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Caminho Portuguese Day 5: Santarem to Monsanto. Day of the Revolution

“I remember vividly in 1974 being in the mass of people, descending the streets in my native Lisbon, in Portugal, celebrating the democratic revolution and freedom.”

Vaclev Havel

In 1976 the United States of America celebrated its 200th birthday. That same year Portugal celebrated its…2nd.

No, that’s not a typo. Although Portugal as a country dates back to the 12th Century, the country considers April 25, 1974 as the birthday of its current form of government. On that day a half century old dictatorship fell to a coup led by military officers which was quickly supported by civilian dissidents. This “Carnation Revolution” earned its title as there were very few deaths and a restaurant worker offered carnations to soldiers when the civilian population celebrated the end of the dictatorship. The event led to a transition to democracy and the end of colonial wars. So far we’ve only noticed it through a few closed stores, flags, and a parade we watched on TV at a local cafe.

Revolution or not, today was our best day of hiking. It was mostly quiet country roads through small farmsteads. There were beautiful flowers, wild figs, and a friendly horse with a hair do that made Laurie jealous. She wants to know what brand of conditioner it uses.

We also saw our very first cork trees. The bark is stripped on the tree and then left to grow back to be harvested again later. The tree on the left below has been harvested, the one on the right is a close up of a young tree.

As with yesterday, we find the people very friendly and welcoming, even if our ability to communicate is limited.

Most of our hikes on this trip have been on flat terrain. Today was our first hilly section as you can see in the elevation profile in the upper left of Laurie’s Relive video.

Questions, comments, or observations welcome.

3 thoughts on “Caminho Portuguese Day 5: Santarem to Monsanto. Day of the Revolution”

    1. This is our first trip using only iPhones for photos. I usually also use a Canon Powershot but left it behind for the weight and to simplify. I do miss the 40X zoom on the Canon, but I think it was a good trade off.

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