Saturday, 30 April 2016

CdC to Canaveral 32 km

CdC to Canaveral 32km. A lovely walk today with lots of variety and a huge lake which evidently back in 2010 almost dried up and old roman bridges and other structure were revealed. As expected the hostel here is fully booked so lots of disappointed and tired people. A little frustrating really as this route is not supposed to be busy! Route was well marked but there is a bit of a diversion owing to the massive road building programme and when they build bridges they build them big. The cranes you see in the photo are the size of very tall buildings. The AdP I'm in is very pleasant and the Cowboys have just turned up.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Aldea del Cano to Cascar de Caceres 32 km

Aldea del Cano to Cascar de Caceres via Caceres about 32 km. Good day with a good walk. Needed to get to CdC as all the accommodation at the next stop (25km) is closed! So have to go on to Canaveral which is just 11km further. Knee that there would be pressure on the beds at CdC because of this but managed to get one ok.  That said there are a lot of disappointed walkers coming in now looking tired. Also because of this I booked my bed at the next place as it will likely be full there as well and I don't want to rush. So all fine now and should be a relaxing walk tomorrow even though there are lots of ups and downs. Owing to the rush here I bagged my bed then came out for lunch.  Just had one plate of food but they still insist of giving a bottle of wine with it. All for 6 euros! Washing and preps for tomorrow should be fun later.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Aljucen to Aldea del Cano 35km

Aljucen to Aldea del Cano today. 35kms and 7 hours. As I didn't get here until 1400 wasn't sure if there would be a bed spare as they only have 13! Luckily there was. A lovely walking day with a wide variety of terrain and not too much sun. Also another couple of really old bridges. As its been wet during the previous weeks there are lots of puddles and most of them have tadpoles in them. Not very practical as evidenced by the dead ones in the dried up puddles!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Torremejia to Aljucen about 30kms

The municipal AdP in Torremejia was excellent as was the suckling pig. Headed off for Merida at 0715 and walked along the ( dry) track which was well marked. Arrived at 1015 and enjoyed the 2000 year old roman bridge into the city but was surprised that the pilgrim route did not go over the other Roman bridge next to the aqueduct. Route to the embalse de prosperina was clear and stopped for a while when my Estonia walking companion for the day went for a swim!  It was warm. Lovely and clearly marked route to Aljucen and now in the excellent AdP Rio Aljucen.  Please note that there is now a brand new AdP in El carrascalejo complete with phone number for the key.  It's about 13.5km from Merida. Plan to go to the Roman baths tonight. Off to Aldea del Cano in the morning which is about 35km. The 30 today went well so should be a good stroll. One of the joys of the Camino is the surprises. Today it was a man with a cart and two mules coming into the AdP! Only problem was the cart was too high to get. Didn't believe me at first when I said to reduce the tyre pressure but now it's in.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

26 Apr Villafranca to Torremejia 25km

26 Apr walked from Villafranca to Torremejia 25 km. left at 0700 and got to AdP at 1230. A very dull walk as although it was a beautiful day it was virtually flat and straight on an old roman road for the whole walk. Also it was most just vines so the monoculture did not promote bird life. Add to this that as I'm virtually walking north and mostly in the morning then the sun is always on my left. Had to hang a spare t shirt on my right arm to stop it burning.  Still arrived here all safe with a couple of minor blisters. Had lunch, which was also breakfast, and on a promise of Spanish suckling pig tonight.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Monesterio to Calzadilla and the Villafranca de los Barros 24/25 Apr

Sun 24 Apr. Left Monesterio at just after 0700 and walked in near perfect conditions. Clear sky with an almost full moon to start and a good track. Hundreds of birds including lots of cuckoos- in fact so many cuckoos the they sound like there had a stutter. Got to Fuente de Cantos at 1100 after 22kms and being early on a Sunday it was closed! I planned to walk on another 6km to Calzadilla but it was a bit of a gamble as it wasn't clear if a Hostal there was open or had rooms.  Wanted to try though as I need to combine  a few stages as there is one very long one coming up with no options and if I'm not careful I'll end up with a stage too short. Getting to Calzadilla means 28km today then 36 tomorrow to Vilafranca de los Barros missing out Zafra. Luckily all was ok and I'm settled for the day. Place is a bit basic but ok. No wifi though which is a bit of a pain. Walked today with a friend I had not seen for a while. Great walking companion. Always keeps my pace although sometimes he can be a little in front or a little behind. Doesn't get any aches and pains or need suntan lotion as he is almost black. He doesn't have much to say for himself either. Hope he is with me tomorrow. Can you guess who it is?

