Day 7 (7.5 hours)

It was cold overnight – so cold the woolly hat was needed to keep my ears warm. My Western Mountaineering sleeping bag kept the rest of me toasty.

Had my first good night’s sleep – 9 hours – but did not want to leave my cosy cocoon at 6.30am.

Away by 7.45am. It was too cold to hang about. It was a good job I did stop here last night. There wasn’t another reasonable spot in the next 2.5km/1.5 miles.

Yesterday’s good work was for nothing. On the way into Sao Teotonio I was following the markers, but somehow ended up doing a big loop. I realised the sun was on the wrong side! I had spent an hour on an unofficial tour. Town was north. I was no closer – just a half mile west of where I was an hour ago.

No idea what went wrong. I ignored the route markings from that point and followed the SatNav to town, including a bit of dodgy fence hopping and sneaking through farmers’ fields.

I think this tree has been truly uncorked!

Finally made it into Sao Teotonio. The market square had 2 shops, so managed to get everything I needed without another detour to the main supermarket. So only 1 hour lost in total.

Another hot day. Mid 20s. Was mostly uphill into town, and uphill out of town. Then the route settled into a slow downhill and low level trek along farm tracks, following streams. A couple of ascents over hills (hillocks really) to change valley.

And then following the main river into the metropolis of Odemira.

Camping was not looking hopeful. I managed to spot a bit of grass under the main footbridge into town. This was my backup. Tried the various accommodation offered by Google. Most promising one was closed down. However there were places noted as “Residencial”. No idea what one of those is, but tried one. It’s a cheap hotel! Perfect.

Everything you want…bed, shower, toiletries, wifi. Even a TV that works. Room-only, 30 euros.

I have come to the conclusion [well actually I came to it several years ago. This just reinforces it!], that price has no bearing whatsoever on quality when it comes to accommodation.

Am now slumming it in a restaurant in town. The starter (3euros) is enough on its own! Local cheese with homemade pumpkin jam, sausage, pickled carrot (a lot nicer than it sounds) and enough olives to sink a battleship. And the 1euro glass of house red is also very splendid.

I could get used to this!

Tomorrow another long day, but the weather report promises cooler temperatures so it should be OK. High teens most of the day, peaking in the low 20s is expected.

Today’s flower…

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