T3:E7 – Azinhaga / Vila Nova da Barquinha
Yesterday, at dinner, there were only five of us: the American couple, who turned out not to be a couple, the Latvian from Latvia and an Englishman with such a strange accent that you couldn't (or I couldn't) understand a single word. The American, to my great astonishment, knew about vinho verde and that's what we drank.
People were (kinda) exhausted and wanting to go to sleep, but there was still time to talk about the problem in Latvia, the wolves that cross with dogs, resulting in a dangerous and very aggressive hybrid, and the case of bears in Michigan, who love the tuna sandwiches that people carry in their backpacks, with sometimes tragic results.
But the strangest thing happened to the Americans, who lost a book at the start of yesterday's journey. When they noticed it, they didn't turn back and continued walking. So, almost at the end of the stage, they found the same book on the side of the road? No matter how many explanations one tries to come up with, it is (more) a mystery of the Paths…
Today I walked around Azinhaga, the land of José Saramago. I greeted his statue and remembered that Canadian my age I had crossed paths with a few days ago. Before coming here, he got a Portuguese teacher who, in class, talked to him about music – mentioned Sérgio Godinho and the Xutos e Pontapés – and about Saramago. She read the English version of “Intermittences of Death” and became a huge fan of the writer. He has already been to the José Saramago Foundation in Lisbon and when he finishes the Path he will stop by to take books.
I waited for the opening of the Foundation's delegation that is here and I was entitled to a very interesting tour guided by someone who is interested. On her recommendation, I visited the street where there are a hundred olive trees, each named after a character from Saramago's books. They are young olive trees, with the exception of the first ones, which are old and are named after the writer's grandparents, Josefa and Jerónimo. The last olive tree was planted on Saramago's XNUMXth birthday.
I left with a full soul and took ahead 7km of the EN365, narrow, with no shoulders, and with few shadows. It went well because I was always attentive to the traffic and because practically all the drivers, when they saw me, moved away to the opposite lane.
In Golegã I went to the tourist office and the employee said that the EN365 was a recurring complaint. It was interesting to see a city so connected to horses, even its cultural center is called Equuspolis. I made a detour to go there and, knowing that the Martins Correia municipal museum was there, obviously I visited it.
I arrived in Vila Nova da Barquinha tired, but the need to take care of the clothes sharpened my ingenuity and I invented the two-in-one wash: washing clothes while taking a shower. And it's even more ecological, less water is used.
Today I didn’t see a single pilgrim, but the Camino also has these things – of the 24km of this stage, a good slice was dedicated to culture…
Read the other episodes of Season 3 of The Walker saga:
Episode 1 – Next to the Lisbon Cathedral, Season 3 of the Walker saga begins
Episode 2 - Today we don't have leatherettes
Episode 3 - Misadventures of a man from the Algarve in the midst of old age
Episode 4 - Between dirt road and tarmac, to the catfish fisherman weighing 10 kilos
Episode 5 - The miracle of the wayside fountain
Episode 6 - A headbutt to the bunk, a very bad dog and a finale with soaking feet