Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Camino Mozarabe - Day 3 - Castuera

Confirm that the person in the bar yesterday is walking the Camino Mozarabe and will head north on the Camino via de la Plata to Santiago after Mérida. Told me his name is 'Bugger?' from Australia. Somehow he took a wrong turn and ended up on the boring road for 44 km yesterday. At least that explains why I did not see him and it would be faster on the road than on the trail.

Finally terrain is flatter. At least I don't have to push the bike up anymore today, except when I want enjoy walking with it. Riding into Extremadura today. Three stages on the bike today. 25+32+18 km.

First stop. Hinojosa del Duque for coffee and churros. A priest actually serve me my churros outside, perhaps to help the bar and to ask me where I come from. They are always amazed when I told them. Another highlight here is a stay at the convent. Too short for me at only 25 km. On the way out a farm with turkeys and chicken roaming freely. Every time I park the bike near horses they always come.

Before I got to happy about the nice terrain I had to squeezed into 2 narrow overgrowth path. Ouch. Luckily not for too long. Maybe it is not the bike but that I may have food for them. Before Monterrubio I have a nice bici (bike arrow). The alternate walking path is actually not too bad. Just wish they had that after leaving Cordoba as the walking path is really narrow and steep for any bicycle.

Finally, goodbye Andalucia, hello Extremadura!  Quick stop at Monterrubio de la Serana. Now even the church has the Extremadura feel. After coffee and tapas, got some food at the supermarket for lunch on the way to Castuera. This last stretch is basically olive tree for miles and miles. Found an acorn tree among the olives for the break. Yes, I got a cup noodle (actually yakisoba). No hot water, just have to wait slightly longer for the noodle to absorb the water from my bottle to become soft.

Before Castuera a nice town perch on the side of a hill with fort ruin, Benquerencia de la Serena. Finally just after 3 pm in Castuera. Love the Extremadura design ayuntamiento (city hall). Have to wait outside the local police to get the keys to the albergue. Another Spanish biker which I have not seen before also riding the Mozarabe from Granada showed up. A lot more professional looking including the bike (mine is really amateurish). Bad news, the albergue is closed. Good news, there is a hotel here which is not in the guide. So we both rode towards it at the edge of town. 22 euros. With restaurant so don't need to go anywhere in the evening.

Looks like 2 more days to Mérida.

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