Friday, April 27, 2012

Caceres - Day 13 - April 27, 2012

For two days in a row we have no wifi, so I will will continue writing offline and post when I get some connectivity.

 More evidence of Roman Aquaducts.
 In Spain there is a stork on the top of every tall building.
 We left the Monestary at Alcuescar and walked the 16 km to Aldea del Canos in pouring rain jumping over puddles and through the muddy farm lanes which was today's trail. By the time we got to the village we were sodden and cold. We really should have been wearing rubber boots as the rain soaked through everyone's supposed waterproof hiking boots. Ian had the worst of it as he only had a waist length jacket (again, supposedly but not really waterproof), so he was soaked to the skin. Barb and I were only moderately wet as our Altimus rain jackets, which extend to the calves, are great at keeping our bodies as well as our packs dry. That said, I had to make several stops in the rain to go behind the bushes as I had foolishly drank 750 ml of yogurt drink in an effort to both boost my energy and lighten the load of food I was carrying. I was therefore fairly sodden under my rain gear as I had to remove the pack and rain jacket in order to "go behind the bushes".
 The original Roman mile marker is toward the back of this picture - the newer marker is shown close up.

By the time we got toAldea del Cano we were very sodden and even though we had only walked 15 km we needed to raise spirits before we could carry on - we had been walking in the pouring rain for 3 hours over muddy cow tracks.  At that point it was only 11:30 and we decided to adjourn to the local bar decor to rest and decide if we would check into the Albergue or carry on. Some of the other Peregrinos were splitting a cab to jump forward. The thought of settling into the small, local Albergue with wet clothes and no means to dry them was not very appealing and neither was the option of continuing to walk forward in the rain. We considered busing forward to the larger centre of Caceres where we might find a lavanderia with washers and dryers for our wet and muddy clothes. After several coffees, a tortilla bocadillo and a glass of wine, the idea of waiting until 4:30 at the bar for a bus was dismissed.

 We took a cab to the large city of Caceres and checked into the municipal Albergue. The price for a triple room with a private bath was an astounding 18 EU and it included daysayuno (breakfast) of toast and coffee! The Albergue is large with a capacity of 60 beds for both Peregrinos and Turisticos. But there is no laundromat nearby so we hung our damp clothes on a line in the room and jacked the heat up to about 90 help things along then tucked into bed for siesta.
 After siesta we had a short toot around to see the Cathedral de Santiago and then searched for food.

Dinner was at a restaurant off Plaza Major, a large plaza in the middle of the old part of the city. I had a green salad with tuna as the premier and roast chicken as the secundo. Dessert was the all present "flan" (creme caramel) and a bottle of wine and bread. All that for just 12 EU!

We are having a great deal of discussion about whether to miss one large section in order to get to the end point on time or to skip bits here and there. I am not sure what is best but It seems when the weather is miserable it is a good time to skip ahead a bit and buy some time for better walking weather in the days to come. Barb seems to be the most dedicated of us walkers - She doesn't like the idea of skipping a section and given that she is able to motor ahead of both Ian and I, I suspect she will be carrying on ahead of us at a faster pace.
Tomorrow is a 33 kilometer section. I sure hope for better weather!
Adios amigos!

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