Tomar – Alvaiazere
2 April 2018
0.0km (Bus day)
(But if you walk this stretch, it will be 33.2km)
Nope, no walking today! I can’t even get my swollen foot into my hiking shoe! Maybe if I had my hiking sandals with me, there would have been a chance. But now the only other alternative is to wear my flip flops and that definitely won’t do.
NOTE: My hiking sandals were originally in my backpack, but I took them out of my backpack at the last minute before we left South Africa (to limit the weight). And now it’s the one item I miss the most! I promise: I will never go on a hike without my hiking sandals again!
I asked Berto to take the bus with me (something he wouldn’t normally do, but I think he felt sorry for me). We walked to the bus station in bitterly cold weather and bought two tickets for €8 to Alvaiazere.
Time to test the public transport in Portugal
My hiking shoes strapped to my backpack … and my toe socks work perfectly on my swollen foot in my flip flop
The bus ride:
I was feeling a bit distraught about not being able to walk today, but with a torrential downpour as we left Tomar, it kind of made up for that feeling. The day before we heard that there are some rainy days ahead and at least we missed the first day of this cold front by taking the bus … you need to look at the bright side, right?
My question for the day: How is it possible to reach your destination on the Camino in an hour by bus, but if you are on foot it takes almost the whole day?
Accommodation – Alvaiazere:
Upon our arrival in Alvaiazere, there was a heavy downpour and we had to run to our albergue, Albergaria Pinheiro. As we ran up the stairs to the albergue, Carlos, the owner of Albergaria Pinheiro, opened the door and welcomed us into a warm and cozy reception area. He was just putting wood in the fireplace and we immediately took up position in front of the fireplace!
A welcoming fire inside Albergaria Pinheiro while it was raining cats and dogs
Although it wasn’t even 12:00, Carlos took us to our room right away. What a kind host he was! The people of Portugal really impressed me with their friendliness.
Our room in Albergaria Pinheiro
For the first time on our Camino, fellow pilgrims joined us in the albergue – a couple from Finland and two Italians. We all sat in the reception area in front of the fire and it was great to finally meet other pilgrims on our Portuguese Camino. The Italians also took the bus, but the Finnish couple walked because they couldn’t find transport after leaving Tomar (shame, they were drenched).
Carlos had a whole ritual of stamping our credentials. He first served us a glass of port (which went down well in the cold weather) and then called on each of us to place not one, but FOUR stamps in our credentials.
Port from Portugal, served by Carlos in Albergaria Pinheiro
Four stamps from Albergaria Pinheiro in our credentials
The rain stopped for a brief moment and we visited the local supermercado to buy ingredients for dinner. We also made a trip to the pharmacy … our purchases included some needles, voltaren patches and (more) pain tablets!
Shopping at the supermercado and pharmacy
No walking tomorrow (for me):
Carlos told us that a long time ago he lived in South Africa for a few years and it was nice to hear his stories about our country.
He looked at my swollen ankle and decided then and there that I couldn’t walk the next day. I agreed (of course) but said I noticed there were no buses from Alvaiazere to Rabacal (our next stop on the Camino). Carlos then offered me a lift with his son who had to return to Coimbra University after the holidays. Have I mentioned the friendliness of the Portuguese people before?
My swollen foot has now taken the shape of a balloon
We ate a real pilgrim meal – bread, cheese and eggs – while Timo (the guy from Finland) joined us for a glass of red wine.
With the rain still falling outside, we went to bed … thankful to have a roof over our heads tonight!
Click here for Day 8 …
5 thoughts on “CAMINO PORTUGUESE – DAY 7”
As you have said, the Portuguese people are indeed some of the nicest and sweetest people that you could ever hope to meet.
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That ankle is starting to look a bit serious and I think the bus was the right option. You seem to find some brilliant hostels, I love the look of the wood fire and I am a big fan of port.
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Yes, who don’t like a glass of port in front of a wood fire during those cold winter evenings (or any other evening 😉).
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