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    • Day 34

      Einmal längs durch Portugal

      October 19 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

      Und immer noch ist die Wettervorhersage dominiert von Regen. Nur an der Algarve soll es etwas besser sein. Gestartet ohne genaues Ziel ging es den ganzen Tag durch Regen.
      Vorbei an den Olivenhainen, den Korkeichen, den Reisfeldern und den Rebflächen. Einige Flüsse schienen über die Ufer getreten zu sein. Und auf den Feldern bildeten sich durchs ganze Land Seen.
      Erst in Villa Nova de Milfontes war es trocken und auch für Freitag, Samstag ist kein Regen und sogar etwas Sonne angekündigt.
      Der ACSI Campingplatz liegt nah an der Stadt. Gute Bedingungen auch bei schlechterem Wetter. Also bleiben wir hier.
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    • Day 8

      Day 4 Valada to Santarem

      September 12 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

      Day 4 - Valada to Santarem. 12 September. Started at 07:33. Finished at 12:03. 20.2k/12.6m. Walking time 3h42m. 24,108 steps. 914 calories.

      As I was typing in the calories I realized the figure is based on my body weight. Wonder what it would be if I added 12# for the weight of my pack. Let’s face it carry around a 12# dumbbell for over 12 miles you use more energy.

      It was a very good day for walking. Weather was absolutely perfect. The toes were good. I think my body is beginning to adapt to my 12# pack.

      Got a great sunrise photo over the Tejo River. Many would find today’s path very boring. Not much to see. Landscape pretty much the same all day. But I like days like this - filled with farm fields and smells that take me back to North Dakota. Something about smelling fresh tilled dirt!

      Followed the dike for a long time and then cut through a vineyard. Having the high dike provided some great shade! Also, adding to today’s boring side - only one town. And that was 3k from the start, so too soon to stop. Had a 3+km hill at the end leading into Santarem. I love hills - going up. Saw two pilgrims on the trail. So those staying in the hostel did not catch up to me.

      Played tourist in Santarem. Had a good filling lunch/early supper. Staying in a modern , new hostel. Right now only two of us in a 6 bunk room.

      Okay, I know you all want to hear about my toes! Well did not have a restful sleep. They were not hurting, but my brain just had to find a solution to my toe dilemma. I believe I found it. Since I wear sandals my toes were not hitting the front or top of my shoes. But I grip with my toes and the first small toe joint, instead of rounding up it presses down. Sort of like it’s double jointed but it is not. That joint compression pushes down right below the nail bed. Anyway, how do you prevent that from happening. My solution was to take a small wad of cotton ball and tape it to the bottom of my toe where the joint bends in. Well it worked. Still had to drain the blisters but not much fluid and no swelling, redness or pain.

      Photos had captions. Also added a couple videos. Hope you enjoy the journey. Bom Caminho.
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    • Day 7


      May 10, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Today didn't go as planned.
      I found yesterday's walk more exhausting than it should have been since it wasn't long, and the terrain was flat. I felt like someone had added lead weights to my backpack and sandals. The heat that was getting to me. All day I was thinking "how can I walk 33 km tomorrow when I'm struggling with this 22 km walk?"

      So I kind of psyched myself out.
      I had planned to wake up in time to start by 6:00, but then I got anxious about getting to sleep, and of course the anxiety kept me awake.

      Sometime after midnight when I still hadn't slept despite doing breathing exercises, counting backwards by 3s, and a few yoga poses I decided that I would just have to forget about walking.
      So, for the first time ever on the Camino I took transport to my next destination.

      I took the train to Santarém, and I'm glad that I didn't try to walk because it was the hottest day so far, and Santarém is at the top of a beastly hill.

      I stayed in a lovely apartment that I found on booking.com with an owner who has walked a few Camino routes that went above. María even took me to the grocery store!
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    • Day 4

