Day 11 – Coimbra to Sernadelo – 25km/15.5 miles
When leaving a big a city on foot that usually means a lot of pavement walking in not so pretty areas. Today was a day like that for the first half before giving way to smaller roads through villages. From there it was some highway walking with a lot of trucks uphill in the heat before finally turning left into a big eucalyptus forest that provided some quiet and shade. This section definitely provided a moral boost on the day!
As we exited the forest, we returned to small roads passing through villages again. The planned lunch stop which was being looked forward to was closed however. Such is life out here when a single person runs the entire cafe. We stopped at a bus stop to eat some snacks we were carrying before continuing on. At this point the sun was really starting to get hot and I was running low on water. We passed an older woman tending to her house. I approached and asked for some water in my Spangese (Spanish and Portuguese) and she said to wait a minute and went inside. She returned with a giant container of cold water and then went back inside. This time she came back with a bag of oranges and plums. We thanked her for her kindness and generosity and continued on. The rest of the walk was a mix of nature and roads before arriving in Sernadelo around 2pm. This was one of albergues that has an attached restaurant and doesn’t have a kitchen so they not so subtlety encourage you to eat there. After seeing their menu, it was decided we would walk backwards a bit 300 meters and check out a restaurant we passed on the way. There we got some food and returned back ready for sleep. Unfortunately window screens are rarity I’m Portugal so we were left between a choice of a very hot room or mosquitoes. We chose hot room and it was pretty unbearable before opening the windows. This definitely let some ‘mozzies'(as the Aussies put it) in but they seemed to like the Spanish guy in the room the best. He decided to put sunscreen on his entire body believing it would protect him. Apparently it did he said. It definitely wasn’t the best night’s rest, or day in general but we got up early for a potentially long day coming up. Not too much to see today so not a lot of photos.