Date: 4 April 2018
Walked from: Amazbuja
Walked to: Santarém
Now today was a good walk. A long one, at almost 33.5km, but really pretty and with excellent company as I walked again with Massimo, Susan and Walter – our last chance before the two guys head off in a different direction (on the walk to Fatima).
Our virtually traffic-free route continued to take us through the flood plains to the west of the Rio Tejo, along farm tracks and beside the dyke that protects the farms and small villages from the threat of flood. Having passed a marker (see picture below) that show the height the flood waters got to in 1979 (what must have been a devastating 1.9m), the need for the dyke became starkly clear.
From my early morning stroll along a riverside path, to the friendly cafe in tiny, tile-clad Refuengo, to the rather smart looking Valada, with it’s well kept riverside houses and small marina, the morning flew by. The 16 km stretch through the farm land and past the quintas (country estates) on the approach to historic Santarém took a while on tiring feet, but it was pretty enough to prevent it being a trudge and we stopped for a picnic lunch along the way. And tonight I find myself in a posh hostel (they give you a towel, and sheets – which is why, at €12 it is twice the price of last night’s rather simpler place) and starving. Dinner is served soon… and can’t come soon enough!