Camino Mozárabe (Via de la Plata) – day 21 – Alcuéscar to Valdesalor 25.9 km

Well, the tour was interesting, if a little depressing. I didn’t understand everything that was said, but the gist was that this organisation started by P Leocadio Galán Barrena (see first photo), who died in the 1990‘s, runs five homes for elderly and mentally infirm men. It receives no funding from government and it is free at the point of service. There are in the region of 80 men being looked after on this site, who have various mental and physical disabilities. They are encouraged where possible to make simple craft items like small rugs, baskets and toys. Whilst we were being shown around a guy in a motorised wheelchair wheeled up to me and held my hand as we walked along the corridor.

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We had been invited to partake of a communal dinner which I had signed up for on arrival, but as we walked around the establishment I became a bit concerned (and not at all proud of it) that we would be taking our meal with the patients. This turned out not to be the case and we ate in a separate dining room with the cook and the hospitalero. There was an excellent lentil and chorizo soup followed by green beans, olives and a hamburger, and finished off with a piece of fruit. After which we all mucked in to clear away and wash and dry the dishes. There were sixteen pilgrims, the four French guys walking together, another French guy, a French Canadian, three Spanish, three English, one Irish (I think) and the two Hungarians from last night. A lovely mix of people.

Lockdown was at 21:00 so no time to sneak out for a vino, and lights out at 22:00. I think we are locked in until 07:30 which is absolutely fine by me. All in all, quite an experience here – I’m glad I stayed and got to know these guys a bit better, but I hope to walk to Cáseres tomorrow and I doubt if many will be walking that far. Vamos a ver!

A lovely walk again today, almost all on tracks, albeit some close to the road for a while. I realised quite soon that I won’t be walking to Cáseres, which is 37 km – I just don’t feel I have the energy. There is a lot of livestock today, mostly sheep but many cows also. I stop for a while to chat to a shepherd and made a fuss of his collie who came up to me demanding attention.

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Much water surrounds the tracks today, mostly catered for with huge granite stepping stones, and a couple of ancient bridges. The sky is blue with lots of fluffy clouds – perfect for walking. The forecast is for hotter weather tomorrow.

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The Camino today bypasses two villages/towns, both of which could easily have been diverted to without adding many metres to the walk. I stopped for a boots-off break at around 12 km, perching on a well-placed granite block and ate some biscuits and nuts and a satsuma.

Traversing the landing strip of a private airport was a bit disconcerting, especially as a small plane had landed seconds before I arrived and there was no sign where I should be going – but straight across was the way to go!

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Since parting from Super George, I have been keeping pace with the same group of people who all walk their own walk but are very friendly at journey’s end.

Tonight’s albergue is situated at the very beginning of the town- the keys are kept in the small bar opposite. It is very nice with plenty of room between the 7 bunks, a fully functioning kitchen (with washing machine) and a large dining/sitting room. The town however does not cater so well for their visitors. I had to search hard to find a bar when looking for wifi (no wifi at the bar, but felt obliged to have a drink anyway!), and am currently in the library which is open for two hours 16:00 – 18:00 and offering a good connection.

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I haven’t seen any shops yet, but if I do I shall probably buy some supplies for supper and ‘do it myself’.

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Distance according to wikiloc (my own recording) 25.9 km, Fitbit recorded steps
Accumulated elevation uphill 21 metres
Accumulated elevation downhill 23 metres
Total distance walked 564.9 km, average 26.9 km per day

Today’s spend – drinks 5€, shopping 6€, albergue 6€. Spend for the day 17€ (mostly guesswork)
Twenty-one days total spend 509.38€

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
This entry was posted in Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino Mozarabe and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Camino Mozárabe (Via de la Plata) – day 21 – Alcuéscar to Valdesalor 25.9 km

  1. cindy jones says:

    Another lovely blog, so interesting.

    Like

  2. janpow123 says:

    Beautiful photos again Maggie…lots of lovely blue and green in them.
    Go on girl…your doing SO well!

    Like

  3. Leona says:

    Another lovely description and beautiful pictures. You keep my motivation up and strong to return to Spain and complete my camino. Prayers sent your way.

    Like

  4. mary lynch says:

    Maggie your blog is the high light of my day! I’m loving it. Your albergue for tonight looks very comfortable and I hope you sleep well. Wonderful photos as usual. I see the potential for a book when you have finished walking! Buen camino

    Like

  5. David Wolfe says:

    Another good day with nice walking conditions lovely pictures with nice old bridges have a good evening maybe talk later if not sleep well xx

    Like

  6. How are the blisters behaving? Hopefully they are stable and will fade away.

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  7. zohar says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Like

  8. I love all the photos as I can linger over them and close my eyes to smell the earth and flowers.
    Another good day and no rain. ❤

    Like

  9. Heather says:

    Hope you find some dinner Maggie! xxx

    Like

  10. Katherine Paterson says:

    Loved yesterdays surgical details, hope said blisters are on the mend? Love the bridges, how important they must have been!

    Like

  11. Sean says:

    Hi Magwood,
    I am a bit confused reading this blog about your apprehension of having to eat with the people residing in this place. You (read) relieved that you ate in a separate area. I do not see this in your character from what I have read of your travels to date. Apologies if I misunderstood your wording.
    Sean,
    Dublin

    Liked by 1 person

    • magwood says:

      Hi Sean. Yes you read right. I did say I wasn’t proud of my feeling, but I try to be honest. I felt very uncomfortable during our tour of the premises, as if we were gawping. I guess it is healthy to let people know what it is like in such a place and they certainly do wonderful work. Many of the residents seemed to be in quite a distressed state, lots of noises and pulling at clothes and I just didn’t know how I would cope in that situation for any length of time. I was happy that the one guy wanted to hold my hand, but generally the experience was out of my comfort zone. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person, just an inexperienced one.

      Like

  12. lynharrison4wind says:

    The stork photos are amazing. What a priviledge to get that close and what a knowing eye you received. i am boring everybody silly around here with the impressive statistc provided by one of your blog followers that you are doing the equivalent of four marathons a week. Puts all those London marathon runners in their place! hope you had another good day.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. brystler says:

    Maggie,
    the little lamb was smiling at you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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