Convento de Christo
One last look at the Templar Castle as I was leaving Tomar
I left Tomar this morning on the river route. Once out of the town, it is a delightful path along the Rio Nablão on a mix of gravel and dirt track. Where the River route joins the alternative winter route, I met two other pilgrims, one from Canada and the other from Brazil. It was a start of a day the pilgrim encounters.
All good things must end however and it wasn't long before I was back on asphalt road. There wasn't much relief from that for most of the rest of the day. Then what release it was was to walk back on forest track was a little sad because it was through plantation eucalypts. I hadn't realized how sad it would make me to see eucalypts in formal rows as plantation trees. It seemed so unnatural for them to be regimented like that in long straight lines of trees. So I have decided to call these plantations a sadness of eucalyptus.
There have been a group of about four or five pilgrims maintaining about the same pace since the cafe at Calvinos. Later in the afternoon I came across a group of another five or six pilgrims
from the United States coming into Portela de Vila Verde. The day had now become quite warm and it was interesting to hear one of them complaining that their destination, which was some 8 km away, was going to be too far to complete in the rest of the afternoon. I just wondered if she was going to have any choice in the matter.
I had a short chat with the Californian woman who was walking at the end of the group. Shortly after I left the mark route to get to where I'm staying tonight.
I'm now sitting at the back of Quinta dos Templarios listening to the bird song and the rattling of my laundry.
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