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 P.M. Luckily I had some cookies and had them with watered-down Gatorade for breakfast. Our next chance for sustenance was 7.5 km away–more than two hours of walking.
It was a gorgeous day and the walk alternated between single-tract field paths, to cobble-stones, to asphalt, to dirt. In Fonte Coberta, the town has recently erected blue and white Portuguese tiles (2113) at the entrance and exit and on various monuments and buildings. It is a poor town that is taking pride in the Camino de Santiago. This quaint village has a water fountain and picnic area at the end of town. We were stopped there when our German pilgrim friends arrived. (Irma, Tomas, and Andres whose birthday it is today.) We walked from the fountain to Conimbriga together. We were all happy to arrive and find a place to eat.
Dennis and I got sunburned in the early morning sun. I on the back of my legs and arms. Because of the light breeze, I never suspected that I was turning red. Now that the sun is shinning most of the day, we will have to be more diligent in applying sunblock.
In Conimbriga we took a city bus to Coimbra because most of the remainder of the day’s walk was on asphalt and busy and dangerous streets. Its was a wise decision. Looking at the guidebook, we decided to take the train tomorrow to Porto, and then continue to Santiago on foot. Though I had initially thought of doing the coastal route, Dennis and I miss the camaraderie of having other pilgrims traveling with us. Consequently we decided to take the more traditional route, hoping to find other peregrinos.