      Day Three

      August 27 in Portugal ⋅ 🌬 24 °C

      Well it looks as though my little adventure is going to have to adapt and become a different adventure that involves the bus and the train 😳
      Getting up this morning I had to accept that there wasn’t a chance of being able to get my trainers on, let alone walk the intended 33km’s..
      My two biggest blisters were so sore I couldn’t put weight on my heels .. I realise that to any Parish walker i must sound like a right wuss !
      Well off to the train station I hobbled and a train it was to Santarem .. I did walk, sort of in my flip flops the 40 odd minutes to my accommodation.. actually quite an achievement 🙄.. on the way I passed ( only because he stopped for water ) a guy who was also doing the journey, only he wasn’t walking it all, he was combining it with the bus and train… long story short, I met up with him again outside the hotel as he was staying at the same place. As it was too early to check in, he asked ( he speaks Portuguese ) if we could leave our bags there and suggested going for something to eat/drink .. only it turned out he didn’t drink and we had alcohol free beer 😂 I also needed something to eat as I hadn’t eaten since lunchtime the day before as my desire to eat was way lower than my desire not to walk anywhere last night.
      Anyway.. he seriously didn’t stop talking for 2 hours!!! I was exhausted and desperate to be in my room.. he suggested having a coffee /food later and it seemed rude to say no, so I agreed ( he was a considerably older retired gentleman I might add ) well we duly met and basically had a hobble, in my case, round the town resulting in no coffee or food. He was very useful in the pharmacy though with his Portugués.. even though it turned out the assistant’s English was pretty good. After getting another assistant to look ( I kept apologising for how they looked 😳) she thought one of my blisters was infected.. possibly the goo that was at the time surrounding it!!!
      She gave me something to put on it and some more plaster’s.. I’m going leave them overnight and once again hope for a miracle!!! I’m imagining it’s probably going to end up being a bus day….
      Off to bed now hoping all will be good tomorrow.. 🙄
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    • Day 8

      Santarém to Azinhaga - 23km

      May 11, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      What a difference a good night's sleep is!
      I breezed right through today's walk.
      After leaving Santarém the trail went through miles and miles of vineyards.

      I saw the first Camino marker that wasn't also a marker for the route to Fatima as Santarém is where the two paths diverge. What I didn't see was any other walkers.

      The walk today was almost entirely through agricultural areas with fields ready for planting, fields with seedlings just breaking through the ground, and some more mature plants too.

      While it was warm, it wasn't as hot as yesterday, and there was often a cool breeze.
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    • Day 28

      Laundry day

      March 20, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Danes je dan za pranje perila, mal v stroju, mal na roke. Blato na blato je teklo ven.

      Jaz bi rabil cist drug iskalnik za Booking. Tak da odkljukam, da ima hotel garazo, da je motor na varnem in da ima kopalnica bano, da lahko dobr operem. Po moznosti se klimo, da se vse posusi. No mi je vseeno uspelo najti tocno takega in po dveh urah zelo zgodnjega TETa priti do sosednje vasi od Santarema ter uiti dezju.

      Danes perilo, jutri pa sva na vrsti jaz in Jasmina.
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    • Day 7


      August 21 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 38 °C

      I made sure I took care of myself today by pre booking a room at a town less than 20km away and walking slowly and mindfully early in the morning to beat the heat. It was a much gentler day (but still really painful)Read more

    • Day 7

      Day 4: Valada to Santarem

      May 7, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

      We had a relatively short walk today, 19.8 kms mainly through flat farm lands that have recently been sown. We also saw quite a few vineyards, especially as we neared Santarem. The 16-kilometre stretch from Porto Muge to Santarem was without amenities so we just motored along until our last 2.7 kilometres, which was completely uphill. Talk about heartbreak hill.

      We were happy to finish walking before noon since the weather forecast for the afternoon was for blue skies with the temperature peaking at 31 degrees.
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    • Day 32

      My first "zero day". Hostel in Santarem

      May 4, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      I have decided to give my body a break, a chance to recover by taking my first "Zero day". No walking today!
      Just sitting in cafe reading and writing!
      This morning I discovered my first open church. There was a service taking place with 15 persons, present. all over 70 years old. One of the congregation, a gentleman of I'm sure 80, was reading the mass out of the midst of the congregation, very unusual!
      In connection with my audiobook from yesterday, I reflected on how crucial "faith" is, in whatever form it may come, to give purpose to life.
      Here old people were coming together to pray and find some kind of hold, a fix point, in a world gone totally crazy.
      Spirituality, on the one side, is found in shared ritual between people, as was the case this morning, but it is also found in the solitude experienced in nature when walking great distances.
      On this topic I bumped into this film on ARTE TV
      One of the quotes of a 'first nation" Indian is wonderful:
      "Let the river run its course, it knows where to go. It will bring you to the source.
      Keep your energy for the turbulence of the rapids.

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    • Day 4

      History, art and food

      October 19, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Here I am in Santarém, with a humongous blister on my foot, having a lovely time sitting in the plaza drinking fiercely strong Portuguese coffee...waiting for the Cathedral to open.

      The pastry shops in this town are just amazing. One small almond tart (a “celestial”, and it was), I could not resist.

      I love the blue tiled art works on railway stations and other public buildings - a great way of teaching as well as bewitching the eye.

      The cathedral was lovely. A great painted ceiling. I also visited some very nice churches. And a museum with a few things that amused me.

      My time being short and not wanting to destroy the rest of the walk with a serious injury, today I took the train.
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