23 km – It was a late start because we had decided to post the tent and thermarest inflatable mattresses back to Australia, because we did not think we would need them anymore. As well it would be 3.7kg of weight savings. Greg went to the main post office in Coimbra to find it was closed for good. It was then to another Post Office down from the Hotel Oslo. There was a ticket system. So it was a thirty minute wait to be served just to post a parcel, and it cost 82 euros to post 3.7kg back to Australia. Australia Post might be bad, but it is streets ahead of Portugal Post.
We started of well, covering the first 5.6km out of Coimbra without a break. Greg was wearing his new shoes that he bought in Coimbra as replacement for his Dunlop-KT-26s that are wearing out. However they turned out they were too small, and were left in a railway station car park for someone else to use.
It was a warm day, about 29C. We walked through Ademia missing the cafe, stopping at a water pumping station to eat our two custard tarts that Judy had bought in the morning.
It was a steep climb up through Cloga do Monte then over the A-14 and back down into Trouxemil. The John Brierley guide said that there were several cafes and shops in the Trouxmil square, but we found they had all closed down except for one cafe. We pulled out the laptop logged onto the the Vodafone broadband and booked the hotel in Mealhada.
Eventually we had to walk a 1km stretch of the N-1 the main highway through Portugal. We had seen nearly all the Faitma pilgrims wear yellow flourescent safety vests, so we bought a couple in Coimbra, and used them on the N-1 highway stretch.
After the 1km stretch we were diverted west of the N-1 into forest paths that were not in the guidebook, or on our GPS route. Eventually we left the forest paths and followed quiet country roads through Mala and Vimjetra. Our pace had slowed, and it was getting late. We arrived in our hotel 1.5km north of Mealhada at 7:30pm.