Rabacal to Cernache

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Rabacal to Cernache, Rua de Satiago sign

Good laughs last night at dinner and even though we were in a 4 room dorm I had a fairly good nights rest.  The time had come to say goodbye to Derek, I am not sure who was more sad, us as we where being spoilt with Derek around or Derek as he was having fun on the Camino.  Anyways goodbye it was and the trio got going around 08h00.

The entire walk today was so pleasant and easy on our feet.   The first village, Zambujal – Alan was convinced Maisie his loving Scottish wife was watching out for him when a guy started playing the bagpipes as we walked into the village.  The bagpipers were in the village blessing the village  people in their homes.  Rather pleasant “sound” so early in the morning.

Rabacal to Cernache, country path

The Brierley guide makes mention of a cafe / bar in Zambujal which we did not see or find.  After last nights drinking it was a much needed / required stop for us, no luck for a cappuccino and we walked on to Conimbriga in the hope of finding a bar open.  Kinda odd writing about a bar as in South Africa a bar is where you get alcohol but here in Portugal and Spain it is a coffee / snack cafe.

The ancient city of Conímbriga in central Portugal one will find the best Roman ruins.  We stopped for the first time today at the musuem cafe (was rather expensive), about a kilometer on you will find another bar which might be a better option as tourist prices were being charged at this particular bar.  I ordered mash potatoes and vegetables for lunch and was served with cubed sweet potatoes and salad.  Missing my mom’s home cooked veggies, one hardly sees veggies on offer on the menu’s and when they do it is a salad not veggies as we know it back home.

We did not go to the ruins (maybe we should have) there were bus loads of people around visiting the roman ruins.   Apparently the mosaics are incredibly, the intricate patterned floors of several whole rooms are still intact after 2000 years.

Below is a pic of my mash potatoes and veggies!

Rabacal to Cernache meal

The trio chilling and enjoying lunch! Rabacal to Cernache with Michelle, Shannon and Alan

Todays plan was once again to split the Brierley suggested walk of 30 kilometers into a 2 day walk as we have learnt our lesson one too many times that the distances are out of sync.  The thinking was to walk to Cernache which would then allow for an easy walk tomorrow to Coimbra tomorrow.  Unfortunately there is no accommodation in Cernache.  Brierley does suggest an alternate route if one is wanting to split the day into two however we felt walking to Condeixa Nova was too short a walk for the day.  Brierley guide does mention that there is accommodation 8 km from Cernache so we decided we would walk to Cernache, take a taxi to the hotel, taxi back to Cernache tomorrow and walk to Coimbra.  Our well thought out plan backfired a little in that the taxi took us all the way to Condeixa Nova where we  in fact did not want to be for the night.  It was getting late and the one hotel the taxi driver dropped us off at we decided to take as we were battling with communication.  The hotel looked fairly ok from the outside but oh my gosh once we got inside we were all blown away with the feeling of a HAUNTED house.  (Thank goodness I was sharing a room with Sharon as alone I would not have slept even with a sleeping tablet).

Maria and Chris were in the same town so Alan met up with them and they watched the soccer game between USA and (?).  Besides it being dam cold apparently it was good fun.  Sharon and I stayed at the hotel dodging the filth and tried to get an early night.  The haunted house of horrors was locked up and Alan could not get back in (well it was 02h00).  Pure luck that Sharon was awake and could go open up for Alan.  The rats were running races in the roof by this time or doing the hanky panky.  I kept visualising the dam roof falling on me with the pipe pipers rats  all over the room and me.  Sharon heard the footsteps of high heel shoes in the passage, WTF!!!!

We did not stay for breakfast, we got the hell out of the haunted house and taxi’d back to Cernache as planned to walk to Coimbra at 06h00.

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