25 April 2018

That’s what friends are for!



This morning when we set off we all thought it strange that it was so quiet. Was it a public holiday we asked! And yes it was in honour of the Revolution of 1974.



Once out of the village the route took us across country and up and down many little hills. Not something the knees of humans really like, so they took it slowly and steadily.



All day yesterday our BBF was a little sad, because he felt he was needed back home. One of his daughters had been out shopping on her bike with his little grandson and had, had a little mishap! She had ridden through some glass shards which had slashed the back tyre. Now the back wheel would not turn and she had to push it at least a kilometre to get home. At least she maintained her sense of humour as she called it a typical mother’s workout! However, the little grandson was quite upset by it all until she told him that Opa would fix it! 
But how was he to fix it when so far away? In the evening he thought of some good friends who would help if they could, so he emailed them. Their reply was positive and so even if this Opa could not fix it himself he put the wheels in motion for it to be fixed!


 
Then today in the woods we came across this bicycle inner tube and took it as a good sign that all would be OK.



The day was cool and overcast which was good for hiking. 





None of the churches were open which is sad as these humans are also pilgrims and wanted to go into church to light candles, pray and sing!



This was the first Mandarine or Tangerine tree we had see.



And this was an original Mini and the owner had a sticker which showed he had won third place in some classic rally.



An I’d little tractor and trailer used by some forest workers.





If the sky had been blue the views across the valleys would have been even better.



Our BBF was pleased and surprised to come across these two “Wau Waus” guarding the gate, as they seemed more oriental than European!





It was up a down all the way into Coimbra.



Then across the main road we came across this old Roman Viaduct leading into the city.





A fine lemon tree for your G+T we thought.



Here the viaduct again crossed our path.



We turned a corner and suddenly we were in Coimbra.



This is the Convent of Santa Clara a Nova and is also a pilgrim’s Albergueria, but our two pilgrims wanted to stay the other side of the river.





The buildings at the top of the hill and town are those of the university which is the oldest in the Portuguese world founded in 1290.



We crossed the Rio Mondego by the Ponte de Santa Clara.



Once on the other side we stopped for a tea and a coffee. Suddenly behind us and elderly woman had some sort of seizure. Her eyes had a dead stare and it took some moments for her to be revived. Someone rang for an ambulance but by the time it arrived she was compos mentis again.



This town was once the capital of Portugal and it still had that ancient capital charm.








We found our hostel in the shadow of an old cathedral.
It was too early to occupy our room so the humans left us and their packs and went in search of food and drink. 



After lunch they visited the Cathedral, but it was full of tourist groups from around the globe so was not a place to sit and pray, or even sing as they were playing Gregorian Chant from speakers!












The Cathedral had a beautiful set of cloisters too.









A trip round the old town to get to the university was now called for.





In the beautiful main courtyard of the university a group of students celebrated the end of their second year when they also received their robes.



They were student teachers and there was only one male in the group!





There was a fine view over the river to the Ponte Rainha Santa Isabel, though it looks misty in this picture!



As our humans left the university they came across a hot and tired French Pilgrim who looked lost. She had the address of her hostel in her hand and now our BBF did his good deed of the day! Using the Apps on his phone he found the place and on the map he had been given in his hostel directed her to where she had to go, and giving her the map to then find her own way.



We then occupied our room which also had a fine view out the window.



Buen Camino! 🐻❤️