Sunday, April 15, 2018

Camino Portuguese - Day 3 - Santarém

33 km today despite having blisters yesterday due to.wet shoes.
Should have worn the new pair.
The weather is nice today. Threatening dark clouds but no rain with the Sun out in the afternoon, and for the first time able to walk with just the top layer.
The road is still muddy in places. Mid point break around Valada and Porto de Muge along the Tejo river. Had a conversation with Ricardo from Catalan. He said he is shy to join us for dinner last night as he can't speak English, which I said isn't reall all English since there are 5 French last night at the dinner table. We had a short conversation with a blend of my terrible Spanish for a while before I slowed down and let him walk ahead due to my feet. We talked about the number of caminos we had done, Catalan Independence, Paella Valenciano (long story) and the crazy Danish Ryan yesterday who walked all the way from Lisbon to Azambuja (over 60 over km! Crazy!).
The second half is a 17 km with no services to Santarém. With the feet issue I could detour for 1 km or so to take the train but decided against it. Called it penance for Day 1 or maybe I just need some time walking alone to clear my mind. After the girl from Hong Kong and the French sisters left me at the last bar, I was probably the last person walking the stage today. Slowly worked my way towards Santarém. Nice spring flowers and vineyard (wonder if one can pick the grapes in the autumn like what I did on Camino Levante?). Bumped into Migel handling flyers for a private abigo in Santarém. 12 euros and if I have dinner there, the wine is from his family's vineyard. That's an option I'll decide when I arrive.
The city of Santarém is up a steep hill. The abigo is actually run by the church. There was nobody there and I am in no condition to climb the stairs to check so I just walked another block or so to the private abigo. Turns out it is a hotel with provisions for pilgrim accommodation. Very upmarket including the reception. The French  (all 5 of them) were already there and my room is with Ricardo from Catalan. Wow. 6 beds to one toilet (in the end just 2 of us), key card, sheets and blanket (no need to use our sleeping bag), very hot showers. The room is still freezing cold though (no heat). Didn't want to move much (want to rest my feet and check on the blisters) so for another 10 euros I also took the dinner option. The nice lady Maria at the reception says is the cook. It looks like a nice city but I will see more of it when I walk out tomorrow. No idea if the girl from Hong Kong is here....

No comments: