Total Distance walked by Gordon: 439 kms
Total Distance cycled by Ruth: 468 kms
When I am planning to travel on a Camino I admit to doing minimal preparation. I check the average weather in the area, buy the plane tickets and a guidebook, pack a 45 litre backpack and off we go. Since we will be on a Camino route I assume there will be adequate food and shelter.
Since I haven’t done in-depth research in advance, I am constantly surprised by what we encounter. A few days ago I was amazed when we came over a rise to see the town of Galisteo behind a relatively intact 12th century Almohad wall (heavily and unsympathetically restored, but still impressive). Similarly, during the last few days I have been surprised and delighted to find that we were passing through a significant range of mountains. They rise to over 2400 metres, and since the storm a few days ago they have been capped with snow.
The villages in the mountains have their own character, with greater roof overhangs and a stronger sense of being hunched against the weather. We are still following the Roman road, so there are many reminders of this era, including frequent stone mileposts. The town we stayed in last night, Baños de Montemayor, has thermal baths that have been used since at least the Roman period. (Surprising, the water at our hotel wasn’t actually that hot.)
Our walk today was arguably the most beautiful thus far. We passed through mixed oak and chestnut forests dotted with the occasional farm, while above us the snow peaked mountains were frequently visible. The area draws many hikers and bikers, with signage for various routes pointing in every direction.
The Via de la Plata continues to delight us with its beauty and variety.