Hinojosa del Duque to Monterrubio de la Serena

After an early start, another day of bucolic splendour. Water over roads was easily crossed.

Side roads, tracks through long grass and above all, the beautiful roadside flowers.

Now, who would be silly enough to think the mud in one depression wasn’t deep. It was and it quickly oozed up, over, and into one boot. Strange feeling. Quite funny!

And dogs. One couple guarding their sheep did the usual: saw me and headed over, barking. And the funniest mismatched 3 some. Guess which of the 3 had the loudest bark and persisted longer? Helped of course by being able to get through the fence and to chase its victim, me. Yup! The little Sydney silky looking one.

Well, the track was great until the last 10km or so when you had to shift onto the road. This was a few km after the derelict old railway station, out in the middle of nowhere. Heaven knows how long it is since it was used.

That last section really does take forever. Trudge on and on and on. It felt like forever last time and, no less today. Made even a little worse with the extra 3 or 4 km off trail to avoid the flooded river.

So, about 7 hours of walking all up.

Starting at 06:30 was a good idea. The casa rural offers breakfast at any time and of course there was no one else eating soon after 06:00. Spain, remember. Even the Canadian guy staying there wasn’t up that early. Preset out the day before, breakfast is the first like that I’ve had that’s been good, really good. You’ll be pleased to know I remembered how to use both the coffee machine and microwave. Thanks to the extended introduction to both yesterday! Ha ha. So yes, a very large coffee and the usual toast, olive oil and tomato. Nice.

Was going to get a follow up coffee at the nearby bar on the way out as the guy had promised to open at 06:30. He was just opening up as I passed so I didn’t wait. Almost warm walking at that hour and the storms from late yesterday had passed.

A km or so out I met Raquie, the Dutch guy who speaks some english. He was unsure where to go. My app, Gaia GPS is truly so helpful. Many use another app, free. And yes, they seem to get the value equivalent to what they’ve paid! Later heard this guy didn’t get into Monterrubio until about 16:00! Hell of a long day as he’d started before me and arrived 2.5 hours later.

The obligatory stork photos? Saw a couple today. Wait…..they’ll surface. 😇

The weather has just packed up: storms and rain. Forecast for tomorrow looks good though. As long as rain is again nocturnal it will be. I just hope someone stops the banging door. Somewhere near my room. A few peregrinos in this hostal tonight. Ah yes, Hostal Vaticano. And sadly, no sight of my friend El Papa, Benedo, this time. 🤣

Next week plus is going to be a little varied. Walk tomorrow, then a short train trip, more walking, a few bus trips, a new (to me) old walled city, train and, finally, Madrid. A couple of bits of the puzzle yet to be sorted but, nearly done. 😁

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