22kms plus a bit. Last night we stayed at a town that is a couple of kms off the Camino. We wanted to break a 30km stage into 2 shorter stages, and Condeixa-a-Nova had a couple of residencials and some restaurants, so it seemed like a good place to stop. We had dinner last night at a Churrasco restaurant, which specialises in char-grilling meat and fish. There is usually a Churrasqueira in most towns – the equivalent of a BBQ chicken take-away in Oz. We had Frango Churrasco – char-grilled chicken – and it was good!
We spent the morning wandering around a bit lost at times – getting back onto the Camino route was tricky, and then we missed a yellow arrow and a road that used to be on the map has disappeared or been incorporated into a new section of main road. We ended up walking on the 4-lane main road for a bit, then clambered up an embankment (not easy to do with a rucksack trying to drag you back down the slope) and found those yellow arrows again.
We stopped at the first cafe in the next village, Cernache, but it was closed due to the death of the owner. Some little old ladies assembled in the street told me all about it – and I’m pretty sure they said that the owner died whilst doing the Macarena, just keeled over on the dance floor. When your number’s up and all that ….
Most of the day’s walking was on sealed roads, which is always tough on the feet, but we did do a nice section of bush track walking at around lunchtime, and found a shady, grassy spot under some fir trees.
Our first view of Coimbra (former capital of Portugal in the 12th century, now a university town, population 160,000) was one of the most breathtaking town vistas we can remember. We walked down a cobbled street from Santa Clara, via the Santa Clara convent, crossed the Mondego River and into the town of Coimbra. We’re staying here for 2 nights.