Vila Franca de Xira to Azambuja

8/31 – our 12 mile trek today was mostly on highway, which was nasty, but would have been worse on a weekday with heavier traffic. We met no other pilgrims today.

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We stopped in a small town at a cafe for lunch, and asked for a sandwich (sande). This is invariably one slice of ham (prosciutto) on a hard roll, with no mustard or mayo. Dry, dry, dry. Imagine our delight when the sandwiches came with ham, cheese and margarine! A culinary delight, that we could probably always have if we just knew how to order it…

We noticed several houses with Our Lady of Fatima displayed over the door:

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As we walked along, I kept noticing tomatoes on the ground; some smashed, some eaten by bugs or birds, but many more in perfect condition, or almost so. Have the town folk been tossing them out the windows? Is this some sort of cultural phenomenon? My ruminations were answered soon enough when we spotted a double length tractor trailer barreling down the highway with an unsecured cargo of ripe red tomatoes bouncing around and spilling out. Mystery solved!

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Here are some flowers from today’s walk:

Azambuja is another town with a bull ring, and we passed lots of posters advertising upcoming events. I’m happy to report that there are female bullfighters too, if this poster is any indication.

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We are staying in a quiet pensao, without internet, so we didn’t expect much excitement for the evening. When we went to seek out supper around 7:30 ( that’s really the earliest you can get fed in this country), we found every restaurant full to bursting, with the soccer game blaring out on the TV. We passed by the first two restaurants, then decided there was nothing else for it, and made our way into the third. The proprietor found us two seats at a long table filled with shouting futbol fans, and brought us pork and fried potatoes for two. And, he brought out some hot sauce, called Piri Piri, the first condiment we’ve seen! We ate every bit, and rooted for the home team. The uniforms for one team advertised beer, and the other advertised TV satellite dishes. No idea who won!

Lying in bed, we listened to the shouting, singing and general carousing that seems to be a nightly event here, until the bars close at 2am. Amid all the noise we distinctly heard a full verse of God Bless America! Now, who can that be?image

2 thoughts on “Vila Franca de Xira to Azambuja

  1. Hey Karen! I have so enjoyed reading about our wonderful adventures, marveling at the many places, people and things you’ve encountered. The beautiful flowers and scenery makes me smile every time—even that death defying climb down story(smile). I read something the other day…”everyone dies but not everyone lives”. When trying to come up with those who live, you were obviously included. You and Jim look happy, healthy and loving life. Take care.

    Like

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