Saturday, April 29, 2017

Via de la Plata - Day 12: Alcuescar to Valdesalor (25.8km on 4/30/17)

We had yoghurt, oranges, digestive biscuits and coffee for breakfast at 6am - we left at ~6:40.  The monastery keeps the front door locked until 6:30 so we couldn’t leave before that anyway. The route followed a paved road a bit then a gravel/dirt track for the rest of the day.  We passed a village (Casas de Don Antonio) via a Roman bridge and a stork nest, complete with stork, plus a small local park with exhibit of an old olive oil mill.  The route was through oak prairies (savannas?) and along the route of the Roman road.  We crossed over two more Roman roads as well as past 3 or 4 Roman mileposts (Milarios) marking the distances from Merida.  Much of the day was on and off mist or rain and the last hour before our destination (Valdesalor) was pretty heavy rain (not a downpour fortunately) - the heaviest we’ve seen so far.  The municipal albergue in the village is nice and we got the last two beds.  Tonight we are back on top bunks.  The manager of the albergue is the proprietor of the “Bar Rincon Julia” (i.e. Julia herself) and a very busy and nice woman.  After a large beer we returned to the Albergue to get organized, shower and do laundry.  They had a free washing machine and although threatening to rain, it was windy and everything dried quickly.  We returned to the bar for a nice dinner with 6 other pilgrims.  After sunset, the sky was clear and calm and hopefully that will continue through tomorrow. 

Looking back towards Alcuescar before sunrise 

Bucolic scene - twin calves
We saw lots of "oak praries" today

Typical vegetation for most of the day - savanah of grassland and oaks

Roman bridge in next town - Casas de Don Antonio

Stork nest and stork!

Antique olive oil mill in Casa de Don Antonio

Today we saw several Roman Miliario (milestones) - the Roman mile is a bit shorter than our mile

Each milestone is numbered - this is the 28th Roman mile from Merida

Another Roman bridge
Puente de Santiago de Bencaliz

View of same bridge showing the roadway

Colors of the field are intense

Road goest through scrublands for awhile

The Roman bridge just before Valdesalor

The Roman bridge just before Valdesalor.  It's interesting because of the double height of the sides.

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