About 75% of the pilgrims turned up for the dinner provided by the volunteer couple running the hostel last night. It was a good hearty meal in good company. Three of my companions from previous days were there as well as a English couple cycling to Santiago, two Italian guys and Michael who I met recently.

Speaking Italian to some people and Spanish to others, I soon got confused and started mixing them up !

Doing the washing up:

via de la plata  alcuescar

One of the rules of this place is that everyone has to leave by 7.30 ,so a group of us was across the road at the bar having breakfast and waiting for the sun to rise shortly after then.

On our way – the monastery is the big building at the rear

via de la plata alcuescar
This morning’s path was a lot gentler than yesterday with some greenery and shade.

via de la plata  alcuescar

I spent all day walking with Luís , giving my Spanish a good workout.

Today’s path pretty much followed the route of the original Via de la Plata, built by the Romans . Whilst some people think the name comes from the fact that the route led to silver mines in the north( plata = silver), its name probably has nothing to do with silver. T he name could derive from the Arabic word al-balat, which means cobbled paving or from the Latin word “platea” meaning wide road or “Lapidata” meaning stone .

In any event I haven’t seen any paving yet but I did see some bridges – Roman and medieval – and a milestone.

via de la plata  alcuescar

 A milestone, or miliarium, was a circular column usually with  an inscription of the number of the miles relative to the road it was on. 

Towards the end of the walk with the temperature rising and the country opening out, it became a bit of a hard slog again . However the route was very well sign posted.

It must get pretty wet here ! Blocks of stone thoughtfully provided to make a bridge.

Wheat fields-

Today’s walk was only 26km and we arrived before the full heat of the day at around 1.30 to find a nice modern hostel. The whole town is new – founded in the 1960s.

Spanish hours  – the local shop doesn’t open for its afternoon session until 7.30pm!