Golega – Tomar

31 March 2018


During the night we both woke up after hearing a downpour … I silently prayed for good weather!

When we got up early in the morning, Berto stepped outside and came back with the good news that the sky was clear! I was relieved to hear that because I didn’t feel like having another day like yesterday.

No rain, but a swollen ankle:

But then … while putting on my hiking shoes, I noticed that my left leg, just above the ankle, was slightly swollen. I remembered the itchy/painful feeling from yesterday: “Will this prevent me from walking today?” I wondered.

I could sense that it would be a difficult day. When Berto asked me how I felt, I said that I didn’t even know how to describe it – it was itchy, but also a painful feeling. I had quite a hard time walking for the first 10km and didn’t take any photos on the first stretch of quiet country lanes. Luckily it was flat and the terrain didn’t challenge us too much.

It’s quiet in Sao Caetano:

When we arrived at Sao Caetano, we walked down the tree-lined avenue and took some photos of the beautiful old buildings along the Rio Tejo. Sao Caetano, according to our Brierley guidebook, is known as the Land of the Templars (“Terra de Templarios”) with a Templar cross in the peaceful hamlet.

Quinta Cardiga in Sao Caetano on the banks of Rio Tejo

We walked a further 3km on farm tracks. Normally this would be a good time to quiet my mind and enjoy the tranquility, but my foot was bothering me tremendously. So much so, that I thought of “alternative transportation” other than my own feet!


The peaceful route on our way to Vila Nova da Barquinha

When we arrived in Vila Nova da Barquinha, I saw two dogs standing on a roof barking at us. I’ve seen dogs on rooftops quite a few times now … it must be a Portuguese thing!


Two dogs “welcoming” us into Vila Nova da Barquinha

Decision time – the train or walk:

At the railway station, Berto asked if I would rather take the train to Tomar. I did consider it for a moment, but then decided to walk on. In retrospect it might not have been a good idea, but after two pain tablets the pain subsided for a while and I enjoyed the rest of the walk more than expected.

We looked for an open café to get that all important coffee, but it was nowhere to be found. A local woman tried to explain to us that it was still too early (it was already 10am), and she mentioned that we would find another café further down the road … but we couldn’t find it!

Luckily we had enough water and food to keep us going. I just have to add that it was indeed Easter Sunday and that this might be the reason why it was so quiet in the small towns.


P Camino - 12 (Tomar) (Medium)

National monument in Atalaia, Igreja Matriz (16th century Parish church)

A beautiful forest trail:

The road now took us through a woodland on forest tracks. It was amazing that we didn’t see anyone else – not pilgrims and not any other people either. We have read that some of the Camino waymarks may have been removed due to tree felling in this area and that we should therefore be vigilant. Although we encountered some steep hills, it was a beautiful road.

Walking through a woodland on a steep hill


We focused our eyes on the Camino waymarks in the woodland

I was really glad that I didn’t take the train in Vila Nova da Barquinha because then I would have missed this beautiful path. The pain tablets seemed to be doing their job and I loved this bit of landscape we were walking through.


P Camino - 13 (Tomar) (Medium)

It was a very steep hill, but the view from the top made it worth it

We walked through the small town of Grou and 2km later arrived in Asseiceira. We still had 10km to cover to reach Tomar and decided to have something to eat before the last stretch. After a big Portuguese roll with cured meat and cheese with coffee, we hit the road again on our way to Tomar.


P Camino - 14 (Tomar) (Medium)

A simple bench takes on new meaning with a beautiful tiled background


Public laundromats in Asseiceira – not sure if they are still in use

Outside Asseiceira we saw a roadside farm stall. We could smell the fresh fruit and Berto bought two oranges. It was as sweet as nectar – I wish we had bought more!


Fresh fruit on sale next to the road

The Camino route has recently changed to avoid the busy N-110 and we followed a narrow walking path alongside the railway. Unfortunately we had no choice but to walk the last 2.5km along the busy N-110 (again) … I never enjoy this part of our walk!


Spar supermercado. This is also a very famous shop in South Africa (there is actually one just a stone’s throw away from our house in Cape Town) and we felt right at home

Tomar (eventually):

Tomar is a beautiful medieval pilgrim town with a population of around 21,000. It was Easter weekend and the town was quite busy with visiting tourists.

Accommodation – Tomar


We found Hostel 2300 Thomar in the center of Tomar and got a double bedroom for the night.


P Camino - 16 (Tomar) (Medium)

View from our balcony at Hostel 2300 Thomar

It was lovely to have sunny weather today after yesterday’s rainy day. After doing our laundry, we went out to one of the restaurants in the street below our hostel. Many people were in the streets and the restaurants were very busy. We enjoyed sitting in the sun with a cold beer after a challenging day (at least for me).


P Camino - 17 (Tomar) (Medium)

A beer in the sun after completing yet another 30km day of hiking

Back in our room, as I lay on our bed, I noticed that my left leg now had a significant swelling. There was some redness around my ankle and I still couldn’t figure out what the problem could be.


P Camino - 18 (Tomar) (Medium)

My left leg/foot is swollen and I don’t know why

We sat on our balcony until late at night. Berto calculated that we walked 167km in just 5 days. Well, no wonder my body protested so much!

With this in mind we decided to take a rest day the next day. After all, it is Easter and it might be a good idea to rest my swollen ankle.

Click here for Day 6 (rest day) …



3 thoughts on “CAMINO PORTUGUESE – DAY 5

  1. I do hope your ankle gets better soon, it is no fun walking with an injury and full of painkillers. I think a rest day was a very good idea with the distances you have been putting in.

    Liked by 1 person

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