Today is another long day, from Azambuja to Santarem, a distance of 32.5 kms, pretty close to my comfort level. My feet are still with blisters and I had considered wearing my sanders, which I use when not walking. Let me introduce you to Colin and Sandy. When I signed in on Sunday, I noticed an Ausrralian couple had signed in earlier in the afternoon. I thought that it would be lucky if I actually met them. But the next night I met them at dinner at the Hester in Alverca I was staying at.
I met again yesterday several times today. Apparently there are 2 Italians a day ahead of us, and then there are many others on the Portuguese route.
Today's route is 56 per cent on paths or tracks and 44 percent on secondary roads. It began mainly on the former as I walked story distances between villages. They are built close to the River Tajo, a dominant river in Portugal. They have built a huge stop bank protecting the colleges. In 1978 the river actually rose 7.8 metres, endangering the towns, The distance between towns is important, as hopefully a new village will have a cafe, where one can get a stamp as proof that you are walking the Camino, a coffee and something to eat, use of the toilet, and a chance to refill water bottles - I have with me of 600 mill each. Twice today I met Colin and Sandy at one of these stops.
I began today at 7.30am and finished with a straight walk ( no cafe's) of 9.7kms, with a step climb to Santarem and the end. My feet were really painful. I'm staying at the hostel and am hoping for some improvement in my by tomorrow. The weather has been pretty good with just a little drizzle, but tonight it is raining quite heavily. I hope tomorrow brings better weather.
Tomorrow breakfast is provided, and then I want to see something of Santarem as it has an amazing history.
Reflection on today, Perserverence. After yesterday, I wondered if I could ever make 30 kms, but today I did. We need to keep trying and not give up.