Last night I shared a room with Enrique from Seville. He’s a slow speaker so we were able to have quite a good conversation in Spanish.

In the morning, I headed off through the town and across the fields at 8.30. 

via de la plata zafra
That shadow keeps following me !

After a short while I caught up with Ruth from Ireland who is walking alone to Santiago. A friend walked with her for a few days to get a feel for what it’s like. 

Not long after, Luís from Barcelona caught up with us and we walked together for a while. Soon though Luís and I were walking alone as Ruth stopped for a coffee in a village and we kept going.

via de la plata zafra
It was a hot day, with temperatures in the low 30s and very little shade.

 We passed some very big vineyards . We are in the Ribera wine region. It’s strange that in this hot climate they’re only harvesting the grapes now late in September. The vines are cropped to be very low.

Luís and I chatted a lot in Spanish – I’m slow la improving. He suggested a stop when we found a tree for some shade . Eventually one appeared  but it was a bit hard to get to because there was ditch on one side. I tried the other side which was grassed over and gingerly felt the way with my walking sticks. All of a sudden the ground gave way and I found myself up to my head in a deep ditch. Luckily Luís is a strong young bloke and with his help I was able to get out. Of course I landed in my sore leg which was a bit more painful  for the rest of the day!

The next tree was a lot easier to access and I had a nice feed of figs.

We continued on across the open hot country , through a village with an Australian pub until we got to a sign showing the original route and the alternative route . 

It was the usual busy little village.

I suggested that we take the original route as it was in my GPS. This lead us along railway tracks to a set of goods sidings with a high barbed wire fence. For a while we thought that we were going to have to go the whole back around the other way – an extra 6 km!

Eventually we found a way of scrambling over a side fence .

Not long after we arrived at a wonderful hostel run by the Amigos of the Via de la Plata.

via de la plata Zafra

My feet!

Zafra is an attractive provincial town.

A chance to win in the lottery !

An ancient vestry 

Dinner : wine made from the vineyards I passed through with unidentified objects 

 PS I heard from Kev whose name is actually Ted 😬He’s moving along at a slow pace a few days behind now as he’s still not feeling too good.