Day 10 (2021-Oct-29) – Rabaçal ->> Coimbra [37 Km, 50 436 steps]
#1milhaodepassos #onemillionstepshike day 11, Rabaçal – 》 Coimbra, the first of the wet days. Reached the 293km and 428.228 steps marks. The night was fantastic. The hostel room had 10 beds and I was alone in there, so I could rest and not be stressed about COVID, or wild locomotive noises. Had a nice breakfast at the coffee shop (known in portuguese as tasca) and by 8AM I could hear the church bells, located right next to the hostel, way far back in the valley as I put miles between us. Drizzle kept me company for most of the day, but without significant impact. I had the company of a wild dog for a significant part of the morning and it earned the name of “blondie”, as it was very similar to our farm docks named blackie and brownie for obvious reasons. The valley, surrounded by impressive mounts and cliffs, kept me company for most of the morning, while as the afternoon started, the rocky paths, now wet and slippery, made most of the journey. When the floor was a bit more leveled, huge water pots required alternative paths through spiny bushes. The day went through with very few stops and short ones, in order to get me to #coimbra before the heavy rain hits me. It was planned to start at around 5 PM and that would give me time for a short coffee stop at #conimbriga. Wrong! The distance was badly calculated and ended up with 32,5km instead of the projected 26. It looks like not much of a thing, but at the end of an exhausting day it sums up almost 2 hours. As a result, the last hour of the day it was pouring down and that was when I found out that the raincoat I was using was reaping apart in the friction areas with the backpack. It wasn’t meant to be used like this. I will need to find an alternative for the next few days, as rain is still a sure thing on the horizon. Day tasks: washing and drying clothes, go to #decathlon to get a rain cover and have some dinner, still to be decided. Gone! #tchauaíócatano
Lets go!!! Day start at Rabaçal
Literally it reads big ears 😀
Ahhh my coffee!
Lots of mud today
Rainy day and dirt roads = mud
Getting closer to Coimbra
Conimbriga, a playground with mini-monuments
Arriving at Coimbra, completely soaked
Day 11 (2021-Oct-30) – Coimbra ->> Mealhada [30 Km, 40 703 steps]
#1milhaodepassos #onemillionstepshike day 12: Coimbra -》 Mealhada. Weather forecast announced a flood today, but the morning proved otherwise. It was perfect for hiking. Most of the day was done on flat pavement, excepting the stressful 1km N1 road piece. Getting close to Monte de Sta Luzia, I met my here: an italian guy with 3500 KM already on his legs, since he left Milan 4 months ago! He was on his way down to Algarve, where he would turn left and start his way back home by Med sea. Now this is a hiker. He reminded me of the items on my bucket list, with the E9 atlântic route that hikes from Sagres in Portugal, to S. Petersburg in Russia (about 5000 Km). Today’s bet of putting on fresh clothes right from the start has paid off with just a few refreshing drizzles during the day. My left hip started to give some signs of abuse. I hope rest and extra stretching will help. Tomorrow is a big question mark. Storm forecast. Rain and wind will not deter me, but lightning and thunder are a risk I will not take. Let’s see how the day breaks and I’ll decide if I need to take a zero day. As for dinner… well I’m in #mealhada, the roasted piglet capital of the world, so what do you think?? It’s about 8 PM, so the time has come to rest now. #tchauaíócatano
Bye bye Coimbra!
Breakfast with a delicacy: pastel de tentúgal
Morning was all about paved roads
A farm image at Travessas
Yep, still on the path!
Piglet time it is and it's only 6PM
Day 12 (2021-Oct-31) – Mealhada ->> Águeda [33 Km, 42 228 steps]
#1milhaodepassos #onemillionstepshike day 13 – #Mealhada -》#Agueda. Daylight saving winter time is on. By 5AM I started to follow the live weather forecast. It showed lightning storms up until 12PM. If the predictions came true, this would stop me from even starting as I wouldn’t be able to complete the daily target within daylight with some margin. Around 8AM thunderstorm warnings vanish. I confess I had already made my piece with the zero day idea, and the rain would be a constant for the day, but if I was looking for comfort, I would have stayed at home. The clock was showing 9AM as I set my first step back on the path, and making good progress as I went along. Bad weather makes me focus, hence less stops and very few pictures. 8Km into the day I was having a warm coffee in a paper cup from a self-service store; Further ahead I was graced with an orange and a kiwi that tasted… yes you guessed it, delicious; went close to amazing farm houses, crossed entire villages where most of the small stone built typical houses were either abandoned or up for sale, and by 4PM arrived at the guest house I will call home for an evening. Went to a supermarket nearby to get some supplies, caught a McMenu for dinner and soon after I’m ready for some sleep. Last thought of the day being, what kind of weather will I be getting tomorrow… #tchauaíócatano