Tag Archives: Rabacal

Rabacal to Conimbriga to Condeixa-a-Nova

9/13 – Ave Maria got us out of bed and back on the road. There was no kitchen in the hostel or cafe in town, so we got a sluggish start, but we don’t have far to go today.

We came upon a little hamlet that claimed to have the actual road where St. James had trod, and there we met a lady out walking her three goats. She graciously allowed me to take her picture, and is my Nice Person of Portugal today.

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A Belgian pilgrim named Jacques caught up with us, and he and Jim talked economics and politics for a while. This was his second Caminho, having walked through Belgium, France and Spain two years ago.

We parted ways as we approached the town of Coimbriga, where we detoured to see the oldest Roman ruins in Portugal, where objects have been found dating from the 9th centurny BCE.

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I especially liked the intricate mosaic floors of the homes, which were intact and still beautiful after so many years.

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One house had patterned swastikas on the floor. I wonder what the symbol signified back then? The excavations began in 1898, and are ongoing.

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From Coimbriga it was just a few kilometers to Condeixa, where we are spending the night at Residencial Ruinas. There we saw an artist’s rendering of the House of a Fountains ruin we had just visited, where the fountains still worked. I’m happy to report that it was a very nice place, not the ruin implied by the name!

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For supper we found a restaurant that served pasta, and I had fettuccine with Parmesan and chicken – what a treat! We’ve had enough pork and fried potatoes to last us a lifetime…

Ansaio to Rabacal

9/12 – we started to see signs of fall as we hiked our 11 miles today, although the days are still warm: image

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We came upon some rabbits, ate some grapes and blackberries off the vine, and just enjoyed the day: image

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As we were eating our lunch under a shady tree, an old man came up and started speaking rapidly and gesturing across the road. We tried Bom Dia, and Obrigado, but neither satisfied him. He hustled off, but then came back in a few minutes with a handful of figs that he picked off a nearby tree. Now when we said Obrigado (thank you), his face lit up. Nice people everywhere!

Rabacal is a very small town with one hostel and one cafe. At the hostel we met a young man from Boston named John, and he accompanied us to dinner at the cafe. He has caught the travel bug, and we shared stories of the different places we’ve been. It was nice way to spend the evening.

The town church played A full chorus of Ave Maria every hour and half hour, and we wondered if we would be able to sleep. Mercifully, the bells were silent after 10pm, but woke us promptly at 6!