Wednesday, June 11, 2008
May 21 - Casar de Caceres to Cañaveral
Little aches and pains today. I am definitely not as in good shape as last year. But I move on. And today´s stage is 34 kilometers, no less! During the walk I told Salvador that in my guide it states there is a railroad station at about 20 kilometers. I will take the train which is to arrive at 14:50. The walk was very nice. Magnificent sights.
Mountains far away, and I wonder how long before we get to them. We found a small watering hole along the way and we stopped to brunch.
This German guy passed by at almost a gallop. He walks with a small backpack. His wife drives their car to the next stage and she walks backwards towards him for a few kilometers. That´s one way of doing it. There were tadpoles in the pond, many frogs to come. I layed down on my sarong and took a little sun.... most of the time was sunny, but the wind was chilly.
My backpack rolled down the hill (small hill) and I retrieved it and was pulled back up by Salvador. We saw water up ahead, but the trail took us around a mountain. I loved that walk, for I had to do some climbing. Those large boulders are everywhere! I want some in my backyard. I would find little spots to sit in and feel cradled by them. The kids could play hide and seek.
Each time I thought the trail went that-away, it went another way. I remember last year when walking with Niall we would bet a beer if we had gone over the last hill before the trail would start going down and it was funny how many times we thought, ok that must be the last hill! We did something similar today, except that we did not bet anything. The water was now to our left and we had to keep walking until we got to the bridge that went over the river. Once we crossed it, it was odd that the water was still to our left. The railroad station was coming up and by now I was hurting pretty good. I kissed Salvador goodbye and I took the trail down the hill to the station. He walked on. This was now road walking by the way. UGH!! The RR station was deserted.
It even looked like nothing has gone on there in a while. But I sat at the bench, layed down sometimes, did some sudoku puzzles, peed in the bushes, and finally 2:50 pm comes, and no train. I started wondering about this. I could hear a phone ringing ocassionally inside the station and thought whoever runs the place would arrive any moment. Nope. Still no one and now it is 3pm. I grabbed my backpack and thought, well, I got to walk now. And then I heard it, the train....whistling.
HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!!! I walked over to the platform and the damn thing did not slow down. I saw the conductor´s eyes, and he did nothing, not even a hand wave..... and there it went. I was astounded. But not totally surprised since no one had appeared before its arrival. Big Sigh, no tears. My legs are rested, I can walk the next 15 kilometers, or whatever it is. I took it slow, stopped occasionally. Salvador called me as I was crossing the second bridge, and he had arrived in Cañaveral. I told him what had happened and told him I would arrive late, no doubt. I walked on. A pilgrim passed me. Later on I saw him turn into a private albergue, the Miraltajo. I would have stopped there and rested if it had not been that Salvador was waiting for me in Cañaveral. I walked for another hour or so and a mini-van stopped to tell me that I missed my yellow arrow and that the trail went back into the hill. You know how much I love road walking. He offered to take me there and I told him I was hurting and that I could not go back many kilometers and retrace what I had done. He said to get in and that he would take me to Cañaveral. I did not hesitate. I jumped into the back with his wife. A German couple, they were walking a different way. He would drive ahead, take a bus back and then they would walk back to the van. They would sleep in it. All this until she developed some kind of allergy to something that blooms in the area and had to stop. So now they are riding and camping. Wonderful couple, took me 10 kilometers into town. He said it is longer on the road, and that the trail would have been faster. As we went into town, I saw Salvador sitting there, I guess waiting for me, sweet guy. He missed the yellow arrow also and walked along the road the whole way. They dropped me off at the albergue and went back to tell Salvador that I was at the albergue waiting for him. I went into the bar Malaga. A man with a mean face and a mean talk took me to the albergue. He owns the bar, the hostal and the albergue. Salvador arrived and we held a bed for Ceri. She arrived later. Told me she met the man and we dubbed him "grouchy man". She did not want to eat there and I did, the reason being that I wanted to support his bar,since he does not take money for the albergue, a gift to pilgrims. I am grateful to him. We walked around other bars to see what they had to offer and we ended up back at the bar Malaga. It turned out to be the best meal I had so far. He and his grouchy face took wonderful care of us and fed us anything we wanted on the menu del dia. I had a delicious bean soup for first course, rabbit in a wonderful sauce and salad for second course, wine, bread and a great flan, all for 8€!! Salvador and Ceri enjoyed their meal as well. Love that old grouchy man! He knew about my foot and told me he would give me a ride next day to Galisteo. I told him I would see how I felt. I already knew how I felt. I overdid it today, and I was in a lot of pain again in my hip and leg. Salvador walked the whole TOTAL 34 KILOMETERS. I walked probably 24 or 25 of those.