A walk of almost 24 km and lunch at Casa do Benfica

Today it was almost 24 km

T3-E10 – Calvinos / Alvaiázere

Yesterday you said that Albergue de Calvinos was five stars. The bees (the good ones, the ones that make honey) must feel the same way. There I went around in a towel, picking up several and returning them to nature (alive, of course).

In the meantime, another pilgrim has arrived at the Hostel, who in this case is a pilgrim and a Portuguese woman, to boot. There I lost the exclusivity of being the only Portuguese to walk the Path. But I'm still the only one from the Algarve, as she comes from the southern part of the Ribatejo and entered the Way in Valada, through the Rainha D. Amélia bridge (see T3:E5).

I went shopping at a café/grocery store that is close by (close, it's relative, it was ten minutes to walk there and ten minutes to come back) and dinner was a sharing of preserves and conversations. One of the stories was that yesterday she had found an old Finnish man leaning on the roadside. She asked if he was all right, he shook his head, pulled his pants leg up and he was covered in bandages: he had been attacked by two dogs that had bitten him, the same dogs that had attacked her. She managed to escape because, in the meantime, the owner of the animals appeared who assured her that her dogs did not bite anyone. Meanwhile, she helped the Finn who stayed at the first place where he could be treated.

So let's go to today's chronicle. As I mentioned, the Hostel was so good that, in addition to the bees I sent outside, this night it also hosted a bunch of mosquitoes that were buzzing around me until morning. Even stuffed in the sleeping bag with only your nose sticking out, it's boring.



The pilgrim left and I was still making some sandwiches, putting away the dishes and taking care of the garbage. I had already walked a couple of kilometers when I realized that I had forgotten to eat breakfast and the fruit I had bought to bring. By my count, the next pilgrims at Calvinos' hostel will find, in addition to oils, salt and basic things for cooking, two bottles of beer, bread, sausage, two oranges, half a dozen tangerines and as many pears. And three empty beer bottles, which the lady at the grocery store told us to leave there and the gentleman who takes care of the hostel would soon return them.

The Path followed an authentic roller coaster of ups and downs, on a narrow tarmac road, but without cars. It was strange to pass by houses, towns and villages without seeing a soul.

I passed from the municipality of Tomar to Ferreira do Zêzere and a little ahead, two signs with the symbology of the Caminhos de Santiago. The problem is that they pointed in opposite directions, the one on the right towards Caminho Areias and the one on the left towards Caminho Portela and an explanatory poster. Which one to choose? I walked one way, I walked the other. The one on the left already showed a strong rise and had three lines. The one on the right, according to the poster, was easier and was profusely described, photos and all. I ended up going to the app that indicated the one on the left as being the correct one. I understand that municipalities want to take hikers to places they think are most interesting, but the Path is the Path. Turn left, along a forest trail that coincides with an ancient Roman road.



A few kilometers further on, I see my fellow pilgrim sitting on the side of the road, resting from pain in her shoulder and back. We ended up doing the rest of the stage together, telling stories. Her whole family hikes and they've been to Fátima and Compostela several times. As one of the daughters lives on the side of the Path, she set up an informal hostel with two bunk beds, four beds. Those who want to stay stay, they invite the pilgrims to have dinner with the family and often put their clothes in the washing machine. The price? It is whatever the pilgrims want to give. And of these things the Way is also made...

Meanwhile, we had already found out that we were from Benfica and isn't it that the first restaurant we found at the entrance to Alvaiázere was at Casa do Benfica? Okay, that's where we had lunch.

She was thinking of continuing, but back pain and a fall (fortunately, without major consequences) already inside the village, made her stop here today. Out of solidarity between pilgrims, I lent him Traumeel (pass the advertisement), a miracle ointment that a hiking specialist had recommended to me and with which I have been doing very well.

I was about to get into the pension when a couple of Dutch pilgrims arrived, who also stayed here because the man had problems with his knee. I prescribed Traumeel for him…

Today it was almost 24 km, the bath/washing felt good (pre-drying with manual spin, let's see if it dries because the sun is broken here, it has no power).


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”
Episode 9 - In Casais, the walker was received with bells

Read some more!
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