Alcuescar to Valdésor 

Tonight’s town, Valdesor is not one I ever wanted to visit again. In April 2013 I stopped at the albergue here for a very short time and left quickly. 

I am not sure why now but, I couldn’t leave quickly enough. Given the last 13km from here to Cáceres made it a 40 or so km that day you can guess I was desperate, for whatever reason. 

This visit could not have been more different. I was the first to arrive and found Julia waiting, with the albergue open, for peregrinos. 

What a nice welcome. The place has been tarted up and being here feels very different. Positive, and in the end all 4 of us staying here tonight will have eaten at Julia’s bar. So she’s enterprising, not something you find as a pilgrim in most towns here.  She clearly goes out of her way to entice pilgrims to her bar. Smart! 

Start of the day

Yes, breakfast at a local bar and it was still dark after 08:00 and V and I were somewhere out of Alcuéscar. Low clouds, or fog, covered parts.

Then, olive groves and, paddocks of fig trees. Sheep in the long paddock, a few goats, and a few cows. V said there were bulls too but I think she imagined them!

Back to the sheep: one paddock had a large dog sitting among the sheep. The dog suddenly got up and trotted to one side where it appeared a ewe had just given birth. The dog ate the placenta while the lamb struggled to stand and the ewe kept stamping one leg every time the dog moved. 

The 4 of us in the albergue tonight all started from the Alcuescar monastery. And all of us took it slowly, stopping in a bar in each of two different towns and 3 of us picnicked near a Roman bridge, the other opposite a Dolmen (very old monument built in the Chalcolitic period, prehistorical, well before the Romans arrived in spain). 

And yes, three Roman bridges today! Wow!

Two differences for me today. First was that today was much easier. The difference? Hmm, one option is the solar powered hat! With apologies to my much loved Panama-type hat I left it in the last albergue. There’s a lot less heat in the sun here and the solar powered one is a little warmer on cool mornings. However V rescued the panama and, looked more fetching in it today that I did previously. So the hat has another innings. 

The second difference today was that I walked with Jesus! Well, in the sense that the very nice guy with us in the albergue tonight is called ‘Jesus’. Takes getting used to it being a common name for men here. Anyhow, he, V and I tried to lighten our packs by having a picnic along the track together  (ie, eating as much as we could from our respective pack while knocking back food offered by anyone else).  

Weather update 

We are so lucky here, near Cáceres, we are missing the heavy rains and floods the Mediterranean coast of spain is currently receiving. 

However, here is becoming a lot cooler every morning and it was dark well after 08:00. Thankfully daylight savings has only about a week to run. 

The rest of today’s walk: the milarios, the Roman signposts, still stand alongside the camino. 

And I enjoyed the day! It’s surprisingly good walking the same tracks again over 4 years later. And such a different experience! I understand a lot more now of what I’m seeing and hearing. And, somehow I’m staying in a quite different place each night. This way it feels almost as though it’s my first time here. Irrespective, I’m enjoying this section more this time than the last. 

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