Daily average, 30.35 km
Last night, just as we settled down with our shared blanket, the darkened room suddenly lit up, followed by an almighty crash and then the sound of heavy rain on a hot tin roof. I don’t know how long it lasted as I must have fallen asleep despite the loud pattering. It wasn’t the most comfortable night, sleeping on a thick plastic mattress in a very cold hall, but it was free and we were treated very kindly.
We left via the emergency exit at around 07:00 prepared for a very long day. It was quite cold and as we passed through the church square we were very pleased to see one of the bars open. Hot drinks were supplied, but no toast was available. We were walking on tacks immediately on leaving the town, between huge fields of newly planted peas with wind turbines flanking us on both sides.
It was a beautiful morning, although cold there was no wind and the sun shone brightly from a blue sky. I had another ‘halo’ moment, but couldn’t see one around Nina. But she could see her halo and not mine. It must be a case of ‘in the eye of the beholder’
We met some new friends on the way, but I was a bit horrified when I saw the dog take a poop in the middle of the pea field. Not that I am trying to put anyone off their peas, but I’d never thought about that happening before.
At 7 km there starts a long slog on the road. A quiet road, but 9 km on asphalt takes its toll. The road passed through a pine forrest and Nina was intrigued to see processionary caterpillars for the first time. The pesky things were trailing all over the place and we needed to watch our step so as not to squish them.
At 16 km we arrived at the village of Paracuellos. There is apparently a bar in town but we didn’t go out of our way to find it, preferring to take a break sitting on the grass that surrounds the impressive castle and overlooks the gorge below. We could have stayed there indefinitely – it was warm and comfortable and the view was magnificent, but we still had 20 km to cover in the increasing heat and so needed to get on our way.
We had to clamber and climb down over rocks to reach the foot of the castle and then we were walking along a lovely trail around the edge of the gorge. And then, sadly, we were back on the road, climbing for 3+ km until reaching another gravel track. By now the day was really heating up and I had stripped all but sleeveless t-shirt and shorts.
Today we came upon our first sighting of farm animals…goats out for the day and and being allowed to feast on newly planted peas. I’m sure the farmer would have been livid, but it was great to finally see some animals out and about.
36 km is a long hard walk and we were very glad to finally see our destination in the distance with a castle sitting atop a huge mound of rock. We were equally glad to see a casa rural / bar at the entrance to town and promptly made straight for it. Villa de Pedalillo is a quirky mix of bar / restaurant / pensión / albergue. Apparently there are beds in the attic as a sort of albergue, but it was full when we enquired. But Joachim, the owner, offered us beds in the pensión and talked himself down from 15 euros to 12 euros without us saying a word. The outside of the place is a bit on the scruffy side, but it is decorated in an interesting way with lots of paraphanalia adorning every surface.
We asked if there was a shop. Yes, but we would never find it because it was in a house! We were escorted by a woman who at first seemed a bit remote, but as soon as we started communicating, she became our new best friend. The shop was closed. Our friend phoned the owner who was at hospital for the birth of her grandchild. So we took a look around the village, which didn’t take long and we resisted the urge to climb up to the castle, which seemed too much effort for our tired feet.
Joachim made me a delicious salad for dinner – so big that I couldn’t finish it and piled the leftovers into my carry pot. Our new friend returned to the bar and introduced us to her husband and his cousin. A fire was lit in the pot bellied stove and all was very jovial. The guys disappeared for a short while and returned with camino baseball caps for us. All in all, a very pleasant evening rounded off with hugs for all.
Joachim can be contacted on 691 539 206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.