Thursday, April 20, 2017

Via de la Plata - Day 3: Castilblanco de los Arroyos to Almaden de la Plata (29.3km on 4/21/17)

We left the hospederia by 6:30am and grabbed breakfast at a bar - surprisingly they were actually open at 4am - it’s hard to find breakfast before 7:30.  We were walking by 7am so again on the road before sunrise and followed a two lane highway for 16km.  We found two shady spots to rest along the way but otherwise not much to do.  After 16km we left the paved road and entered a “park” and a one lane gravel track continued for the rest of the day.  We stopped and had a picnic lunch in a shady spot.  Oak trees were scattered in the fields along the road and we were surprised to notice that many of them were “cork trees”.  Finally, we passed up a very steep section and then descended steeply into our destination city of Almaden de la Plata.  We had intended on staying at the large municipal albergue but a local barkeeper approached us first and we ended up staying in the albergue above his bar - Bar Casa Clara.  It only has two rooms with two bunks in each.  There’s a small sitting room and kitchen.  We enjoyed a beer in the square beside the bar and met two perigrinas (Heathery and Lynn from Perth and New Jersey).  It was windy and the umbrella over our table blew over and struck Lynn in the head, leaving a large lump but fortunately no cut.  The barkeeper rushed over with ice and that helped.  Dinner was at nearby restaurant for the menu del dia.  We need to make a decision tomorrow whether we walk only 13km or continue on for a 34km day - we will see how we feel and if the weather cooperates as this might be our first rainy day.

Another sunrise along the camino

Walked along the 2 lane highway for 16km - didn't really need the arrows!

 Entry to Parque National Sierra Norte

"Cork Trees"!

Typical path for the last 17km in the Parque

A steep but short final climb

View back in the direction we have travelled in the Parque

Final short but steep descent into our destination of Almaden de la Plata

Albergue above Bar Casa Clara

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