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J54 - Wednesday, December 9: Aveiro – 10km au sud de Figueira Da Foz

78.18km – 10H09’
It was like spring today:  11° to 22° C – out came the T-shirts and sun glasses
We purposely chose not to go through Porto for 3 reasons:
•    Yesterday was particularly busy because it was a holiday
•    We are due in Lisbon on December 12
•    It is always difficult for the team to navigate with vehicles in big cities
So we will have to return to visit this lovely city, the second most important city in the country after Lisbon, which is apparently a delight to visit on foot.
Aveiro, which we left this morning, is the third largest city of Portugal.  Here the activity centers around the harbour, fishing, salt from the marshes and industry. Until 20 years ago when it closed, the most important ceramic producer was located in Aveiro.  The factory has been renovated and converted into offices and a conference center.
One sees ceramics everywhere, on the front of homes, on street signs, of which some are very decorative and often represent a text, like a painting.
At 7:00 AM, the dream team is ready.  Brigitte and Roger leave at the same time as Serge and his acolytes: René and Joël.
Exiting Aveiro on a dual carriageway takes place in a stream of vehicles.  Leaving Ilhavo, there are two detours which force Serge to go an extra 3 km to reach Vagos.  Brigitte and Roger accompany the caravan to km20 before leaving to go ahead to km35 to prepare a surprise.
There is one straight line after another, just like the trucks.
At km35 Serge has the pleasure of seeing Brigitte dressed in a Norman costume and making pancakes at the side of the road.  Serge doesn’t have to be coaxed to eat 4 pancakes with blackberry jam, before taking off again.  The team eats pancakes too and has a “bowl” of homemade apple cider with a steaming portion of “tartiflette” (a deep dish pie of potatoes, onions, bacon and cheese) which is delicious.  Brigitte is a wizard!
The kilometers stretch out and the minutes don’t tick by fast enough; Serge, head down, seems to be tired.  The trucks that pass him, barely missing him, seem to suck up all his energy.  The finish takes place as night falls, after Figueira Da Foz.  The 2 bridges over the Mondego River are 5km of dual carriageway, which is not very pleasant.  And of course Maria isn’t there to help Serge forget his race and the time that is passing.
But tonight we are invited to dinner « chez Adrienne. »  Brigitte and Roger have a mobile restaurant in their camper and we are their guests.  Serge and the team eat with a good appetite: 2 small quail raised by them, potatoes from their garden, a Camembert cheese and apple pie, all accompanied by a Beaujolais!  This festive and friendly dinner brings our 54th day to a close.
Tomorrow, Carriço, then we head toward the beaches on the N343, Vieira, Velba and Nazaré for a finish just a bit south for the 4000km.
On the subject of figures and at the demand of the « Boss Runner, » the daily kilometers will be given with 2 digits after the decimal point, which is exact, because I was rounding either up or down.  Garmin connect, on which all of Serge’s activities are transmitted from his watch to the site, gives a cumulative total of 3,923.98km.
D52, Serge ran 75.9 in 9H31 and not 74.9 in 9H23, with my rounded calculations I get 3,923K8km, that is a 180m difference.( For me, who loves figures and complicated  calculations, I’m well served)
So, because Serge wants me to start with 3,923.98km and put the 2 digits after the decimal point, today we leave accurately.  Tomorrow 4000km will be clocked at 76,02km for the purists, among whom we find Serge!

Town : 10km au sud de Figuira Da Foz ( district de Coimbra)

GPS : N°40.04262° W008.85456°