(Golega 2 nights)
The pick up and drop off service provided by some of the hostels is invaluable to those of us who just can’t manage 30 km stages. It also means that on the second day you leave most of what you’re carrying in the hostel to give your feet a break. This is what we decided to do for the two stages Sanatrem to Azinhaga and Azinhaga to Atalaia.
The Portuguese Countryside
Yesterday was grape harvesting.
The sunflowers had been burned and were ready for picking.
While straw hatted workers had the backbreaking task of hand picking capsicums.
A Canine Companion
Most dogs fiercely guard their territory, but when a beautiful dog with thick black fur tinged with tan bounded up to us, Bronek couldn’t resist scratching him behind the ear. Long tail wagging he ran ahead and then waited for us. He bounded in amongst the vines and came out again to check that we were still there. With bright eyes and head cocked he kept us company for over four kilometers. Bronek was smitten! The confused expression on the dog’s face broke Bronek’s heart when he had to shout at the dog to prevent him following us onto a busy road.
Yellow Arrows to guide us
We have left the blue arrows to Fatima behind and now look out for yellow arrows.
Without them (in conjunction with the guide book descriptions) we’d have made more than the one or two mistakes we’ve already made. The guide book and the arrows don’t always coincide which makes for interesting navigation!
Most unpleasant road walking
Picture this. A busy two-laned sealed road with a very narrow dirt passing through golden corn fields. On the edge of the shoulder, scratchy knee high weeds (I’m wearing shorts! ) and then a ditch one metre deep.
The traffic behind us races past mostly keeping to its lane on the far side. Not bad! The oncoming traffic mostly moving over to give us space when passing. OK! But what happens when there’s traffic in both directions and no roomfor them to move? And what if it’s a large truck or tractor coming towards you? You step into the weeds and hold your breath hoping the draft from the truck doesn’t force you into the ditch!
After the busy road today we had a cool and pleasant walk through fields and a couple of villages.
Next Post: Atalaia to Tomar 18.8km