Monterrubio de la Serena to Castuera

This is the third consecutive day in which I could have started with a sentence containing ‘bucolic splendour’. True though it is, enough! Well, for this week. 😏

So, I left Monterrubio de la Serena well after 07:00. The next stop, Castuera, was only 20 km away and it wasn’t going to be a hard walk. Besides, it meant at least one bar should be open in Monterrubio de la Serena by about 07:20.

A bar was open but, astoundingly it had no bread. No bread! So, a coffee and I left. No point staying in a relatively uninteresting, dark, bar with hard benches that didn’t have a spanish essential, tostado con tomate. Tut tut. What’s the world coming to.

Beside the bar was a notice for a recent bullfight in a nearby town. Strangely hung bullfighter poster caught my eye. Right? Left.

Whatever, it was such a nice, sunny morning with a few clouds only. Warm enough for the first time to not need a jacket at that hour. And this section of the Camino Mozarabe is mostly along a quiet, sealed, road that is relatively flat. Signs of recent rain, including from last night, and the olive trees looked really good. So did my first special pig so far this walk.

And, some excitement as I knew there was a castle ahead. With its own white village well over in the distance. Alas, much too far to the east to visit this time.

Stopped for a chocolate milk top up beside a couple of small roadside dams. Looked like fish that moved as I got close. No! Tortoises! Lots of them in both dams. Very nervous and all jumped in each time I moved. Wow! I could just see the heads and sometimes, a body hanging below a head.

As I walked I knew the french guys were well ahead, walking about 40km today, a double stage. I could see their footprints on the edge of the road and know they leave early.

An odd couple, two older guys in jeans and runners, were next along the way. Their packs were day packs only but both carried a pole or sticks, looking for all the world like locals out for a walk. Definitely not like peregrinos, well, maybe the 100km-to-Santiago spaniards, but that’s not likely here as we are much further away. I couldn’t understand the Spanish of the one who spoke to me, very broad accent so, who knows. Anyhow, they walked quite slowly, enjoying chatting.

Feet

Left foot so happy since the nail from toe 5 decamped. Right foot very unhappy. Toe 5 is a carpet (yup) of blisters, causing me lots of unhappiness and a forced rest. Dammit. Above the ankles everything is fine but below, as usual, I’m a mess. As always it’s just a matter of time before my feet pack up. Aggghhh. 😭😭😭

Tin hat

We all know how important a tin hat can be for keeping out.. well, for keeping you safe from.. well, safe. You know how it is.

I saw a woman wearing one 2 days ago! I did! She was at the door of her house greeting her son (or she’s a cougar ++), wearing the very special hat. Her head was covered by a tin foil hat. No signs of curlers or anything but the tin foil covered all her hair. Did it work? Well, none of us nearby were struck and I didn’t hear voices so I’m guessing it was helping us all. A social gesture. Gracias a elle. (Thanks to her).

Strange things

Thinking of strange things, yesterday I saw a road sign picturing a cow. Or a cow crossed with a donkey perhaps.

Strange? How and why? Well, usually it’s of a bull here. So, for the record I now know where the cows cross. Note the horns.

Tomorrow

First, tonight: I’m in a highway hotel restaurant. Turns out it’s the place we ate when I was last in Castuera. Cost €20, nice shower, tv showing Kilos Mortales, heating and it’s above a restaurant. What more could you need? Besides a bottle of Coke Zero WITH caffeine. Too often here it’s ‘zero zero’ zero sugar and zero caffeine.

Moving on: tomorrow I’m catching a train a short distance to Don Benito, a town I can’t remember from last time. It’s on the railway line and just 8km from a city that impressed me so much last time, Medellin. I had to visit this important Roman site again. I’ve only booked in for Friday but may change, if possible, and it’s probably not.

Soon it will be hard to find a genuine Spaniard: this country is so full of us foreigners trying to enjoy it and spend our €€ in a country that opens and shuts at the strangest times. 😇

Haven’t seen any other peregrinos in Castuera but haven’t looked for any. Besides a brief trip to the supermarket (Coke Zero, strawberries and cream for dinner) and pharmacy (new tape), I’ve not been out. And I’m guessing the albergue will be busy tonight as few will have attempted a 40km section.

So, Don Benito tomorrow.

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