Golega to Tomar

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We left Golega at sunrise excited about the yellow arrows and we found them in the town of Golega pointing north, sun rising over our right shoulders.  Arrows were well signed till the outskirts of Golega, headed north with hearts full of joy.  We are finally on the Portuguese Camino with arrows flowing our way.  At the large circle just outside Golega we all saw the yellow arrow pointing north and onwards we march AND THEN……  THERE WERE NO MORE YELLOW ARROWS. (Dam)

+- 10km later we arrive at a huge freeway intersection and have no idea of where to go.  I knew the Portuguese Way was badly signed so did not think anything of the yellow arrows drying up as we had spotted one (in fact two) pointing us in the direction we were going.

Alan and Sharon were browsing the Brierley guide-book trying to figure out where to when a friendly young gentleman stopped and asked if we were looking for the Camino.  Three huge yes’ s and he explains to Alan where we need to go, once again we were so far off the beaten track. (F@#$&)

We headed in the direction we were told to go and stopped at a cafe for a cappuccino to regain our spirits for the walk.   All three of us were feeling a bit miff as we had been led to believe that the route we missed is the most beautiful of the Camino alongside the river Tejo.  We lifted our spirits as it is what it is and managed to get further directions to get back on the yellow brick road.

From Vila Nova Barquina which led us to a forest of eucalyptus trees.  Pretty well sign posted at the time.  Then all of a sudden the road forks and there was not one frikken arrow.  Alan sees plastic type tape fluttering on the branches of trees and we assume that this is a possible route as the part of the forest we were in had been destroyed by a fire.  Onwards we walk following the ticket tape signage to eventually finding yellow umbrellas which we once again assumed was some sort of alternative signage for the Camino.  Why the heck would someone put two frikken  yellow umbrellas on cemented stands if it had nothing to do with the Camino.  There were no arrows whatsoever but the yellow umbrellas did take us to a yellow arrow pointing northwards once again but on the busy N-110.

What a gruelling and most dangerous walk we had faced for +-10 dam kilometers.  40 ton high-speed lorries racing and I mean racing by. OMG my nerves.

We continued in the heat knowing that the Camino had left us again.  The noise, the lorries,  the tar road, the heat was enough to make a monkey bite its mother.  Brierley’s guide makes you presume that the roads on the map are the only main roads.  Don’t be mistaken like we were.  There are thousands of roads which confuse you even more.

We thankfully safely landed up at Grou cafe where the first blisters of the Camino were attended to.  We grabbed a bite to eat,  rested up well and finally got going on the N-110 again.  We eventually found the yellow arrows outside Asseiceira, these led us to the most delightful farm stall where we bought the yummiest orange.  The path eventually became more tolerable but the heat intensified and forced us to rest our knackered bodies under some shady trees. The shade was most welcome as up till now we had been walking in the scorching heat of the day.  (36 degree’s).

We commenced with our Camino late afternoon and the heat was now draining our tired souls.  We had about 4 km’s left and Sharon ran out of water and was feeling nauseous and felt she needed to stop.  Alan was good to continue and I opted to join Sharon as various hot spots were being felt in my shoes.  Sharon and I walked for another 1.5km’s and found a tyre fitment centre open and we kindly asked if they would order us a taxi.  We taxi’d the left last 2 km’s into Tomar.

Alan stopped at a cafe to refuel as he too was on zero.  We communicated via what’s app and met up at the Ponte Velha.  We found a furnished apartment right in the middle of Tomar for 15 euros each.  Awesomeness after a crazy hot walking day.

Sharon is not well and in bed while Alan and I are out painting the town red (only bluffing), we are having a quick bite and then off to bed and we have all agreed to a day of rest tomorrow.

FEET CHECK:  Alan’s feet good.  Sharon has her first blister and I have four blisters, utter bladdy joy!!

We met up with the American and Australian who also got lost twice today, we met them at the hotel this morning just before we left.  The yellow arrow signage in critical areas is non-existent however when the arrows are there, they are frequent and very visible.  Brierley’s guide on the Portuguese Way is basically a rough outline and not exact science.  My feeling is Brierley has not put in the same effort that he has with the Francs Way.

Golegã seemed a slightly strange town. Full of very grand houses within the centre of the town, mostly with large plots containing lots of outbuildings and beautiful gardens, but with virtually no sign of life, either last evening or at 7-ish this morning. I think we only saw two people as we walked more than a kilometre out of town. It is an area famous for horse breeding, but I have seen almost no sign of horses, although there are many street signs and house plaques alluding to them.





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Showing 1 comments
  • Mark Weintraud

    Hi Sparks, it sounds like such an adventure. I think I would love to do something like this with Charmaine. Your blog is most interesting and well written. Very cool, enjoy!!


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