Another surprising day! Started one way, changed unbelievably.
Let me start at the beginning: we left Baños de Montemayor in the dark, without finding an open bar.
Headed towards La Calzada de Bejár, a very small town part way to our planned destination of Valverde de Valdecasa with its albergue.
The route out of Baños winds up the hill above the town on the old roman road, the calzada. A bit along the highway you briefly join is a petrol station and a bar.
The most reluctant bar guy did make us coffee (chocolate for V) but he had no bread. So, no toast. And no, I don’t understand the apparent reluctance of some here to toast old bread or to use frozen bread.
Ok, he heated a stale croissant for me. Not to be recommended. Meanwhile I frantically tried to order a new iPhone on an obviously very busy Apple website. No success initially. Did get my order through about 20’ later.
By then we were on a really lovely track, cool dawn light filtering through between very large old chestnut and oak trees. Fruit and leaves from both carpeted the gravelled track. Leaves are changing colour and falling as winter approaches here.
The track wove slowly downhill. I was hoping to find the word ‘Tasmania’ again, written on a notice on the left of the track last time. Sadly it’s gone or, I missed it.
Interesting old bridge. Somewhere under the backpack.
And then we saw them: the 3 men from the other day. V has a visible visceral response to them. Fascinating. To me they are just blokey bores, full of themselves and with an inflated sense of their abilities. Quite clearly if we were to compete, based on what I’ve seen, I could outwalk them but their sense of superiority has to be heard to be believed.
They don’t bother me but I miss the subtleties as they are spanish. As they do bother V I’m just as happy to avoid them. And would work to avoid sharing accomodation with them. I still remember my night with Benedo and 4 other Spaniards with horror. Not just the snoring, just I’d have preferred not to run into them again.
Ok. We dawdled to ensure they were ahead. Arrived in La Calzada de Bejar, a very small town. This is a town that fascinated me last time. Full of very old 2 story homes, many in poor repair but with a distinct regional look. And, as the name indicates, it’s on an old roman road (Calzada).
And many of the houses show the age of the village: supporting poles on strange angles, bent supports under verandahs etc.
Found the bar and, of course, the 3 guys. We discovered the bar is shut in the town we are heading to and, as there is no shop there, no way of getting food. So we decided to stay here, in Calzada de Bejar. It’s only 10 km or so after Baños de Montemayor but, we were going to have a very long or a very short day anyhow before Salamanca. So it might as well be here and our ‘heroes’ will be well ahead. Maybe, as they don’t actually walk that quickly, despite their inflated self belief.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Our accomodation is comfortable, our own bathroom, and no other peregrinos. Our duena made us lunch, salad, a paella and supermarket flan. She’ll also sort out breakfast and make us each us bocadilla. The solitary town bar is very close, currently filled with older men playing cards or dominos. Suspect there are few children in this town of 50 (?) people!