Mon 25 Apr Calzadilla to Villafranca de los Barros 36km. Good walk today with lots of sun and spring flowers. Must be about 24 deg now. I planned to avoid Zafra so I plotted my own you're with the help of Google maps - great that you can save maps off line now. Left just after 0700 and stop walking at 1430. Good tracks all the way. This is Serrano country ( yum yum) so the smell of pigs is all pervading. Had to cross a few railway tracks today but they are pretty simple here- I wonder how the accident rate compares?

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Almadena to Monesterio 38km

Left Almaden at 0715 in light drizzle and got to El Real de la Jara at 1015 after 16km through pleasant countryside. New this would be far to early so carries on to Monesterio. Got there at 1415 and all well after a total of 38km today. Tomorrow will just be a short stroll to Fuente de Cantos of 22km as the next stop after that is another 25km which is to far. A pleasant stroll today although a little damp. Strange to suddenly come across a castle and the stepping stones were not a stable as yesterday so I got wet feet. Walked by myself and only saw four others just before Monesterio and did even get a coffee until the last 6km. I know it's OK to talk to myself - at least that's what I tell myself! Now resting in a neat little AdP.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Castilblanco to Almadena 29km

Earlier start than intended this morning as lots of people started getting up at 0600! Unfortunately, non had prepared the night before so lots of noise, chatting and torches. They need a lesson on my and Ian's AdP morning routine! So I got up and walked out quickly. First bar was open but already had a few pilgrims in and with one lady serving, inc sandwiches it was not going to be quick. So I went on and luckily there was another bar open so I could get a caffeine fix.  Thereafter a straightforward 29km and I arrive at Almaden de la Plata at 1230 after leaving at 0700. First 16km was next to the road but not busy and a it was before sunrise lots of birds to listen too. After that walked through a national park with lots of cork oaks, pines and loads of lavender! Rivers have been a bit high so I was glad of the stepping stones. Last few Kms was a little tough as there was a very step climb at the end. Still all safe in the AdP now and feet holding up. Good as it may be 38kms tomorrow!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Guillena to Castilblanco de los Arroyos 20km??

Guillena to Castilblanco de los Arroyos. Supposed to be 20km but I was here by 1130 and left at 0800 so I don't think so! Still next stage is 29kms so I'll wait until tomorrow. All dry to day but a bit muddy under foot for the first third. However, pleasant scenery with lots of wild flowers. A few photos inc typical Camino directions plus a large dog(?) print - a bit early in the walk for Wolves as they are further north! Feet and body all fine now just waiting for the person to open the AdP. Should be a 1300. It's seems that many people take ataxi for the first 16km of tomorrow's stage as its road until that point where the track enters a national park! I just can't see me doing that.......

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Seville to Guillena 23 km

Completed the first stage to Guillema at 1300 today and now Im in the municipal Albergue del Perigrino (AdP)     All fine no one else here yet. A bit early to stop in an ideal world but 23km is enough for the first day and the next stop is 20km away. So another easy day tomorrow as I get my feet and body in the groove! A fairly uneventful day with torrential rain for the first hour but then warm and a little sunny until I got here. Glad I scouted the way out of the city yesterday as it would have been hard to find in the gloom.  Pretty grim for the first third as you get out of the city but ok after that. A few photos to be going on with that should show in the link I posted previously One with the standard yellow Camino signs for my previous Camino partners Mike Smith and Ian Ian Pinder. The third one shows how much of the river bank had been washed away recently.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Seville- the start

Arrived without any dramas and found the hotel!  All good.  Went to the cathedral but it was closed so just took a photo for the start. Only 1000km to go! Warm but damp and at least I know the way to start I the morning.  Luckily, there was a bar opposite the hotel so I could get some food without going too far. Excellent place with 2 main courses for 10 euros and a fine wine to accompany. Reminds me what good seafood and chicken is really like. Asked for an Orujos afterwards but a bit too far south I think. If you need to know aw Mike Smith!

Tried about five times to get the photo to attach without luck. It's all on Facebook which I must confess is much easier!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Facebook in use

I’m going to start using Facebook for the next camino updates as some of my friends seem to find it difficult to comment on the blog! However, there is a link in the Facebook page to the blog and I will still update this as well if I can but it is unlikely that I will be able to do many photos as it is such a phaff!

To find me on Facebook search Mike Sexton Rottingdean and its this picture:

Hope to see you there - Mike