This is Walker here and I have a confession to make. After hiking over 3000 miles during the past year and a half I finally got not one, but two blisters! I think the Princess is very happy to have a fellow sufferer on the walk. She asked me what happened (since I was previously immune to blisters) and I told her I really donºt know but it’s probably due to a combination of not enough training, walking too many miles too soon – especially on paved roads through very flat terrain, and walking in the rain for the past two days. Anyway, I have now joined the club and can no longer assume that I’m immune to blisters. (It really hurts me to write this.)
Today we left Casa Patriarca just after 9:00 a.m. and it was already raining. In fact it rained off and on all day, mostly ‘on’ and sometimes really hard. The bright spot for the day – other than finally reaching our destination – was walking through a nice forest with lots of climbs and descents on an earthen track. It reminded me a little bit of hiking on the Appalachian Trail! At one point we missed a waymark (rocks arranged like an arrow on the ground) and went about a half-mile before I realized my mistake so we backtracked and eventually found the right trail. Then after another mile or so we got confused about our location so we wasted a good bit of time trying to match the terrain and the waymarks to the description in our guidebook. Once we got back on the road I suggested that we consider hitchhiking or taking a taxi but the Princess would have none of that so we trudged on through the rain until we finally reached our destination of Tomar at about 3:00.
We checked in to the hostel, took showers and then napped. I woke up after about an hour, went downstairs to use the computer and found the two Dutch brothers who we met in Santarem sitting in the community room. They had decided not to walk today due to the rain and took a bus to the nearby town of Fatima which is another Christian pilgrimage site. They gave me the weather forecast which calls for more rain tomorrow, then better weather on Wednesday. I haven’t talked to the Princess yet but I might be tempted to stay here another day and tour the sights of Tomar, which has a lot of history connected to the Knights Templar. Then we could start our walk again on Wednesday when the rain stops. She’s a real trooper and she probably won’t want to take a day off but maybe she will if I beg and maybe even shed a tear or two.
We’ll let you know what happens…