Today was a beautiful walk – varied, with trees, some climbs with views, a beautiful small village El Carrascalejo, close to Aljucén, with an old church and bar alongside, that just looks like one of the houses except for the noise from it to five it away.
I spent the night in my first ‘casa rural’ – a beautiful old building dating back to the early 1900s, with stone floors and domed ceilings.
Walked a while with Kathleen from California, and met my first Australian pilgrim.
Day 15 – Aljucén to Alcuescar – 21.5km
A hilltop village where I stayed in a small basement type apartment, again with domed ceilings.
I was sitting at the church waiting for mass to finish so that I could get a stamp for my pilgrims credential, listening to beautiful singing. Everyone came out and I noticed they were all women. i asked the priest if it had been a special service just for woman and he said ‘No, for men and women, but only the women come, the men are in the bar drinking beer’! From the horses mouth..
Day 16 – Alcuescar to Aldea del Cano – 17km
Another easy days walking – I could get used to this! And another first – my first night in an albergue rather than private accommodation. For the princely sum of €6 I got the bottom bunk in a two bunk room – the only reason I stayed was that I got there first and managed to nab that bed. I shared with Stephanie for the USA, while the other room of 7 beds was filled with snoring men of various ages… With only one shower and toilet, I made sure I got in there asa soon as I arrived. very nice clean place, well maintained with great facilities.
Stephanie and Scott initially only stopped to fill up their water containers, as they have been camping most of the time. When they saw how nice it was and the price, they decided to stay, which was fortunate for me as Steph was carrying her espresso pot and made me a fantastic coffee in the morning – and she didn’t snore, bonus!!!
Day 17 – Aldea de Cano to Càceres – 24km
Another dorm stay, as being a festival weekend everything else was booked out or way too expensive. 5 bed dorm but luckily only two other women, unluckily one snored…
I had a pre-rest day here before moving on to Madrid for some serious R&R! Hung around the Church of Santiago for ages but never managed to get a sello, instead had coffee at ‘La chica de Santiago’ on Plazuela Santiago outside the Church of Santiago served by bar owner Santiago! Close enough for me…
I finally managed to get a stamp from the Santa Clara Monastery, where I had to talk and pass my credential through a small revolving hatch.
Next stop – Madrid!