Beyond Chaos

Matilda and I commenced the 3 day long Santarém Circuit cycling tour from my home-away-from-home, Caldas da Rainha. On this ride, we experienced both freezing downpours and, in complete contrast, some superbly sunny weather, I dined with some German Camino Portuguese pilgrims, and we even spent the night sharing the doorway of a closed camping ground with a bunch of feral cats! Along with all those delightfully unexpected events, we also visited some very interesting out-of.the-way places, such as the salt desalination basin (Salinas de Rio Maior) on the outskirts of Rio Maior and the holiday destination of Olhos d’Agua (Eyes of the Water).

Our main destination was the major inland city of Santarém, which is located on the banks of the Rio Tejo (Tagus River), the same one that flows out to the ocean beyond Lisbon. There we has the opportunity to do a walking tour to see some of the city’s major sites, such as the historic Santarém Cemetery, the Igreja de Santa Maria de Marvila and Santa Maria de Graça, Church of Our Lady, as well as the peacefully tranquil Jardim das Portas do Sol (Garden of the Gateway of the Sun).

With a longing heart,
into the unknown I ride.
My shadow falls long.

Beyond Chaos’ by Jyri Manninen

I hope that you’re able to capture some of the atmosphere of what it was like to not have the easiest of conditions to both cycle in, or to sleep, in the beginning, but then to enjoy, at the end, the complete opposite of riding in absolutely glorious, emotionally uplifting sunshine on the the final day of the tour.

Be blessed,

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