Friday, April 21, 2017

Via de la Plata - Day 4: Almaden de la Plata to Monesterio (35.8km on 4/22/17)

Our albergue was upstairs above the bar and had a sitting room and small kitchen.  We had coffee, yoghurt and a banana.  As we were leaving it started to rain, thunder and lightning.  We went back upstairs to make more coffee and wait out the storm.  The rain stopped before we had a chance to make the coffee so we left - at around 7am.  We enjoyed the walk on a gravel track through oak forest until 15km when we reached Real de la Jara.  The options were to stop there or continue onwards for another 20km to Monesterio making a rather long day.  We felt adventurous and continued.  Again, on a gravel track through fields of oak trees.  We saw lots of livestock today -- cows, goats, sheep and pigs.  The pigs were mostly “grazing” under the oak trees and during the fall they would be foraging for acorns.  These are the special pigs destined to become premium jamon.  The weather was not too hot fortunately but it was still a long and tedious/difficult afternoon.  we finally arrived at Monesterio around 6pm after 11 hours on the trail. No blisters but we were definitely footsore.  Staying at Hostal Rinconcillo and in a nice room for a good price.  Had a bottle of white wine in an adjacent bar, met a fellow pilgrim from the Netherlands then had dinner at the Rinconcillo restaurant.  I was pleased that pork cheeks in sweet red wine sauce were on the menu! 

Early morning view in Almaden de la Plata 

Signposts along the trail

Glenn enjoyin a mid morning break along a stream

Heather and Lynn

Lots of heathy and well fed cows

Castle ruins in background - stork nest is on one of the towers.

Much of the day was along one lane gravel tracks

Some walking along a highway but not too much

Pork cheeks in sweet red wine sauce!

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