Yesterday afternoon Kev from California turned up in a police car. He’d got to the base of the final climb I mentioned yesterday and felt he just couldn’t make it. They took him to a doctor but all he could suggest is that it was the effect of drinking Seville tap water, but I drank copious amounts. 

Last night I kept getting woken up through the night again by the cacophony  of  snoring – it doesn’t help when the days are long!

It was misty and dark when I called into a bar for breakfast at  8 am.

almaden via de la plata

There were two options today – a short 15km walk to El Real de la  Jara or a long  34km one through to Monasterio. I had planned on the longer walk , but I could barely hobble around after getting out of bed this morning, so I thought I’d see how it went . Staying in hostels, there’s no booking so it’s very flexible .

I used my walking sticks to take some weight off my legs. Shades of Modigliani.

The walk today took me through open country with four types of oak  tree including the cork oak. This is country is called called ‘dehasa’. Pigs, of a breed thought to date back to Neolithic times, roam freely through the forest eating the acorns and fertilising the trees. Sheep and goats can also be seen.

inerian pig via de la plata

The goats are very acustomed to people and didn’t run off like the goats on my recent walk on Ithaca.

Via de la Plata Extremadura

This is a cork oak, showing where the cork was cut off some years ago.

Via de la Plata
I walked for a while with Bert until we reached El Real where he decided to stay. My leg was feeling OK so I had lunch in a local bar then kept going .

On the edge of town is an impressive castle and there’s another one a few kilometres further on.

Via de la Plata
The second one is next to a creek which marks the border between Andalucia and Extremadura – I’m into my second Spanish region!

Via de la Plata
The provenance of these castles is unknown, but they probably formed the northern line of defence of the moorish kingdoms against the advancing Christian forces .

The afternoon was a long and somewhat arduous walk without much shade.

via de la plata

I ran into Bruno and Maria from Rome. They’d started the same day as me but I hadn’t seen them as they are staying in hotels rather than hostels.

Via de la Plata
They’ve done lots of long walks before as you can see from the badges and they’re going all the way to Santiago like me .

What country am I in again ? Could be a Mt Cootha walk!

We had to negotiate some nasty recent road work .

Via de la Plata

I finally arrived in Monasterio around 5pm after 9 hours on the road. I was tempted by a special Pilgrim offer of a hotel on the edge of town – €25 for room with my own bathroom AND my own power point, dinner and breakfast and no snoring except my own!

Monasterio is a nice little town. This is the Mudejar ( Muslims living under Christian rule) style church with the obligatory storks’ nests.

Monastetio via de la  plata