Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fatima

Hello, everyone.
We slept in today, until 0700! Then we looked up a place to stay in Fatima and ambled to the Santarem bus station. We got seats on the express bus--45 minute ride--and had a sip at the bus station cafe. Also some desperately needed Pringles. (We were still in salt deficit from the previous day's long walk.)

We're staying at a hotel called Avenida de Fatima. It's nice, has WiFi, an actual tub in the bathroom, air conditioning and a desk. They also allowed us to store our packs when we got there early.

Fatima is well set up to support pilgrims' needs. There are many cafes, many places to stay, and numerous information offices. It helps if you can speak a little-known Portuguese. Or at least a good list of Spanish words. Today I really needed to tell the pharmacist that we needed gauze bandage and wrapping adhesive tape. We didn't have those words, though, and ended up with Compeed for DH's blisters on the bottom of the foot. (I had this kind last year, and I don't think the Compeed deals well with being walked on all day. But we'll see.)

We ate prato do dia for lunch: protein, veg, and starch. It's their version of the blue plate special. Mine was fried pork steak (think chicken fried steak without the gravy, only a tender luscious piece of pork) and his was squid. His squid was accompanied by wonderful poached cabbage. Mine had a rice-with-stuff dish. And the "spec appetizer" assortment included octopus salad and a pair of good crusty rolls. (Portugal has a custom of putting appetizers out on the table in hope you will eat them--it's a sales technique, and what you eat they add to your bill.)

 Plaza at Fatima. We are facing the old Basilica. They're doing some kind of renovations.
A slab of the Berlin wall.


I never thought I'd see the Berlin wall come down in my lifetime and certainly never expected to see a piece of it.

The weather may improve soon. Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day for us--today was not scheduled but it's been hard to track down food on the trail so we needed it--and we will skedaddle on the early bus to Tomar.