Camino day 12 and Coimbra

Wednesday October 3 and Thursday October 4: we covered 18 miles on Wednesday— our greatest distance so far and probably will be our longest day of the Camino. Bill’s feet managed thanks to gentler surfaces under foot and nicer places to stop and rest. We walked through zambujal where there was a traffic jam of tractors heading to the fields, women sitting beside their men at the wheel. Then fonte coberta, where tiles told the story of st James in Portuguese French and English. Before noon we reached cernache, our last possible place to find a hostel before Coimbra, and decided to walk on after a picnic lunch and rest in a churchyard. Up a hill with great views of Coimbra, down the hill, past a Roman aqueduct now cut in two by a highway, through a tangle of cobblestone streets, across rio Santa Clara to a hotel on a pretty but noisy square and we have settled in for two nights. Ahhhh! Today we will explore Coimbra. It is Portugal’s university town and third largest city after Lisbon and Porto.

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