Today’s walk, our longest so far would top out at 33.2kms (20.6 miles), quite a day. For me the sweet spot in terms of distance is between 22km and 25km. Anything above that is a tough day at the office and so it would prove.
The Camino Portuguese has the added challenge, especially in these early stages that services; cafes and accommodation etc. are further apart. We got on the road early and with a booking secured for our accommodation tonight we knew we had all day to cover the distance.
It was an overcast morning, but we could tell rain wasn’t far away because it was close and humid. We bumped into one of our young pilgrim friends and she joined us for breakfast in the next town. She and I walked together for a while after breakfast and chatted about our shared love of ‘The Bucketlist Family’ a YouTube channel. It’s amazing how the time and miles tick by when you are engrossed in a conversation.
Much of our route today was on a path which parallels the train line. At kilometer twenty we reached the town of Azambuja This was to be our long stop for the day. With 20kms already behind us, my energy level was waning fast and we still had an unimaginable 13kms to go.
It being Sunday the town was quiet but we eventually found a small restaurant with a ‘peregrinos welcome’ sign in the window. The husband and wife owners took us in like long lost family, fed us and cared for us like their own. We sat and were nourished in body and spirit while they fussed over us and we chatted away in our broken languages until we were revived enough to continue on our way. True Camino angels!
The remainder of the day continued through market gardening countryside, with field after field of potatoes, tomatoes, vines etc. Our final destination was Valada on the banks of the ever present River Tagus.