Date: 10 April 2018
Walked from: Rabaçal
Walked to: Coimbra
Distance: 30.5 km
How best to describe today’s walk? Wet underfoot? Wet inside boot? Wet inside so-called waterproof jacket? Or just, rather like the 80s band; wet, wet, wet.
I only took a couple of photos today, both taken in the two 10 minute interludes where it wasn’t raining heavily, so forgive the pretty unimaginative imagery. I would have liked some pictures of the swollen waters of the Dos Mouros river; I spent most of the first 12km of today walking beside – and at times effectively in – that particular body of Portuguese water. Sadly the rain was so heavy at that point that there was no way my phone was coming out of the relative safety of my pocket to take any holiday snaps. Nor do I have photos of the ruins at Conimbriga – the largest and best preserved Roman settlement in Portugal, no less – because at that point all I wanted was to get out of the rain for 10 minutes, and have a hot chocolate. Plus, and I’ll admit to being a philistine here, there’s only so much excitement I can muster about some old foundations. I DID take a photo of a house covered in tiles that instantly evoke the 70s, and another of the poor old Roman aqueduct on the approach to Coimbra, which has had a section removed so a duel carriageway can run through. Could they not have built a little tunnel? Seriously?
Anyway, I’ve been in Coimbra, my home for the night, since 1.30pm this afternoon. After a delicious and absurdly cheap late lunch (photo of lovely local restaurant above), I’ve dedicated much of my afternoon to listening to the rain continue to fall outside while attempting to dry out my clothes from today. Coimbra itself looks like a great place to spend some time – this university city (it’s the equivalent of our Oxford and Cambridge) was the capital of Portugal from 1145 to 1255, and today hosts a huge amount of lovely looking cafes and restaurants, as well as some dead important historical buildings that I’m not going to have time to see on this trip. I hope you don’t read this blog for educational purposes, because if so, I’m seriously letting you down today. #sorrynotsorry