Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 4, part 2

Our original plan, a combination of stages from two guide books, called for several days of over 30 km and several more in the high 20s, which we realized was too much for our group.

It's physically demanding and mentally stressing. There isn't enough daylight in January. Most of all, there isn't enough time to relax and enjoy it.

So, we rearranged our itinerary so we never walk more than 24.9 km in a day, adding 4 days. Because of time constraints, we had to eliminate 4.

At Fidalgo, facing a long muddy slog, our decision was easy. Take a bus to Satarem. Take a day off, take a train to Coimbra, and restart from there. It's a shame we missed Golega and Tomar but we want to enjoy the walk and finish.

We ask a local about buses. After she corrected my pronunciation, "autocaRRRRO", rolling the r sonit sounded like a chainsaw and 'Santarem' rhymes with, uh, 'rhyme', she led us to the bus stop and gave a long explanation. All we understood were her gestures: the bus would come soon from that way and we should flag it down.

A bus came with 15 minutes and we successfully flagged it down. He told us the bus went to Cartaxo, where we could get another bus to Santarem. We bought tickets on the bus.

In Cartaxo, the station master sold us two tickets (which I didn't realize until we got on the bus), and said something we didn't understand about Gyu eon. I gave the driver the tickets and he demanded another ticket. Why didn't the station master sell us three tickets?

A group of teenagers got on and sat in the back and started singing pop songs to amuse themselves. I looked back and they switched to English pop songs, Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams, to amuse us. It was cute until they sang Justin Bieber.

Santarem snuck up on us and, in a flurry, we got off.


1 We just told Gyu eon "no days over 25" and "we are finished today"

2 at the bus stop

1 comment:

  1. Some good decision making you three :) Gots to stop and smell the cappuccinos.
    You're making me jealous by the way - wish I could be there with youz. xx