Camino Day 16: Casar de Cáceres to Cañaveral

Wow, these pilgrims were on the move this morning! We woke just before 7 am and were the last to leave by 7:30! Although not too proud of our slumber, on a positive note, we noticed this metal sign while turning out the lights in the albergue:

Rough translation: “Go, Pilgrim. Go to Santiago. Give [the saint] a hug and a kiss. Ring the bell. Follow your path and may God accompany you to your destination.”

Oh, we’ll get there. But a churro and coffee will help a great deal. Mikey figured that since everyone was already gone, we should stick around and get a small bite to eat before rushing about. This place was really neat. They do the traditional “chunky” churros in a big spiral and slice them off. No sugar and they’re not too big on the chocolate. It was a rather refreshing break from the sugar coma normally induced at churrerías.

We passed the Church of Santiago on our way out of town. Funny how the namesakes for this pilgrimage are never open for said pilgrims. Hmmm.

Of special note were the doors to the church. As we near closer to Santiago de Compostela, we will see the Cross of Santiago more often.

And we will probably see many more vistas like this one. Yes, we are entering a more mountainous terrain, but the lush green of spring, the red earthen clay, and crystal blue skies are something this smog-laden, city-dwelling Angeleno will forever appreciate.

This view was just too amazing. We had just climbed a moderate hill and turned to see the gates of a fenced off hunting preserve. Mikey attributes this image to timing and the truth as before accredited to Henri Cartier-Bresson, “You just have to live and life will give you pictures.”

But, to be honest, the lighting, sunrise, cloud cover, varied terrain, etc., all worked very well for us this morning.

Even this jackass looked amazing as the sun escaped some morning clouds!

And we all know what a soft spot our intrepid photographer has for his bovine lady crushes. Oh, and just so that you know, dear reader, we had no fence between us and them on this particular open preserve. (As such, those horns were really close!)

But, much of our walk was rather benign with few livestock-ers. Puns aside, this is just a gorgeous part of Spain and if you aren’t already convinced to do the Camino de la Plata then you should try it out on holiday or something.

Much more Kansas (ala Wizard of Oz) than Don Quixote, this windmill was kind of rad.

Still, the main attraction for today was the Tagus River. As the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula, it’s kind of a big to do in these parts. We just thought that it was a lake or something until we did a little research. (And let’s be honest, it looks like a lake!)

Very “lake-like,” don’t you think?!

Well, as we know that bridges have to span our rivers and such, it’s always neat to see the different types that cross these bodies of water. Still, and even more exciting, is to see a work in progress. Yeah – not finished, yet. How cool is that?!

OK, so here’s the opposite. These are the last remnants of a Roman bridge that used to span the same river. So…maybe both win for use of arches?! Just sayin’.

The only things not winning were our feet. Taking over as the de facto guide (once again), Mikey decided that we should walk alongside the highway (an option in the guidebook) for most of the day. OK, it was direct, but it was also unbelievably harsh on the soles (and perhaps souls – if only we had ever been so kindly equipped in life to own these).

Ergo, we leave you with our best last photograph that we took while cursedly hobbling up a rough terrain into yet another waypoint.

Cañaveral is a nice enough town, but we’ll not take enough notice other than a few personal observations of those who helped or discouraged us while there. Oh, and cheers to our fellow diners, the University of Leon cross country team. Go ULE!

Goodnight, dear reader.

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