Back in the western US, we had a joke about how there were miles, and then there were Forest Service miles. If you were hiking a trail in a national forest, and the Forest Service sign said the trail was 6 miles long, you could be sure the route was actually 8 miles or so.
In Portugal we have walking trails which are pieced together through dirt paths, old gravel roads, tarmac roads, and easements between agricultural fields (and sometimes through those agricultural fields). They’re signed with a system of painted directional arrows, or straight lines. Sometimes, on a really nicely signed route, those directional symbols are actually burned into wooden posts designed just for that purpose. But mostly they’re spray painted onto sides of buildings, power poles, rock walls, etc. Often they’re faded so badly that they’re hard to see. And in many cases when you’re faced with an intersection and don’t know which way to turn, the symbol will be painted not at the intersection itself, but 20 or 30 meters down the correct path. That’s if there are any symbols at all — sometimes you don’t see a symbol for quite some time, so if you take a wrong turn and there aren’t any symbols for 500 meters, that’s not necessarily an indicator that you’re going the wrong way.
Needless to say, walking a Portuguese route that you aren’t familiar with involves many wrong turns and lots of extra distance. Today we explored a lovely route that was billed as being 9 kilometers. But those were Portuguese trail kilometers. Like our Forest Service miles, a Portuguese trail kilometer (I am now convinced) equals 1.3 normal kilometers. So we really hiked 11.7 km.
Which is why we are all salivating over the steaks currently on the grill.