T2 E8 – Cabins>>New Sales
And Season 2 of this saga ends today, in Vendas Novas, at Quinta da Formiga, owned by our friend S. We could have come by car to visit her, so if we came on foot it was for another reason – a reason related to our saint Santiago.
And today we came from Casebres to here, twenty-two kilometers from our fur. It was a normal stretch, we started with a very strong sun (S. Martinho also wanted to give an air of grace on the pilgrimage) and we really enjoyed the crossing of Herdade da Palhavã. Congratulations to those who, at the Herdade, had the vision to allow the Camino de Santiago to cross it. For about three kilometers, we had the opportunity to cross streams, which were well maintained and observe the herds. We left footprints and took good photos and memories with us.
In balance, it was “only” 113 kilometers that we did, from Santiago do Cacém to here, Vendas Novas. Don't think it was easy – it wasn't – but it was very rewarding. It was a disconnect from day-to-day reality and absorb what was happening around us. The landscapes were superb, despite the suffering when we had to go to the tarmac – but we also realized that there is often no alternative.
Now what always went well, always, were the people. Many times, drivers would greet us and walk away when they saw us on the side of the road.
Almost everyone knew about the Camino de Santiago and what we were doing. Despite not having met any pilgrims, we were always hearing reports from other hikers. A Lithuanian, a Czech, a Scotsman from Glasgow (on a bicycle) and an Austrian couple passed through the accommodation where we stayed (very well), at “Casa Fisher”, among others that I can't remember. But we were the first Portuguese…
Another indication of the success of this Path is that, when we asked if they had a stamp for the Credential, they replied: “Yes, we do, sir. We had it done on purpose.” And the stamp, in addition to the name of the restaurant, had a drawing of a pilgrim and the stylized scallop. The economic impact generated by hikers in these sparsely populated areas through which we have passed is not negligible and, from what we have observed, tends to evolve in a positive way.
But there is one thing that has to be done. Despite the fact that a large part of the route is well signposted, the Caminhos de Santiago Alentejo Ribatejo cannot have divergences between the beacons and terrain markings and the GPS files. This is the only – and great – criticism to be made. It is essential, for the continuity and success of this (very good) project, to remedy this flaw. And, despite being very few, we have already found some damaged beacons.
I think, for a while, I will miss the words most heard and spoken by us on the Way: “yellow arrow!”. Let me end this Season with the traditional greeting from Santiago walkers – Good Way!
Spoiler Alerts: Vendas Novas is at the same latitude as Lisbon; Will there be Season 3?
Also read the other episodes from this 2nd season:
T2 E1 – Santiago do Cacém>>São Bartolomeu da Serra
T2 E2 – São Bartolomeu da Serra>>Roncão
T2 E3 – Roncão>>Santa Margarida da Serra
T2 E4 – Santa Margarida da Serra>>Grândola
T2 E5 – Grândola>>Vale do Guizo
T2 E6 – Guizo Valley>>Alcácer do Sal