Zafra – Villafranca September 25th

After a nice communal breakfast and the slow packing if my bag that I prefer I was the last to leave the hostel except for the two Catalan boys who were still boiling their dozen eggs.

A few bars were busy with young people drinking beer. I think their Saturday was just ending as my Sunday began with a sunrise at 8.00am.

Zafra sunrise
The churros sellers were doing a slow trade. I was tempted but kept going.


I soon caught up with Ruth and we chatted for a while until we reached a bar in a village and she went in for a pick-me-up. As sometimes happens, my mind wandered off somewhere and I missed the yellow arrows and my GPS telling me to take a right a a fork in the road . Luckily a kindly old gentleman set me right. I even understood his instructions in Castilian and he had no teeth!

The clouds here were beautiful.


The impressive church door in Los Santos de Maimina.

Los Santos de Maimona
I saw a few cyclists on their way north to Santiago.


Up ahead I saw Ruth turn to the right. When I got to the fork, there was one of the many cubes which mark the path of the Roman road through the area, ambiguously placed at the centre of the intersection with no yellow arrows . 

However my GPS said to take the left fork. I tried calling out to her but she was too far away and I just didn’t have the energy to run after her. Hopefully she didn’t go too far before realising the mistake!

The path of today’s walk was through agricultural land with grapes for the Ribera wine of the region, fruit trees and olives.

via de la plata zafravia de la plata  zafra

A nice mix of olives and grapes.

via de la plata zafra
Some of the olive trees look quite ancient and are trimmed heavily to allow easier picking.

olive trees via de la plata
An official direction sign plus a yellow arrow on an olive tree for good measure!

via de la plata. extremadura
Crossing the railway line outside of town. 


A roundabout at the edge of town.

Villafranca via de la plata
The private albergue recommended by the people at the hostel last night is very comfy with luxuries like tea bags and local wine. Just before arriving a few kilometres out of town on a dirt road, a women pulled up to ask me how was I going and handed me a pamphlet for her albergue!

Today was only 21km which I knocked over in 4 1/2 hours. I was planning  a 36km day today but I thought it best to give my shin an easier time. I’ll arrive in Mérida a day later and lose a non refundable hotel payment but at this early stage I’d better be careful! I’ve just had a nice 2 hour nap .

You can see where ‘mission style’ of architecture came from. 

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