Hinojosa to Monterrubio de la Serena

The Hinojosa Del Duque museum was shut but, the church was open. A group of 5 very old women, and 1 equally old man, was saying the rosary. 


From outside the old church looked to have 3 dog kennels on top. Highly improbable!
The boys suggested they were probably pigeon cotes. If so, the pigeons have been displaced, by cats. Way up on the roof at least three cats looked as though one ‘pigeon cote’ was their home. Don’t think on where the pigeons might be now. 

Being lost in town

For the first time, I realised in Hinojosa Del Duque that Spanish towns are not laid out for any casual visitors. Looking for places, a museum and then a supermarket, with Benedo and Victoria confirmed this for me. Remember, they are both Spanish and unlike me they understood the full answer every time they asked a question. ‘Left at the x, then turn at …….! So it was very interesting and reassuring and went a long way to explaining why it has always been so hard for me to find things. Like supermarkets. Like albergues. 😎

Speaking of which: at least one of the guys had had 4 beers after dinner. They arrived back at about 22:00 and came in quietly. B had taken his mattress to the other room, across a narrow passage from us 3. 

The nocturnal boy-concert wasn’t even half as horrible as the guy on the dreadful night a week or so ago before Córdoba thankfully. 

Walking today

The 33km was really quite manageable for me. Leaving at 05:30 is the key. Over two hours in the pre-sunlight period means you can get ahead. Not always easy finding the track but today wasn’t hard that way. And another spectacular sunrise.

The dogs are impressive: the ones you see and the distance over which others hear us.


After about 3.5 hours we all stopped and had breakfast. It reduced what each of us was carrying and gave us all a rest. For me, that’s almost an ideal walking duration first up and it wasn’t hard, undulating, off road farm tracks.    

The rest of the day, until we arrived at about 13:00, just got hotter and the road harder as we ended up doing about 8km on the highway. A narrow highway with trucks and cars from both directions and with little chance of walkers escaping. We are a careful lot and all 4 of us survived!


Do all 4 of us walk together? Only in the early part of the morning, while it’s dark, we are leaving town and have the same energy levels. As the day goes on we spread out. 

Terrain

Has changed to larger acreages and almost totally grain.  For the first time since Córdoba a so-called river had water in it.  And we crossed over from Andalucía to Extremadura, alongside a very lonely looking railway track and an old signal in the middle of nowhere.


Monterrubio de la Serena

Another white town with a lovely (from the outside) old church and an albergue, pretty new. 

Tomorrow is either 40km or 20km. V and I had earlier said we were only going to do 20km. It’s different for B and M as they have to be in Merida on Saturday to get transport to Sevilla on Sunday and then fly home to the Canary Islands. Not possible for them to do it unless they do 40km tomorrow. So what are the boys doing? 20km with us tomorrow and the bus from the town before Merida on Saturday!

Yes, they clearly enjoy walking with us or they’d have chosen 40km tomorrow. Better for B’s knee too as I know it hurts and he is not as strong a walker as me. 

I was chuffed! Yes, I can’t understand the three of them at times, especially an excited B, but I very much enjoy their company and walking with them. I am so lucky to have ended up with such a group. And V joining us was good. She is really nice. 

We lunched in the Plaza de España. 


Albergue

Has a bunk (2 beds) in a small windowless room downstairs and 6 upstairs. YES! I chose downstairs as I need a long sleep tonight. V and the boys are all in the upstairs bunk room. Another bit of luck. We seem to be the pilgrims at our pace, so far anyhow. 

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