanwhile the engines are tuned for the next hillclimb. With this experience, I was able to have a few words with the pilots and the collectors, but above all, I had the chance to photograph some of my favourite cars such as AC Cobra, Lamborghini Miura P400, among many others.
Two days full of adrenaline, set to the soundtrack of roaring engines—is my kind of event.