Pig's Ear Park and Other Adventures

On and on and damn well on….

When lost I have caught taxis, averages two euro a kilometre, so far it has cost me forty euros…Yesterday I would have paid double!!!!
Decided I would try and walk the 32 plus ks from Azambuja or something like that to Santarem, pronounced of course, santarang, well of course he did…
mainly because the twenty k walks are over by lunchtime and then all that is left to is hang around a hotel room well that was all that was on offer in Azambuja, think merivale, tauranga on Easter sunday..May 1st is a holiday here…
set off bright and early, get away at least an hour earlier without my owl to consider…
Acres and acres of tomato fields, about 30 ks of them…just being planted, by machine then women come along a few days later and replace the dead ones by hand.some nicely treed parts, even heard a cuckoo, two in fact, it is mating season here and the birds are right into it. No stock of course, except a farm with about a dozen emus? Ostriches? Big birds with long legs and necks, you know the ones…
Reasonably easy path to follow , reasonably marked..i was looking forward to the”sand paths” bunkum, gravel roads!!!
Waved my stick at one truck that roared past, but mainly they slowed right down for me..very, very back road so only about five vehicles over two plus hours. Road followed the stop banks for the tejo river which floods badly now and again. same lriver that flows into Lisbon.
But, it got hotter and hotter and hotter. I drank heaps for me, even had two pees, one just by a gate and realised too late i was in some workers line of vision, too bad!!!!
never saw any other “pilgrims” they sensibly start in the main after Porto.
had a few people comment about me being on my own, one man said not to go out after dark on my own, my response was i am old and don’t go out after dark anyway…
felt quite pleased with myself until three ks from santaram, then my phoofer broke down. Absolutely knackered. went into an aero club and called a taxi for the last three ks…
It was all up hill so would have taken forever, and it was after 5 pm i had left at 7.30.had a wee snooze by the Tejo river until i was woken up by a couple of dogs tryingto kill each other. plus had a few coffees, they make good coffee, just as well as the food is #%]!#. Dinner in Azamjura was yellow soup, fried chicken and chips and that is quite typical. Unfortunately yesterdays breakfast was very mean which did not help, walking on tinned fruit and a bread roll for that distance does not cut the mustard despite my supplements of bananas and mars bars and numerous coffees plus water, yes rosie, i drank some….I stupidly had an icecream in one little place, daft!!!!
Anyway, i am fine today, hardly an ache but sunburned legs…day off and santarem looks like a nice town….
Another long day tomorrow but this hotel does decent protein breakfasts…even if dinner was mediocre, yellow soup , stew, chips of course and boiled salt no nuthin and this is a four star hotel supposedly mentioned in the michelin guide, must have been in 1914..

The fatima pilgrimage is the great one here, path diverges here at satarem, huge crowds of people do it, takes about four days from lisbon..saw about a hundred people with their hivis vests the day before yesterday but none yesterday, think they stick to main roads…
One of the fatima crowd asked me where I was going and on being told , Santiago, he replied”that must be why you are so slow” cheeky rat, he was about thirty and twenty foot tall….
fatima preached universal love and rome won’t canonise her, amazing when you consider the two who have just been made saints….


  1. Hi Mum,
    sounds like your typical adventure… average food, reveiws written by POW’s during the war years etc. at least the track (when your on it) is not crowded yet.
    Hope all is well, blisters are absent, weather is good and… Happy Mother’s day 🙂

    Sev and Nik

  2. was just going to email you and ask how the Kermadecs were…did you get any of your chosen victims from the deep.
    no, no blisters, just very hot, starts off cool and by 11 am it is blazing and stays that way till 7 pm…
    Thanks for the mothers day greeting. Hope sev is having fun….

  3. Rome won’t canonise Helga either – makes no sense.

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