Alcaracejos to Hinojosa del Duque

Alcaracejos

Casa Rural Miguel Ángel is a good place to stay: comfortable, heater, great shower. Reasonable price.

On this route it is now necessary to book ahead a couple of nights. Just too many other walkers.

Met 3 others today, a pair of tall skinny guys walking together and another who I was surprised to learn is Dutch, walking alone. Haven’t seen the Belgians since Cerro Muriano.

Toes

Finally removed damaged left little toe nail. Ahhhh. Relief. Saved the toe next to it being constantly clawed to death to by the remnant of the nail. Sigh. Relief. Blister on right hand little toe manageable with tape and a silicon sleeve. Well, maybe but, it was horrible by the time I’d arrived in Hinojosa del Duque. Odd for a toe that is numb, it doesn’t seem right that its blisters could cause pain. 😏

Rural scenes

Nice rural section today, about 20km and relatively flat. Through a couple of neat towns. Leaving was impressive too at a bit after 07:00.

A most unusual sight was the cat watching a cow eating a placenta. A new born calf lying nearby was of no interest to either the cow or cat. The calf was breathing, slowly, but not moving so it must have been born minutes before I arrived.

Sheep bells ringing as they move. And my favourite bird here, storks, are nesting on so many steeples and church towers.

Cows were being milked as I passed with a lovely surrounding smell of silage.

Goats. Lots in the one small area.

One town had a red cloth covering, hand sewn, for the stone cross. Why? Who knows!

Hinojosa del Duque

The initial section is through an industrial area.

Checking in is a pain in some places. After 3 emails from booking.com (2 in Spanish, 1 in english) I knew I had to ring 30’ before I arrived at the casa rural, LaAntigua. So, I did but, I have absolutely no idea what she said in reply. She might have said she was in church. Maybe. Maybe not.

So, I rang the bell when I arrived and eventually someone upstairs yelled down and then rang her. She arrived. Stunk. Absolutely stunk of a lifetime of a few packets of cheap cigarettes every day. Ughhhh.

She took ages copying details from my passport. I’m guessing she never has foreigners checking in, especially those with passports in english. And then she wrote my gender as masculino. Thought about leaving it to confuse the local bureaucracy but did correct her. Then she photographed my passport, twice, after having already laboriously copied out all salient details and having me countersign them. Private data in Europe? Ha ha. Not if you ever stay anywhere that isn’t a private house. Scary.

Then she took me to explain how I get breakfast. Yes, in the morning. That comment should have warned me. 🤣. First, the cups, sit at any chair, cereal is here, all so bleeding obvious I really wondered. Then how to turn on the coffee machine: switch and select type. I kid you not. Sigh… and when I thought it couldn’t get any sillier she showed me how to open the microwave and how to shut the door and to turn it on. True. Barely tolerable if she was at least a metre away. And she yells when she speaks to me, no doubt because of my spanish. Any closer than 1m and her smell was absolutely intolerable. Heaps of people here smoke but very few smell half as badly.

Big flood coming up tomorrow. Last I heard it was mid thigh (Maggie’s blog). Guy running the bar said it’s mid chest height deep, unsolicited advice. Another peregrino, who speaks some english, had just arrived in the bar. He has zero Spanish so I was happy to pass it on.

Are at least 5 more here already: the 2 guys are french (unfriendly) and another three just walked into the bar and spoke to the Dutch guy, in english.

Old lady, 75+ just arrived in the bar pushing her trolley. She’s tried chatting to the blokes (3 each sitting alone) but they give her the flick as she sits in front of the outside bar tv so she just mutters on. The bar guys are nice though and chat to her each time they pass.

Lunch? A health destroying gambas en ajillo. Imagine, prawns fried in 2cm oil, salt (lots) and sliced garlic added. Slices of white bread on the side and you know how healthy it must be. 😇

Eaten with Coke Zero and coffee.

Tomorrow: the stretch to Monterrubio de la Serena. And another peregrino just checked in, a Canadian. The albergue is apparently full so we figured there are about 10 of us in town tonight. I’ve got a booking for tomorrow. Not yet for the day after.

Lots of thunder rolling around just now. I’ve been lucky to date. Crossing fingers works.

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