Verdelha de Baixo – Azambuja

28 March 2018


When a tired body and a great bed come together, it turns out to be the best end to a hard day! We slept like babies and felt ready for our second day on the Portuguese Camino.

We realised from yesterday’s experience that if we were to walk more than 30km in a single day, we would have to start early. With this in mind we started walking before 7:00 – while it was still dark – to cover today’s distance.


Leaving Verdelha de Baixo early morning – our bicycle lights came in handy to be visible to traffic!

We skipped breakfast at the hostel this morning and quickly went to a garage/café in Alverca to enjoy a coffee and pastel de nata (I can eat these Portuguese custard tarts for breakfast, lunch and dinner)!


A nice way to start our morning

The first 3.5km was on or near the busy N-10 and we had to carefully negotiate our way through the early morning traffic. While we first walked through an industrial area, we couldn’t wait to get back to the river again.


Walk along the busy N-10. Luckily, it was still early in the morning and traffic only increased as we left the main road


With the industrial area behind us, we crossed the main road over the rail bridge at Alhandra

A stunning walk at the riverside:

Just after Alhandra we were happy to be back at the river. We found a beautiful new path along the river that almost resembled an athletics track! It was interesting to see that one side was marked for walkers and the other for cyclists – no confusion as to who should be where!


The start of the new riverside path at Alhandra – who would have thought: The Camino on an athletics track

The river was on our right, while on the left we could see the most beautiful murals! So much beauty surrounded us! I just had to stop at every mural to take a photo – it was really wonderfully done.

Amazing murals at the side of the path next to the river

More of the creative murals

It was such a wonderful stretch of path to walk. There were walkers, runners and even a group of elderly people using the exercise equipment along the river. With a few benches along the path there was the opportunity to relax with a view of the river. It was a surprise to find on the Camino, but one we thoroughly enjoyed.


We had a stunning view of the river

Just before we got to Vilafranca de Xira, the impressive bull ring appeared on the other side of the railway line. In front of the arena was a mural painted of the same bullring – pretty amazing!


A photo of a mural of the bullring

Villafranca de Xira:

Vilafranca de Xira is, according to our Brierley guidebook, a colourful town proud of its bullfighting history. We walked through their beautiful municipal gardens … and wished we had more time to explore the town. But unfortunately Azambuja was still 20km away and we had to get there before late afternoon.

The municipal gardens of Vilafranca de Xira

At the railway station of Vilafranca de Xira we turned inland along a dyke. And then … just around a bend we had our first view of the red chairs – a very familiar sight on the Camino. We just had to stop there immediately for a cup of coffee!


The sight of red chairs on the Camino means it’s time to stop for a coffee

Lunchtime in Vila Nova da Rainha:

We reached Vila Nova da Rainha by lunchtime. We knew the last 6km to Azambuja was along the main road and we weren’t really looking forward to it. What better way to re-energise with good old burgers and chips!


Lunchtime in Vila Nova da Rainha

And what an (unpleasant) way to walk the last 6km to Azambuja! Our guide book calls it “slogging” – you are literally walking along the busy highway with big trucks and cars speeding by … something we did not enjoy!


The 6km stretch next to the highway that took us into Azambuja – the less attractive side of the Camino

We are finally in Azambuja:

By the time we reached Azambuja, we were ready to just get to a bed. We found our way to the albergue Abrigo Do Peregrino, but a note on their door indicated they were closed (there was no reason for this, but probably because we were walking outside the popular Camino season).

Walking back down the street, we saw a sign of a “recidential” and asked for available accommodation there.

Accommodation – Azambuja:

Residencial Flor da Primavera

They had a double room available on the 3rd floor. For the hefty price (for a Camino pilgrim) of €30 for a double room, we checked into Residencial Flor da Primavera.

We were happy to find a place to sleep after another long and hot day. After a lovely shower, we walked all the way back to the entrance of town to wash our clothes at the laundromat. On the way back to the room we bought light snacks for the evening.

The first blisters (of many):

After careful inspection of my feet, I noticed 2 blisters … ha, and this after hoping for no blisters on this Camino! I cleaned the blisters and Berto got hold of the Merthiolate bottle to inject it into my blisters. After holding my breath for a few seconds for the intense burning sensation to stop, I was hopeful that the blisters would just be red dots in the morning.


Merthiolate in my blister … oh, the life of a pilgrim

We enjoyed some snacks and even watched television from the comfort of our bed, before calling it a day! Tomorrow another 30km day awaits us!

Click here for Day 3 …


5 thoughts on “CAMINO PORTUGUESE – DAY 2

      1. I am not sure if it is just Portuguese drivers who are like this, I think it may be a continental European thing. I went cycling in Normandy and Brittany many, many years ago and it was pretty terrifying.

        I thought the French were very fond of cyclists with the Tour de France and all that but they don’t treat them very well on smaller Breton / Norman roads.

        Obviously I survived it so no harm done and it was a great trip despite getting sunstroke that far North in mid-March, if you can believe that.

        Liked by 1 person

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