Learning to Walk 5


(39,796 STEPS – 33.17 KMS – 18.75 MILES)

Porto de Mós to Fátima

The day started with a great breakfast in Porto de Mós and went uphill from there, literally…

Cathedral in Porto de de Mós, Portugal.
The cathedral in Porto de de Mós.

The guardian castle perched above Porto de Mós.
The castelo is perched on a hill above the town.

The rocky hillside above Porto de Mós.
The walk out of Porto de de Mós is a slow ascent and becomes steep and remote a few kilometers out of town.

A pilgrimage walk is just that, a long walk…and lots of it.

The city of Fátima is comparatively new, having grown up around the recent (1917) apparitions of Mary, mother of Jesus. As such, it didn’t have the same charm of the older towns of Spain, or even the few we had experienced in Portugal so far. No problem though, we had a place to lay our heads overnight, and then we would be gone. Our only puzzle for this evening was finding a place to eat.

The first place we stopped was very local – the patrons looked at us with suspicion and the staff avoided eye contact. After 20 minutes of no water, no beer, no wine, or even the acknowledgment of our existence, we moved on in search of a more welcoming place.

We found it at the Café Paris on the corner of Rua do Mercado and Rua de 13 Maio. With much enthusiasm, I recommend this place. The hospitality there was the kind that we would find to be the norm in Portugal. We ordered drinks and hamburgers. Portugal, so far, showing itself to be equal to the US in terms of hamburger quality. The café was operated by a couple, probably husband and wife. The husband ran the front-end of the business – the bar, waiting tables, bussing tables, and cavorting with the regulars. The wife ran the back office – the kitchen.

The husband delivered the order to the back and a few minutes later, the wife inconspicuously walked out of the back, through the café, and out into the streets. Five minutes later, she came back in the front door with a full bag from the market. It appeared as though they didn’t have the ingredients for a couple of burgers. No worries from us, we had plenty of time and would gratefully receive fresh ingredients.

15 minutes later, the husband delivered 2 hamburger plates to our table. They both looked fantastic! Mine was a traditional, American-style cheeseburger, Doug’s was a cheeseburger plus-plus. The foundation of it was traditional but was topped with sliced ham (on a HAMburger?!??), a fried egg, and the whole was swimming in a salsa like the Torta Ahogada of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

As we ate, the nervous chef, poked her head around the corner of the kitchen wall to read the expressions on the faces of the American Hamburger Connoisseurs. With no mirrors nearby, I assume the faces displayed satisfaction. The burgers were good, Portugal now being 3-for-3. We thanked the Front Man for his hospitality and complimented the chef for her good work.

From there it was back to our lodging for rest, we have our own work tomorrow.

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