We left the hostal this morning before 07:30 and walked to the nearby cafe to order a bocadillo each for lunch. I was also carrying a couple of oranges (already peeled to save weight), a couple of tomatoes, three biscuits and some nuts, together with 3 litres of water for our extra long stage today, as we would not pass by any sources of food or water until we arrive at our destination 38 km’s away. Three litres of water equals 3 kilos of weight so overall my pack was at least one and a half kilos heavier than normal. We set off on the road but were soon directed onto a track through meadowland and woodland.
Today was a day of animals, the first we saw were in a shed near the beginning of the walk. The tracks varied a great deal including wide sandy paths, stoney slopes, rocky tracks, and a lot of water to negotiate our way around. But without exception our surroundings were beautiful from start to finish. We made planned stops every 10 km, when I removed my boots and socks and ate my supplies. Some of the going was very rough and hard on the feet, especially my poorly right foot which gave me a few twangs of brief pain throughout the day.
I stopped to take so many photos of the surrounding splendour and could easily have taken many more but tried to restrict myself a bit. It was just so very lovely.
At about 8 km we came across a high gate that was locked and surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Luckily there was a small portion with no barbs and we climbed over here. There was a lot of elevation on this stage as we crossed the Sierra Moreno hills (mountains?), but the last 10 km was fairly flat. The signage has been excellent today and for the past couple of days. From about the half way mark today we started to see granite marker blocks at very regular intervals and a lot of effort has been put into steering us in the right direction.
About half way through the trek we came across a small holding where a charming old guy was tending his animals. He engaged me in conversation and seemed reluctant to let me go. I had to guess his age (77) and we talked about children and grandchildren before I noticed his black pigs roaming in the field behind us. He let two young ones out of the gate so that I could meet them properly. These black pigs are fed on the acorns of the holm oak which gives the meat a special (and very expensive) taste. The guys in the picture are around six months old and will be slaughtered at a year (if I understood correctly). He also had several dogs, sheep, a goat and a young horse. It was lovely to chat to him – this is something I have missed about this route so far.
After our second break at 20 km I allowed myself to plug in and listen to a couple of radio dramas to try to take my mind off my aching feet and after the last break when we were on the home straight I tuned into my playlist to give myself a bit of a boost.
The photos will speak for themselves as regards the terrain – the flowers were even more stunning than usual.
I have enjoyed wearing a sleeveless T-shirt the last couple of days. It is good to have my arms out, even if the bingo wings are a bit active. I even got my legs out today when I unzipped the bottoms from my walking trousers.
We actively walked for over seven hours and arrived at our destination around 16:30. I, for one, was absolutely knackered. We found accommodation in hostel El Parador and have been allocated a twin room each with ensuite for 15€. Excellent value. It took me a while to summon the energy to shower and wash my clothes and rig up a washing line outside my window.
I am now sitting in the bar with a glass of hideously sweet white wine. It seems impossible to buy s glass of simple dry white wine in this area. Most bars offer only ‘fino’ a sherry-like dry wine which makes me shudder almost as much as this sweet wine that I am drinking now. I shall have to change my drink until we reach a different area.
I will add facts and figures when I have more energy and patience – wordpress or wifi is not being very cooperative right now!
And here they are….
Distance according to notes (wikiloc stopped recording during the day) 38 km
Total distance walked 319 km, average 26.6 km per day
Today’s spend – bocadillo 3€, tinto de verano 1.20€, hostal 15€, dinner and drinks 8.50€. Total 27.70€
Twelve days total spend 306€