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J53 - Tuesday, December 8: Rio Mau - Aveiro

At the finish: Fatima, Cesar, Brigitte, Roger, Maria, Jean-Claude, our Duponts
80.4km – 9H50’
Our day was well-occupied day and gave us the impression of having taken a giant step forward, now that we are going north to south, rather than east to west.
At kilometer 15 we cross the Duoro and leave the valley via hilly roads all the way to Esmoriz at kilometer 35, where we can see a bit of the Atlantic Ocean.  We take the N109 which runs along the ocean but heads away from it almost immediately and we aren’t able to take advantage of the beaches.
Cesar Bassa was waiting for Serge this morning at departure with a gift: 2 bottles of Vinho Verde.  He runs with us this morning and will return this afternoon accompanied by Fatima, his wife, and two athletes: Jean-Claude, a Frenchman and his wife, Maria, who is Portuguese and completely bilingual.  This morning Maria was in a race, after which she jogged for 20 km with Serge and this afternoon she accompanied Serge at a fast pace because the two runners were galloping rather than running.  Maria admits to being very talkative and Serge is very happy to talk with this fine athlete: runner up to the woman who won the 100 km of Millau last year and first in the women’s veteran category of the Berlin Marathon this year... among other things.
Today, December 8 is a holiday in Portugal.  It is the feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Religion, particularly Roman Catholicism, is practiced in this country.  This morning churches are full.  
I open a parenthesis concerning language:  In Portugal French and English are spoken more than Spanish.  Beware of preconceived ideas like mine when you cross the border.
There is another big surprise:  Roger and Brigitte, our neighbors from Normandy, came to join us for two days (2x800km), at the wheel of their camper and they don’t seem to be tired from the trip they have made.  We knew that they would join us but I didn’t think they would be with us so quickly or that they would even pass us, since this morning they looked for us in Aveiro before doubling back and finding us at km 50, on the N109 near Ovar.
Since this morning, Serge has something in mind for his clocking of 4000km and he is overdoing on kilometers….motivation, motivation!
Brigitte brought us homemade caramels made from milk from the farm and I am pretty sure she will have other surprises for us in her freezer because she is a “remarkable” cook.
The « Dupontst » to use the spelling of HergĂ©, as Thomas has pointed out, have had it and they won’t need any lullaby to get them to sleep.  As to Tintin, alias Serge, he doesn’t lose sight of his mission and I must admit that the role of la Castafiore does not particularly interest me!!!
Tomorrow: llhavo – Mira – Figueira da Foz – we will be on the N 109
Enfin, la montre de Serge semble avoir connu un petit « bug » hier, et en fait, il aurait parcouru 1 km de plus ; et passé 8 minutes de plus sur la route. On rectifiera demain.
And lastly, Serge’s watch had a small bug yesterday.  He ran 1km more than shown and spent 8 minutes more than indicated on the road.  We will make the correction tomorrow

Town : Aveiro (District de Aveiro)

GPS : N°40.38418° W008.37988°