July 15, 2015
We spent an extra day in Tomar, partly to recover from our exertions during Disco Inferno, but mostly to visit the Templar Castle and the Convento de Cristo. This is a fabulous sight. We even violated our rule of not spending more than two hours gawking at a monument, museum or art gallery. The castle, built in the 12th century, was the Portuguese headquarters of the Knights Templar.
The Tomar Hostel was an excellent place to meet with pilgrims from all over. To a person, they are all experienced Camino junkies like ourselves. With the long stages on this route walkers need to have the stamina to walk over 30 kms on at least some days.
Today we had a beautiful ride, mostly on tiny paved roads winding through olive orchards and pretty villages. Towards the end of the day we were coasting down one of the nicest descents I have ever experienced. Unfortunately that five star ride was took us in the wrong direction. Some local comedians, or a hungry cab driver, painted several kilometres of yellow arrows back towards the town we had come from. Our 46 km day became a 62km one.
Now it is 7:18 in the evening and we are sitting on a bench in the town square of Ansião. We are staying at the lovely Residential Adega Tipica that has a warm welcome and special price for pilgrims. After our three course pilgrim feast we were presented with a bill of 50€ for our lovely ensuite room, dinner and breakfast. Gord said, “God I love this country!”