My Camino Route in 2017

My Camino Route in 2017
This year (2017), I will be walking most of the Camino Levante from Albacete to Zamora I've alloted three weeks in September and October, but may have time at the end for more walking.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Embalse de Alcantara

Walking on the road is not a lot of fun

Much nicer on this country road

Lots of cattle and sheep gates to go through

The granite waymarkers. This is one point that the old Roman Road diverges from the current Camino route
The view of the reservoir from our albergue

It is good to be walking, but this is sparsely populated country outside of the big cities, so I had to walk a bit farther than I would have liked for the first day, about 32 km or 20 miles. The first 10 km were on the highway to Casar de Caceres, with not much of a shoulder to walk on, there was not an option walk elsewhere. However , beyond Casar de Caceres, the path was mainly an unpaved country road, most of it decomposed granite. Besides less traffic, it was also much easier on the feet than the hard asphalt. I walked all day without seeing another pilgrim, which I always like. There are about 18 to 20 people in the albergue tonight, but all except myself and another person walked from Casar de Caceres.

I have to explain that I am currently walking the Via de la Plata (Road of the Silver). This is the old Roman road that they used to haul the silver that they mined in northern Spain.     The modern day camino route is often on the same path. I discovered the unique granite cube waymarkers are marked in green for the old Roman road and yellow for the modern day route.Where they coincide there are both yellow and green tiles on the cube. The top of the cube is always marked with an arrow designating the direction one should be traveling. A pretty good system. I wonder if these markers will continue.

Many walkers would probably find the rural areas that I walked through today to be boring and uninteresting, just as many skip the meseta between Burgos and Leon on the Camino Frances. As a farmer, I find it interesting to study the different forms that agriculture takes in different places. Centuries have evolved this seemingly bleak looking area into one that is productive for wheat farming on the better soils and grazing land for cattle and sheep on the rest. There are even some oak groves growing in pastures so the acorns can provide the feed for the prized pigs raised on them. 

Tonight's albergue is not in a city or village, but rather overlooks the Embalse (reservoir) de Alcantara, which dams up the Rio Tajo. The Rio Tajo flows from Toledo and beyond here finally enters the ocean at Lisbon in Portugal. A picturesque setting. Clouds threatened today, but no rain. I think we will have some rain tomorrow.

Note: I tried to post some photos, but the internet here is too slow to do that before Christmas. Hopefully later.

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