Category Archives: Europe

June 18: Ponte de Lima

Left Tamel (São Pedro Fins) and within 15 minutes we needed to put on all our rain gear. Of course, once we had it all on, it stopped raining. We had to walk 1.5 hours before coffee…you would have laughed to see me almost run down the hill to the cafe. It’s amazing how hungry…

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June 16: Tamel (São Pedro Fins)

To avoid congested inner city streets through industrial parks, we took the metro in Porto to Vilar do Pinheiro and then walked to São Pedro de Rates 19.4 km (12 mi) away. It was probably the most difficult walk to date, mostly on cobble-stoned pathways which pounded our feet like meat tenderizers. Since this is…

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June 14: Porto

We left Coimbra around 10 and arrived in Porto around 12:30. Porto is the largest city I have seen in Portugal, with large buildings and plazas that remind me of Madrid, Spain. The train station, Sao Bento is adorned with blue and white tiles. Leaving the station, I was dwarfed by tall stone buildings that…

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June 13: Coimbra

We left Rabacal at 8:09, planning to have breakfast in the next town (Zambujal) 3.2 km (2.5 mi) away. As we approached the town, I told Dennis that from now on we needed to eat before hiking; I was running out of energy. In town, we discovered that the  cafe does not open until 1…

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June 12: Rabacal

Perfect day, at last. We left Ansiao around 11 A.M., after running a few errands. The sun was shining and the temps were near 70 F. For most of the day we walked on dirt paths–so much better than yesterday’s pavement. Along the narrow cart paths were flowers, birds, butterflies with occasional sheep, goats, and…

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June 11: Ansiao

Yesterday,  I had no Internet connection; we were very rural. We hiked a full stage: 31.3 km (over 19 mi) to Alvaiazere. The last 6 km seemed to go on forever. We stayed in a nice residencial called Bras. Since it was a fiesta day, there were very few people about. I think we say…

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June 9: Tomar

We are starting to get into our stride–walked 22.5 km (14) today. It was cold and rainy when we started, warmed enough to make it comfortable for walking, and remained overcast all day. The road was filled with snails, which the Portuguese collect for food. This evening, the Templar town of Tomar, the restaurant specialty…

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June 8: Golega

Because Dennis’ foot is still suffering, we decided to take the train to Santarem. It took us only 26 minutes to travel what would have taken us 8 to 10 hrs of walking. Near the plaza of the Igreja N. S. da Conceioao (Our Lade of Conception) we went to the tourist office to locate…

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June 7: Azambuja

We left the La Laterna in Verdelha de Baixo around 8:15 A.M with cool temperatures 17 C (62.6 F), but nice for walking. Dennis helped me adjust my backpack  straps (with my sore left arm, I cannot pull the tight) and the fit was much better. I told him he was officially my page until…

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June 6: Tired and sore in Verdelha do Baixo

After we went to be last night, two busloads of nine-year-olds arrived. It was bedlam as the adults tried to corral the kids to their rooms. We left this morning at 7:40 A.M., without breakfast, not wanting to deal with all the kids. We returned to the tree-lined Alameda dos Oceanos, a path along the…

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