Distance, 31.5 km
Elevation gain, 603. m
Elevation loss, 709 m
Total distance, 466.5 km
Daily average, 29 km
We make an early departure this morning as rain is forecast for later in the day and we want to make a good start before it comes. At 06:30 it is completely dark and we are immediately on tracks already muddy from earlier rainfall. We take a wrong turn and it is quite a while before I check our progress on maps.me and discover our mistake. Rather than retrace our steps we take a path through olive groves, some firm underfoot, others freshly ploughed to remove weeds. We eventually regained the rightful track but probably added at least one km to our journey, and not an inconsiderable amount of mud to our boots!
Then there was a continuous climb – 300 m over 4 km, through petty natural woodland on narrow rocky track. When we reached the summit there was a long stretch of flat track. Flat track in rainy weather = a lot of water hanging around. And there was A LOT of water, and boggy, sticky clay of the type that clings tight to your boots. And then the rain started – sometimes heavy and sometimes not so heavy and occasionally not at all. The flat track made up around half of our distance today, perhaps 15 km of slippy, slidey, heavy booty slog. But the scenery was very beautiful and on a fine day it would have been a heavenly walk.
The problem with these conditions is that it is not appropriate to stop for a break. There is nowhere dry to sit and if it’s chilly you need to keep moving. So we just kept going until we reached the village of Viana at 23.5 km when we had been walking non stop for six hours. Even then we only stopped for a few minutes as the bar does not open during the week – there are only five weekday inhabitants. I ate a bit of the bocadillo I had made for myself, which left a lot to be desired, and we were up and off again within 10-12 minutes.
Overlooking the village are twin mountains known as the Tetas de Viana (tetas/tits!). Today was definitely not a day for a side trip. Apparently after a steep climb on track, there is a chain to pull yourself up and finally a metal ladder to reach the top.
The track from Viana to Trillo was beautiful – narrow, steep, winding, woodland, far reaching views, rock formations, green forested valleys. And rain, even hail for a few minutes. But luckily the soil was not the sticky type and for the most part the rain cleaned our boots.
It’s such a shame that we couldn’t make the most of this stage, taking our time and picnicking along the way.
Trillo is, I believe, a tourist town. There are a series of pristine tumbling waterfalls cascading through the town from the Rio Cifuentes. In contrast, the Rio Tajo also flows through the town from another direction and at the moment it is totally swollen with brown muddy water.
The tetas that overlook Trillo are of a different kind – a nuclear power station!
The albergue here is alongside the bullring. There is a room with four beds and two showers and loos. All very clean. But no blankets or pillows. My sleeping bag is very lightweight, so it might be a long cold night! And guess what tomorrow is due to bring? Rain and temperatures that feel like 0 degrees. Hey, ho!