Camino Mozárabe (Via de la Plata) – day 19 – Mérida to Aljucén 17 km

My first night on top of a bunk bed was spent (for the first/most part) most uncomfortably. Feet that have walked a long distance ache and throb, and possibly/probably have blisters. My feet complied with the norm. Lying on my back caused my heels to hurt. Lying on my side caused feet to hurt and legs to ache. Lying on my front may have alleviated these problems but would have caused havoc with my neck. So I very quietly and smoothly tossed and turned (so as not to cause too much rattling and movement of the bunk and annoy my downstairs neighbour). From time to time I gave up trying to sleep and read for a while, but I was tired and the reading didn’t last for long. But eventually the aches must have eased because I did sleep for long enough to feel ready for the fray this morning.

I had forgotten the ?joys? of sleeping en masse. Firstly, when George and I returned to base yesterday evening at around 21:30 half the pilgrims were already tucked up in bed and had the lights off. Not ideal for sorting out your stuff in the pitch dark whilst tryng to make as little noise as possible. I did my best. I rose early in order to use the ‘facilities’ in peace (achieved – no small task with 2 loos between 24 pilgrims) and bade farewell to George who was up and off with the early birds – and then returned to my bunk for an hour or so.

When I left the dormitory I appreciated that someone had opened a window in the hallway and the fresh air was a pleasure – but on returning to the dorm I was hit by a wall of stale hot air – really disgusting.

Walking out of Mérida this morning was easy and then The way transferred to a green (green painted path) track for a few km’s, trailed around a huge reservoir and then onto a minor road and through holm oak woodland where the heavens opened upon me. Proper fat dollops of rain that soon soaked my walking pants and eventually seeped into my boots until I was squelching along the track with rivulets (not sure if that’s a word, but you will know what I mean) were flowing all around me.

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After 17 short kms I reached the destinstion of my ‘day off’ at Aljucén where there is an albergue with 17 beds. I was first into a ‘mujeres’ room of a single and a bunk. I wrung out my socks and stuffed my boots with newspaper in an attempt to dry them out.

A very diminutive German man asked me if the allocation of single sex rooms was a rule not to be broken. He explained that he was in his late seventies and the only bed in the ‘hombres’ room was a top bunk, which would have been difficult for him. He asked if he could use the lower bunk in my room. My first question was ‘do you snore?’ To which he answere ‘yes’. So I said that I am sure it would depend on who else turned up at the albergue, if more women wanted the single sex room, then it wasn’t for me to offer him the bed, but pointed out that there were some folding beds in the communal room that he could use. Phew, that was a close call, dealt with diplomatically I think.

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This afternoon I met with some friends who live locally who I have previously only known via facebook, and it was lovely to get to know them in person. I had also planned to ‘take to the waters’ as there is a therapeutic hot spring bath in this village, but I spent too much time (and drank too many wines) in the bar, so returned to the albergue for the ‘signing in’ session, followed by a tour of the church.

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There is a predominance of men staying here, just three women amongst 8 men – a party of five French, a Bulgarian couple, and a spanish couple walking with a French guy. I also met a couple of guys from Birmingham and a Welsh woman in the bar, who are staying elsewhere in the village.

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Not many photos today due to the rain.
The sun came out long enough to dry the boots but the sky has now returned to a blanket grey. More rain is predicted for tomorrow.

I haven’t mentioned the splendours of Mérida. I visited many years ago and was blown away by the Roman amphitheatre – simply stunning. There are apparently other Roman remains and museums too many to mention. It is certainly a place well worth visiting.

Distance according to wikiloc (my own recording) 16.9 km, mapmywalk 18.02 km, Fitbit recorded steps 25,453
Accumulated elevation uphill 140 metres
Accumulated elevation downhill 67 metres
Total distance walked 518.8km, average 27.3 km per day

Today’s spend – Coffee 1€, drinks (tab very kindly picked up by my friends) 1.5€, albergue 10€, menu del dia 7.50€. Spend for the day 20€
Nineteen days total spend 473.88€

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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11 Responses to Camino Mozárabe (Via de la Plata) – day 19 – Mérida to Aljucén 17 km

  1. suesharpe04 says:

    It was lovely to (finally) meet you!
    Have a safe onward camino xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Still a pleasure to read your posts, even on rainy days. Rainy days that belong to the Camino too, but not too much and hope you don’t experience many more of them!

    Like

  3. David Wolfe says:

    All afternoon I have been thinking that you were relaxing in the waters and refreshing you aching body. How wrong I was but I suppose enough vino could have the same effect. Maybe if it is raining in the morning you could delay setting off and take the waters for an hour or two. Sleep well

    Like

  4. You met Sue! I’m jealous! Mérida is a jewel. Buen camino.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. janpow123 says:

    Oh you poor sausage…you’ve had a mixed bag over the past couple of days with some ups and downs, but how nice to spend some time with friends on your time off! While dipping in and out of the coverage of the London Marathon this morning I got my calculator out and worked out that you have walked the equivalent of 12 marathons in the last 3 weeks…that’s 4 per week! I have included the km’s walked prior to this from Canillas-Malaga….you deserve them! I’ll say no more other than , take care and Buen Camino otra vez!

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  6. Katherine Paterson says:

    Well I suppose the wine could count as a very therapeutic internal “taking of the waters”!!
    Stuffy smelly dorm, eeeek!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Woohoo!! You’re halfway through. Or is this where pilgrims start to dread the ending of the walk?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Maggie, I am in awe of your walking. Any blisters? Did you feel refreshed enough after your short sleep? Lovely pictures again. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  9. mary lynch says:

    You poor pet, not sleeping well having walked 45kms. Saying goodbye to George must have been a bit difficult. Your first immersion into a large smelly dorm on this trip. Things can only get better, you seem to be made of sterling stuff Maggie and will settle into the new way in no time. Buen Camino

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Keith Rocks says:

    I agree Maggie, Merida is a fab place to visit. Hope the rain holds off for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great diplomacy with the older gent over the bed – that was fast thinking on your very tired feet! That lovely photo of the bird looks like a painting – I love it! Happy legs tomorrow Maggie!

    Liked by 1 person

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