Tomar to Alvaiazere

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We left the apartment early, too early for breakfast as everything was closed.  The trio felt energised after a day´s rest and most interesting visit to Fatima. The arrows were well signed to the outskirts of Tomar then suddenly they dry up, aarrghhh!!  We split into 3 directions to see where / what / how / which way.   Alan was escorted through the military base – to the back of the base where an arrow was found and he made contact via what´s app to let us know.  United onwards we marched. In case you don’t see the arrows the route to take is to pass the old bull ring on your left, continue up the road till the military base, here you turn left and the military base will be to your right.  Continue till you can turn right and see the barbed wired fence of the military base, you will now be at the back end of the military complex and the arrows will flow to a cafe / bar which I strongly recommend you stop at as this is one of two cafe / bars for the days walk. Once on the Camino the arrows flowed our way and all went well except that Brierley reckons the walk is 31 kilometers however my pedometer measured 40 kilometers.  This was a mind fuck of a day as we were mentally prepared for 3 kilometers.  It is soul destroying when this happens, especially when limited stops are on offer during the day, besides our own picnic type rest stops. What I have noticed in Portugal that you dont see on the Francis Way (not sure if it has changed since 2013) is a yellow “x” showing you not to take a road.

c84a74b9eecec37dae863e306542aa29   27a66ebdadae69dec7ee4ec29743a4ac 5d3e02c608767f06a132dc742ad9a4b1 Although we walked on some roads today, perhaps 50:50 road to track, all were quiet with very little traffic. We stopped in a forest for a lunch break and shoes off, foot inspection session. We also enjoyed a nap!! d81c5b204b78761b453d2b3fbf287b7b It was crazy mad hot today and we were all taking strain in the heat. The exciting news was Derek was flying in from Paris and hooking up with us (or should I Sharon).  Derek arrived from Paris midday, he had 4 black takkies attached to a steering wheel officially christened as his walking shoes.  We were happy with his decision as we knew the content of our back packs could easily travel in the boot of his back pack, Renault. (Yes please). The heat was excrutiating and every step after 20 kilometers got harder to achieve.  The route wound its way up and down and along side a mountain that was badly marked. We limped into Alvaiazere just passed 20h00 and everything bar one restaurant was open. THANK GOODNESS Derek went shopping and bought steak, salad and bread rolls which he also cooked for dinner in the Albergaria Pinheiros, which I recommend for accommodation in Alvaiazere.   Owned by Carlos who puts a spread and half out for breakfast.   Fully equipped kitchen  for the pilgrims who want to cook dinner. 141763bfae006c3a50a64538ba5d08cb Derek enjoyed treating us as well as filling our wine glasses.  We were so bushed after a long walk Derek ‘ s arrival was a god send.  Maria and Chris joined us for dinner (oh and by the way we even had fried onions for our steak rolls).  I am sure they are both still shell shocked as Derek was on top form and excited to be with his wife (Sharon). What a day it was and absolutely remarkable that we achieved the distance we walked today! Bed time, feet up Derek popped in with a small gift, the tiny-est bottle of perfume, it was so special, I sprayed some immediately.  Fell asleep smelling like a “lady”. Today was a hard day, a day of digging mentally and physically into one´s reserves. Feet check – I have 7 blisters and Sharon has two blisters.  Alan the bugger is still blister free but I know his day will come (insert big smile)

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