In Casais, the walker was received with bells

Another day, another story

T3: E9 – Tomar/ Calvinos

After all, the gang was finding itself. At dinner there were ten of us. To the acquaintances, the two Americans (the one from the green wine), the Canadian and the German (vegetarian), joined the Italian, a Frenchman who spoke only French and little else, a novice Canadian, an American who came to live in Portugal and an exuberant German woman, already older – and me, of course.

Of course, dinner was a cacophony of cross-talk, in several languages ​​and accents. I was explaining to the American that there is red green wine, which gave him a knot in the head.

The vegetarian ordered asparagus and mushrooms, not knowing that it came with migas, which caused panic until the waiter explained that the asparagus was under the tortillas. She liked it but she must have been hungry because while she didn't eat all the bread on the table she didn't rest. The American resident came here for our way of life, she is enjoying it and said that she will stay in Portugal until she dies. The Frenchman was eager to start singing and the exuberant German guaranteed that the best part of the Way is the conviviality. I also convinced her to take the Via Algarviana and Rota Vicentina, which her German friends had already told her about. But the fact that all these people are gathered here is still remarkable due to the strong mystique of the Camino de Santiago.

I just arrived at the accommodation and I was running over a girl who was sitting on the floor taking off her boots to go to bed, and the Argentine, my neighbor in the top bunk, is snoring heartlessly.

This part was written yesterday, already lying down and with the cell phone under the sheets so as not to disturb anyone.

Today is Sunday, a day of rest... for me, because from five in the morning people are already getting up and at seven, in the dormitory of nine pilgrims, there was only me and the Argentine who, as I understood , will spend the day in Tomar.

As today, the route is short, I still took a walk around the city and, once again and according to tradition, the exit was not easy. I was about to launch when a gentleman, one of those who wear a Sunday suit with a tie and vest, asks me in a very loud voice, in a mixture of English/Spanish and other languages, saying that the Path was not that way and, when he realized that I was Portuguese , took the opportunity to inform me that the neighbor of the shoe store was also going to do the Camino, by bicycle.

I didn't appear weak, but the man was right – I missed a pole because I was looking at a nearby pastry shop where I wanted to refuel. The first part of the route is alongside the Nabão River, first on tarmac and then on a trail through nature that was one of the most beautiful and pleasant this season.

Towards the end, as I passed Casais, I was welcomed by the joyful ringing of bells. I know it wasn't for me, but I was touched.

Now I'm staying at Albergue de Calvino. A five star hotel with dorms for ten pilgrims, great bathroom and kitchen, all very clean, modern and functional. The City Council of Tomar and the Parish Council of Casais/Alviobeira are to be congratulated for rehabilitating an old school and giving it this new function. An example to follow!

It's a shame, but today I only walked 13 kms, I couldn't warm up. I'm going to take a shower, but tomorrow I'll wear the same clothes, I'll (only) be a little more piggy…



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
Episode 7 - The Walker in the Land of Saramago
Episode 8 - From Vila Nova da Barquinha to Tomar, there are Vhils and “Caça Brava”