If you go down in the woods today . . .

Plasencia Travel Blog

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Walking through the wildflowers

¿Hola, Que tal?

´Oh my´, Little Red Riding Hood (pilgrim Grace with red hat carrying a very big bag) has been having a fine time of late. I looked for the three bears but only found the vacas (cows), ovejas (sheep) and cabras (goats). Instead of leaving a trail of crumbs, I have been following a well laid trail of yellow arrows - all shapes and sizes. Some are hidden in the undergrowth, some are on rocks or trees, some go around corners (even on fenceposts).

What fun it has been since I left Alcantara! The walk early in the morning was firstly up a rocky incline to the high plains, something like Scotland in a drought with thistles and tussock covering the gently undulating land. After 20km of this I returned to lower ground and sat in the front of a tiny Iglesia for morning tea (magdalena and water) before climbing again up a steep rock and shale hill.

Vaca - sharing my path
It was a cardio workout and the sun was now blazing onto my brown shoulders. As i puffed to the top, careful not to topple with the weight of my pack, I could smell a new smell. At the crest of the hill I came upon a gorgeous pine forest. It was intoxicating and I basked in the cool shade and soft velvety pine needle path. Slowly the forest turned into a lovely wood of encina and cork trees and I entered the tiny pueblo of Grimaldo.

I stayed a night here, met later in the day by my lovely friend Marketa (the only other female pilgrim so far). We were adopted by the lady of the bar and she cooked us dinner while we were surrounded by a few of the local old men watching football. Luckily Spain won! The Albergue was a cute little 3 bedroom house, spartan but welcoming after a day in the heat.

That cute dog scamming food from Raul
Thank you to the people of the village for providing pilgrims with a safe place to sleep (but shame on the young boy who stole my bra from the washing line - quite funny really).

Early next morning I walked alone with the sunrise on some of the most lovely camino tierra of my Camino yet. It was through farms and the landscape was gentle hills, bubbling streams and fields of freshly cut hay; dotted with encina trees. At one stage I stopped to try and call NZ (no luck!) and was met by a ´new ´pilgrim, Raul from Holland. We spent the rest of the day together walking 38km. After 15km we stopped to have some bread and cheese and were joined (from out of nowhere) by the cutest black and white scruffy dog. He rolled over and all he wanted was pats. He must have realised that every day he can accost pilgrims and scam either cuddles or food! Very enterprising.

The brick barns nearing Carcaboso

The walking was just gorgeous and the countryside very different to the rest of Extremadura. This area is well irrigated with a complex series or canals and aqueducts, first built in Roman times. There were more trees (including a birch forest) and the land was very fertile supporting corn, wheat and tobacco. The amimals were plump, shiny and content.

Another interesting difference was the emergence of enormous brick barns - some two and three storeys high. Many were quite old and had a weathered appearance. Each one had a distinct pattern of holes created by the brickwork to allow for ventilation (and to 1-up the neighbours!). Many had wonderful green painted doors with an aged patina, such a contrast against the red brick.

The previous two days have been like walking through 4 different landscapes and Little Red Riding Hood has really enjoyed life in the woods.

The shopping in Plasencia
I passed through Galisteo (another old walled town) and stayed last night in a tiny place called Carcaboso. Today is a rest day and yet again I have caught up with Marketa. We are in Plasencia (not on the Camino) shopping (for a bra!). I have also purchased a pair of authentic Spanish riding boots and posted home. I am praying every day that they arrive. Girls, you will understand !!!

So go into the woods today and see what you can find.

Besos from a rested Peregrina, Grace

RoyL says:
Gracey, great to see you having a wonderful time. RL
Posted on: Jun 24, 2008
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Walking through the wildflowers
Walking through the wildflowers
Vaca - sharing my path
Vaca - sharing my path
That cute dog scamming food from R…
That cute dog scamming food from …
The brick barns nearing Carcaboso
The brick barns nearing Carcaboso
The shopping in Plasencia
The shopping in Plasencia
Plasencia
photo by: Chokk