24th May 2017 Torremejía to Mérida.

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‘Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering. Winnie the Pooh,  A A Milne.

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Today’s short walk took me past industrial areas.
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For a great deal of time this mountain and I were beside each other.
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Also fields of wheat, gleaming in the sun.
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And plane trees.

I was trekking through Badajoz in the Extremadura region of Spain. The mountains were in the distance, but on the ground it was tarmac and vehicular junctions. There was a blue sky and although I left in the dark to stay cool, it was getting very hot by 10am.

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Causing a heat haze.
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The paths were stony underfoot, with fertile greenery,  despite the lack of rain.

Soft grasses, Scottish purple thistles and long ochre paths stretched ahead of me, with an occasional fellow Camino traveller making his quiet way. Otherwise it was a peaceful walk as I approached Mérida and the end of my journey for this time.

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Lusitania Bridge, Mérida. It was 42 degrees by the time I walked across here to meet my driver!

I have a duty to many people and somehow I will discharge it. I have a duty also to some continuing part of myself. … I see now what I am….. it’s a question of being faithful to an essence. p. 239 From ‘On Green Dolphin Street’ by Sebastian Faulks.

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Puente Romano (Roman bridge, 792 metres long) across the Rio Guadiana, Mérida.

 Mérida is the capital of Extremadura and was founded in the 1st century by the Romans. There are plenty of attractions but I was taking a Bla Bla Car to Madrid for my return to Scotland and so had to reserve those pleasures til my next visit in March 2018.

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Lusitania Bridge, Mérida.

I found a cool cafe which allowed me to sit for a while. I walked around the town and found everything I needed – it is well stocked with shops and so on.

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Mérida: I enjoyed the ancient walls in the medieval Plaza de España.
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I located the pilgrim’s albergue / hostel because I knew I would be back to continue the Via de la Plata from Mérida. It is by the River Guadiana.
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Classic pilgrim statue!
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Molino de Pancaliente, Av. José Fernández López, 32-40, 06800 Mérida, Badajoz, Spain.

Phone for the peregrino albergue called Molino de Pancaliente, Mérida +34 682 51 43 66. Cost: 8 euros. open all year round.

This was the last but one day of my Spring 2017 trip. I began teaching in Paris and walking in Normandy and Brittany. Here is the main page for my French blogs. Then I went to Zaragoza, Seville (via Madrid), and started to walk the Via de la Plata. Here is the Spanish page with links to each of those blogs.

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After all that walking and fresh air, I felt strong, healthy and very, very grateful.

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