La Calzada de Bejar to Fuenterroble de Salvatierra

Walking some days is like being in a very pleasant trance. Legs go up and down rhythmically and on and on, avoiding rocks, small stones, empty puddles and holes. On and on. Up and down. 

I love the sensations, especially in the early morning as the sun rises. The temperature starts to drop just before the sun rises, soon after you start walking. 

The surrounds change from silhouettes to trees and rocks or houses. Gradually shapes form, the sun rises and provides some heat. And the temperature rises, just a little now as we move further north to colder places.

Leaving La Calzada de Bejar

Our Casa Rural last night was good (Casa Rural Jorge). Nice rooms, a dueña who cooked our lunch and later left us the makings for breakfast and a snack today. (Hmm, if a huge bread roll with jamon and cheese qualifies as a snack – especially when combined with slices of her nice fresh black Russian tomato. Oh, and washed down by a chocolate milk (91% milk, 9%?sugar). And the discount on the room went towards paying for an expensive meal each and our bocadillos. 😏 Our dueña, when asked, turned on the heating to keep the house warm overnight. Made me very happy. Very very…. 😁😁😁

I just love some of the houses in La Calzada de Bejar. I’m sure luck alone keeps them intact! Hard to believe in their physical supports. 

Moving on 

We left on the cusp of dawn so it was well after 8 but still not light. Crisp, cool air.

And then, suddenly, 3 men behind us! Surely the macho ones couldn’t have stayed in the same town! Imagine them only doing only 10km yesterday. How humiliating for them, if true. 

Hard to tell if the same guys as in the dark they were similarly dressed and at least one came from Andalucía. Phew, different guys. The sort who are fellow peregrinos, not macho creeps. 

We let them pass us by slowing. Same with an Italian guy. Then there was the German we met in the first town, looking for a bar. Bar was shut but the guy seemed weird. Unusually for a German, he speaks only German. Very unusual in my experience as they and the Dutch are mostly at least bilingual. 

And yes, all 5 men were likely to stay in the same town as us. Sigh. Same room most probably given my last time in Fuenterroble. Imagine, if you can, 5 snorers again (no, I didn’t include me 😎).

In the middle of nowhere I saw a cat and, not for the first time. Local and just out hunting at a distance? Or, just well adapted to the rural life. Who knows. 

Kept going. Nothing open on the 20km to Fuenterroble. Nothing. So we kept our money. Pity for two towns as it doesn’t take a lot to part most of us from our money. 

Towns can change. For example, La Calzada de Bejar with múltiple casa rurales now is very different from my visit 4.5 years ago. They need one or two people to see ways of stopping the peregrino money just walking past them. Not every peregrino will stop at a bar but, many will if it’s open and they can find it. Sounds obvious but people in small towns here often seem unable to change. And life goes on how it always has. Their loss in many cases as the population ages and kids move away while €€ are walked through the town daily. 

Fuenterroble de Salvatierra

Arrived at the albergue agree and was delighted to be led to a 2 bunk room. Saved both bottoms for V and I. If we are lucky we will also be the sole users of the adjacent bathroom. I guess I was in a big shared room full of bunks last time as I arrived with a guy, Ekhardt. 

This was my first ever donativo albergue, run by the church. It’s one I’m happy to donate more to than is usually expected because I believe the people here actively contribute to supporting people in need. Not just peregrinos, locals. 

Next stages

Tomorrow will be longer: about 28 or 29km. My last ‘long’ day this time. My final day, Monday, into Salamanca, is only 24km. So, two days to go. And we now have bread, cheese, eggs and more chocolate milk. 

V is much stronger as a walker and much more sure of herself now. In saying that I note she left her home town, 50km from Malaga, and managed perfectly well by herself until she met the boys and I the day after we left Córdoba. So, she will manage very well and is possibly very happy to be alone going forwards after Monday. I don’t know. 

For me, walking with her has been a pleasure and not just because she has helped me so much in my listening to and speaking Spanish. She is very nice and easy to travel with. I still can’t get over how well the 4 of us rubbed along together and then just her and I when the boys left. We were all so very lucky in the others in our group. She is such a nice kind and thoughtful person. 

After finishing this camino

I am currently planning to spend a couple of days in Salamanca and will then go to Madrid. Possibly a week in an individual conversation class there is just what I need now. Plus time in the Spanish language context. So, plans but, still soft.

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