Bikepacking the Camino Portugal – Day 4: Coimbra to Oliveira de Azemeis – 57.4mi 3,655ft

image

Although uneventful, today had a few moments of delight with glorious views, sweeping rivers and cobbled streets. I didn’t take so many pictures although probably should have done.

About halfway today, I came across a beautiful river, amazing bridge and a large pond full of weed. On this pond an old man was piloting a large red weed remover/dredger to clear it out. It of course was a beautiful place to stop and have a break. However just before you reach this lovely spot, you cross over a main road into I guess the car park for here. On the side of the road was a tall, high-heeled lady wearing a very small red leather skirt. Now if you have ever been to this part of Europe, prostitutes are common in places like these especially in remote car parks next to main roads. As I set of down a dusty track, the old man was taking the lady towards some bushes. Of course I went the wrong way (again!) and not more than 3 minutes later I had realised and when doubling back to the pond, the old man was walking back to his barge as the lady came back putting her hair back up. It was hot day so I guess being quick saved getting over heated.

If you look at the map below just before you get to Albergaria-a-Velha, you can see a big loop. The main route bridge was out. Now this was one of the times I wish I’d had a riding companion as it did looked ride-able but as I was on my own, didn’t take the risk. I regret that now and wish I had tried to cross the river there. Instead there was a sizeable rather hilly detour to get back on track.

image

Weed whacker pond. Old man and prostitute not pictured

I stopped in Albergaria-a-Velha for lunch and had a meal of bread and oranges bought from and old man selling them from a wooden cart in a park. It was a peaceful place with good shade under the trees for food and a nap. The rather uneventful day finished in the town of Oliveira de Azemeis where a 4* Hotel offered a very good pilgrim deal. As I stank, needed a good sleep, shower and beer, I gave in and stayed the night. There is nothing like walking into a posh hotel with marble floors in your rank cycling kit and bike.

image

This is a working training track, honestly!

It was now time for a rest and getting ready for day 5 when I would get to Porto and finally the sea.

The Route:
Strava Route

Camino Portugal Day 5

 

4 thoughts on “Bikepacking the Camino Portugal – Day 4: Coimbra to Oliveira de Azemeis – 57.4mi 3,655ft

    • Yes it’s been a busy few months, the rest should be done soon though as I need to get the out the way ready for this years adventures!

  1. I’m glad I’ve stumbled upon this blog! Good write-up so far.

    I’m looking to ride it (probably) in June this year. I rode the Via de la Plata in 2014 and part of the TransAndalus and TransMurciana routes last year, but I have the itch to do another Camino in 2016!

    I hope you don’t mind me throwing a few questions at you:
    On the whole, how did you find the Camino Portugues?
    How rideable was it?
    How good (and frequent) were the camino markers / signage?

    All the best!
    Firmo

    • Hi thank you! The rest will be done soon and well before your trip as well as the section onwards from there.

      To answer your questions:

      The route was excellent and a delight to do in June. Hot but not too hot. Even on my own it was easy to converse, find my way and other than the dogs I enjoyed all of it.

      I did the route on my rigid 29er with 2.3 tyres and it was 100% rideable going down and 95% going up (only had to push the bike a few times). You could easily do this on a cross bike with a bit more carrying if you are used to riding them.

      The markers are numerous and very good. I only got lost as I’m rubbish at looking where I am going. The GPS was very useful to help get back on track and plan the next day. Over the whole distance there was maybe 2 times the arrows were vague but at one crossing there were 7 which I thought rather over kill…

Leave a Reply