Jan 28, 2022
I was deep in the interior of Portugal on this day nine years ago, not too far from the Spanish border. The old blog posts below tell the story. Being the middle of winter, the weather wasn’t too flash, but it improved the further inland I got.
Jan 25, 2013
Distance today = 40.48 km; Total distance = 15,490.20 km; Location = Lourinha – 39 14.689′ N, 09 18.954′ W; Start time = 0932, Finish time = 1557
It was a bleak day weather-wise, but positive in all other regards. The heel still hurts a bit after about 20 km, but it’s not too concerning. As long as it doesn’t get any worse than it currently is, I’ll be very happy.
Once again, there was drizzle all day long, as well as some heavy fog at times. When you’re wet and cold and unable to see more than fifty metres in front of you, it’s hard to enjoy the running. But, as I tell myself, there are many people in the world with a far worse lot than mine at the moment, so I’m not complaining.
I’ve been hugging the coast the past two days, but tomorrow I’ll start heading inland, toward the Spanish border. The terrain has been very hilly, and I’m not expecting that to change. In fact, it will be pretty hilly for the next few thousand kilometres, so I’d better get used to it.
I discovered that last night’s town, Ericeira, hosts a second tier event on the world professional surfing tour. Surfing has pretty much taken over the town, although it still retains its quaintness and charm. So, if you’re a surfer and you happen to visit Ericeira one time, you should stay at the Hotel Vilazul. Great value, with a decent restaurant attached too, and very nice people.
As you may have noticed, I’ve started with shorter distances than usual, as I build back up to the normal 50 km per day. I should be back there within a few days.
Jan 26, 2013
Distance today = 49.80 km; Total distance = 15,540.00 km; Location = Rio Maior – 39 20.162′ N, 08 56.162′ W; Start time = 0906, Finish time = 1732
There was barely a peep out of my left heel today, although my quads were very sore. That’s to be expected. Perversely, my right heel actually ached a bit, but it’s nothing to worry about.
It was a beautiful day of running, through quaint villages and along quiet back roads in the Portuguese countryside. There will be a lot of these roads throughout Europe, particularly in France. I even spent some time on a fire trail, hopping over fallen trees that were across the road. And Carmel had a tough time in the car on one very narrow dirt road with crumbling edges.
The weather was a lot better today. Although there was only a bit of sun, the temperature was quite high for winter – around the 20C mark – and there was no rain. If every day in Europe was to be like today, I’d be pretty happy.
Jan 27, 2013
Distance today = 47.54 km; Total distance = 15,587.54 km; Location = Torres Novas – 39 28.742′ N, 08 32.378′ W; Start time = 0926, Finish time = 1656
In terms of the weather, this was one of the worst days of the world run so far. It was miserable, with cold rain coming down for much of the day. However, the last half hour saw the sun come out, as I ran into the delightful and ancient town of Torres Novas.
During the morning, I was constantly passing runners who were warming up, yet they were in the middle of nowhere on country roads. I eventually found out what was happening when a police car came by, escorting racers carrying batons. It turns out, there was a long relay race, with many teams competing. Lots of spectators along the road commented that I was running the wrong way.
I reached a town where Carmel had stopped and located a street stall that was cooking Portuguese-style chicken – you can’t get more authentic than that. We were going to buy some, until the cook showed us the list of orders. We were going to have to wait an hour!!!! It must have been good.
It was great to get into town and warm up. As I mentioned, the town is great, the hotel is great, and the room has a spa and exceptional internet reception. What more can a weary runner want?
It really is a pleasure to run through these towns, with narrow cobblestone streets, houses that are hundreds of years old, and a castle perched on the high point, overlooking the town. That’s the panorama that greeted me on finishing this afternoon.
My thighs are still sore, and may be for a couple of days yet. Other than that, I’m feeling pretty good, but I hope the weather improves tomorrow. The forecast says it will.
Jan 28, 2013
Distance today = 51.98 km; Total distance = 15,639.52 km; Location = Alvega – 39 28.001′ N, 08 03.013′ W; Start time = 0915, Finish time = 1730
Cracked the 50 km mark today, so I’m pretty much back to normal now. The weather was greatly improved – a bit misty in the morning, but the afternoon was perfect. I finished the day in the late afternoon sunshine, with the shadows long and low, and not a breath of wind. Running through rustic villages in these conditions reminded me of riding with my old mate, Quinny, on the Tour de Bois. He would have loved this afternoon.
Tonight we’re staying in a 300 year old hotel. The room is huge and grand, with antique furniture throughout. Portugal is a bit of a hidden treasure. Many tourists are not really aware of the place. I’ve always enjoyed it here. Ever since we met our great friends, Vanessa and PT, back in in 1986, through the visits in regard to wave energy, and now the world run, it’s been a place I’ve really enjoyed. It’s a very diverse country, with a great maritime culture, but also historic villages and castles in the interior of the country.
I’m a bit tired tonight, which I guess is to be expected. I’m looking forward to a very nice sleep in a very nice old bed.