Paul from Quebec and I were the only pilgrims in our albergue last night . It was a very nice one (Albergue Las Caballeras) run by a young couple who have obviously put a lot of thought into its design . For example , each bunk had its own reading light and power point.  Anyone who  has done one of these walks will remember the issues with just one light for the whole dormitory and the problems charging your phone when 10 other people are waiting to use the same power  point!

I had a nice long chat in Spanish with them. They were very patient, waiting politely for me drag out from my memory irregular preterit verb forms, essential to explain my adventures .

Paul and I had breakfast and headed off into the early morning light at 8.00 am. Still no vegemite to be seen !

Today’s walk was remarkable in that for almost 27km I walked on an almost constantly straight dirt road with vineyards as far as the eye could see on either side of the road . 

Only occasional  extensive olive plantations broke the pattern . 

Somewhere underneath the gravel were the remains of the Roman road .

via de la plata villafranca

Usually these country roads are very quiet but it is the middle of harvest time, la vendimia , and there was a constant stream of tractor drawn trailors taking grapes to be crushed and creating huge clouds of dust .

The guy at the hostel had told me that there were white grapes which were quite nice to eat . I picked a few bunches as I walked along and some were sweet.

At various times of the day , I walked with Ruth and Paul and passed by a couple of other pilgrims who I’ve run into from time to time. They told me that up ahead was Luís. Bruno and Maria. I think the current cohort is about 10 as there’s also the two Dutch guys who always head off really early .

In this photo you can see Ruth, Paul and way off in the distance two Other pilgrims . Ruth, by the way, hadn’t got lost yesterday but was looking for a place for an essential quiet private moment.

via de la pkata Villafranca
Time for a rest.

Most of the harvesting was being done by hand though I did see one area being harvested mechanically.

These olive trees look like they have been set up for mechanical harvesting .

Seven of us ended up in the same hostel which is in a restored 15th century building . This is the front door.

and the washing out the back….

My left leg is now quite swollen and I got occasional stabs of pain through the day . I’m certainly looking forward to a rest day on Wednesday in Mérida ! I should arrive there by midday as its only about 15km from here. Tonight I think just about everyone I’d having dinner in the restaurant in the same building as the hostel. 

I’m off for a nap before dinner at 8.