Thursday, May 4, 2017

Via de la Plata - Day 17: Carcaboso to Arco Romano de Caparra (20km on 5/05/17)

We got an early start and were on the trail before 6:30.  Weather was cool and cloudy and threatening to rain. Later in the morning we walked through light rain for several hours.  Walk was on gravel track then onto route of Roman road and most of the morning was on a trail through meadows of oak trees - often alongside stone walls.  We encountered two different large livestock guardian dogs that made menacing runs at us.  We kept our hiking poles at the ready and moved away.  That’s the first encounter of that type for us.  After nearly 20km we reached the site of the Arco Romano de Caparra - the iconic unofficial “logo” of the via de la Plata.  The arch sits astride the intersection of the via de la Plata and the main street of the Roman town of Caparra.   The city is a significant archaeological site and has been excavated, exposing the Roman road, forum, baths and homes.  The village was surrounded by a wall and outside the wall there was an amphitheater.  We visited the museum and saw a scale model of the impressive Roman village.  Originally we were going to continue on foot to the Hostal Asturias that’s several kilometers off the main route.  Other pilgrims had called the hostal owner to arrange pickup by van so we decided to join them.  

Looking back on our path in early morning - threatening skies!

Walked along irrigation canal for awhile.  Only a bit of walking on asphalt today

Lots of stone walls today.  Here the path of the Roman road ascends and crosses a ridge.

View back towards Carcaboso

Track gave way to pathway for much of morning

Granite cubes (waymarkers) make convenient resting spots - but usually not in pairs

Really nice views of stone walls, meadows and oak trees

We walked through the flock and were harassed by the "livestock guardian dog" - a bit scary

Rain over the hills in the distance - we walked in rain but not too much

Arriving at Arco Romano de Caparra archaeology site - this is the Roman road "via de la Plata" whose route we will follow for much of our camino

Arco Romano de Caparra - the via de la Plata road passes unde the arch and at right angles the main road of the Roman village passes through

On one side of the arch is the Forum

Looking through the arch from the village towards the forum

Sites of houses

More houses

In background is the arch and the forum.  To the right were houses and the Roman bath.

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