Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Camino Levante - Day 25 Leaving Arévalo

Left just before twilight at 7:15 am. No bars open. Never mind will walk 9 km (2 hours away) in Palacio de Goda for my cuppa. The moon is much higher today. More pine foresr, vegetable patch and corn fields later, bar is not opened! It's 9:15! No choice but to move on. Next, Ataquines is on the other side of the highway so no go for a 1.5 km detour one way. Along the way, vineyards without grapes, sad bowing sunflower patch, an abandoned/desolate houses, shepherd with sheep dogs/goats, and an fenced ip vineyard with grapes (darn!).

Finally after 22.5 km in S. Vicente del Palacio right around noon. Saw a petrol station 750 meters to the right of the town with restaurante. Plan to make the detour if I have no luck with the bar here. Thank goodness I don't have to make the detour. Coffee and tortilla (nothing is as food as the one I had in El Toboso). Make that 2 cafe con leche.

Next is the last 11.8 km to Melina del Campo in the hot sun without shade. Hot damn! And as if 34 km is not bad enough I made a wrong turn (how on earth could I make such a boo boo on such a flat plain road?) and have add another 1.5 km in this 34 km day.

One more thing, the real reason why the first stop after Ávila is Rotarrendura is beacause Santa Teresa was born there (yes the no bar town). After the first day, the way of Teresa with the Alba sign spilt with the Camino as it move west to Alba de Tormes near Salamanca. This around 110 km way was just created for Santa Teresa's 500 years anniversary.

Camino Levante - Day 25 Medina del Campo

Outside Medina del Campo was greeted by Hotel San Roque. So tempted to just go right in after the hot 34km plus 1.5 km wrong way backtrack. Resisting the temptation slowly walked into the city. Just outside saw a big building with the words 'Bazar Chino'. Wow. Some of these Chinese shops certainly are growing. Right at the city sign post is the Ermita (chapel) San Rogue. Nice shade on the bench behind the chapel to finish my food before going into the city around 3 pm.

Going into any town/city from 2-5 pm is like going into a ghost town (siesta time). After the siesta time from 5-8 pm all shops are reopen (except restaurant). Then everyone is out and the place is alive again.

Convent albergue or hostal?. No brainer. My legs are like jelly and I need the comfort.

I really like Medina del Campo. Nice old streets, easy layout and an iconic castle La Mota on the east end. Interesting that if not driving up, one has to walk through small low roof residential Spanish houses to get up there. I have no idea how I have the energy to walk up later in the evening. Many artisanal stuff too like cheese and alabaster. Anyway after the usual fruits and stuff at the supermarket, dinner and updating this journal it's off to bed. Tomorrow will be an easy 25.5 km. Will do my laundry then. That's all one needs to do on the Camino. Eat, sleep, walk and wash.

My lower right shin is giving me some problems the last 2 days. Everytime I start walking a sharp pain, but seems to mostly go away after walking a few hundred meters. Hope it is just one of those Camino type ache. Just 3 more days left. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Camino Levante - Day 24 Arévalo

Arévalo is sandwiched between two rivers (Adaja and Arevalillo). It's got at least a dozen churches. An old city judging from the streets (zig zag and curves).

Apparently Queen Isabella I (yes that Christopher Columbus one) spent part of her childhood here. Many regional cities are also part of her history as she and Ferdinand of Aragon (her hubby) were trying to unite the whole of Spain.

A number of buildings here seems abandoned, these days it is mostly an agricultural center. Because of the two river the city is a little narrow and vertical. Most of the stuff like supermarket and services are to the south (most of the resudents too I supposed), the historic north is mostly bars, hostal and mobile shops. Some of the houses are old and quaint and one even reminds me Spain when I first visited 25 years ago.

At the very north surrounded by the two rivers is the Castillo (castle). That's about it.

Tomorrow's stage will end in Medina del Campo 34 km away. Ouch. At least the terrain now is flat. Food supply reloaded.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Camino Levante - Day 24 To Arévalo

Immediately after Tiñosillos, I was pleasantly surprised to be walking among the pine forest for at least 8 km.

Apparently the trees are cultivated for their sap. Sample it and it smells like medicated oil. Quite nice walking through as it reduces the direct sun for me by at least half. After about 8 km and another 6 km to go the trail ends and changes to one besides the road. No more shade but still can use one of the tree to rest and have some lunch (last small can of tuna and bread with a tomato). Need to replenish my food supply later in Arévalo. At just before 2 pm right outside Arévalo. 27km today.

No albergue here. Will check for a hostal, some rest and later after siesta when the supermarket is open buy some provisions for tomorrow, check out the town and find a place for dinner.

Everyday is a new place....

Camino Levante - Day 24 Leaving Gotarrendura

With a lot of rest yeaterday I started walking today at 7 am, 30 minutes before the break of dawn. A bit cold. As Sunday was the Chinese mid-autumn moon festival the moon here is full and very bright as the moon is setting. It lit the trail just nice.

Next village Hernansancho is around 3 km. The bar was still not opened. Coffee is the vending machine from the petrol station (better than nothing). Leaving the place I witnessed an awesome moon setting at the same time as the sun rise on the other side.

The landscape is looking pretty much like the Camino via de la Plata. Just realized that Salamanca is around 80 km west of here. No wonder. Also stork's nests on top of the church.

Passed by a few towns, one just skirt on the outside and not into the town. Finally it was only on the last town before today's destination in Arévalo (about mid point in Tiñosillos) that I finally have my proper cafe con leche (coffee with milk) and some tapas.

The Camino always provide....