Cerro Muriano to Villaharta

Santa Maria del Trabajo in Cerro Muriano

Not only an unusual place but it’s the first time in a hostal/hotel I’ve had someone I’ve never met unlock my door and walk in during the night! 23:38 it was.

I’d left a barrier, a small wooden stool, in front of the door as I knew it would make a noise if the door was opened. Only realised later I did this automatically as there was no lock or bolt on the inside of the door. Very unusual. Unsafe when you are sleeping alone. Anyhow the stool alerted me and gave me time to strongly expostulate, a few loud and choice expressions such as ‘piss off/get out’ as the door opened and two people started walking in. I’m sure the tone gave it enough meaning, even though said in english….🤣🤣🤣

And now I have neighbours, chatting, using bathroom etc through paper thin walls. Yes, sigh, near midnight. Sigh again. Yes, they could have shared more. I know.

And yes, I didn’t try too hard not to share when I got up at 06:00. As I noticed the snoring from next door stopped I guessed wall thinness must have two-way implications 😏.

Leaving Cerro Muriano

Started with three layers, five minutes later took off one. Not long after removed the second. A very pleasant start to the day. Sun was out, just a few clouds and the weather is warming up.

All five or six bars were still shut. I’d had ‘a caffeine top up for the desperate’ before leaving: cups of hot water with a bit of coffee colouring so, no problem.

Along the streets, past the various military bits and pieces as this town has moved on from thousands of years of mainly mining, especially copper, to being a military base. A few soldiers, lots of trucks, tanks etc alongside the road just out of town.

Then, through bush, lots of acorn trees and a beautiful dappled light. Didn’t see any pigs but know they are very important around here. Lots of beautiful flowers. One section of old unused road, a really easy walk this section.

Met two folk about my age from Belgium. I nearly died of shock. They only speak Belgium (?Flemish), no french, no german, no english and no spanish. Truly not a word of anything else. I was very surprised, this is so unusual for Europeans their age and meant communicating was 99.9% impossible. Didn’t see any other peregrinos today.

El Vacar

Twelve km after Cerro Muriano is a small roadside town with 3 bars open. Last time, and this, I went to the first. Note to self: the third is the best, lots of locals and it’s not a huntin’, fishin’, shootin’ bar.

Last time we had just met Victoria before this town and were a little surprised she didn’t see the big castle just after the bar, on the big hill over to the left. Seeing it again I’m even more surprised and it says a lot for how much she was concentrating on walking and just walking.

Villaharta

Just out of El Vacar I rang to book accomodation in Villaharta. First place was fully booked, second didn’t answer, third was fully booked and gave me a number for a fourth. They had a vacancy. So, I’m about a km before the town, near the petrol station, not the place I wanted to be but I’m grateful, both because it’s only €15 and because I have my own room and bathroom again. I’ve already walked in and out of town to the supermarket as tomorrow is a long day, about 35 or 36km, plus a bit more now for me, with no facilities until you arrive in Alcaracejos.

The good things about this hostal are: it opens at 05:30 tomorrow plus, I’ve got a room and it’s ok, even without any heating. This happened after I started despairing, of course, and preparing to get a bus timetable so I could escape to….

Planning

I’ve now got bookings for tomorrow in Alcaracejos and the following night in Hinojosa del Duque. And I’m hoping the water about 8km from here, Villaharta, has dropped. An earlier section had markings on the road suggesting some had to use a side detour to avoid creeks. Not necessary today so I can only hope this bodes well for the big creek tomorrow. If not I’ll have little choice but to wade through it. A few days ago it was mid calf depth and sounds slow. Yes, freezing as well.

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