30th March 2018.

wp-1522593871390..jpg
The walls of Galisteo and the snowy mountains in the distance.

Leaving Galisteo was a long process. I attempted to follow my book and ended up taking a yellow arrow which was a red herring!

It was a beautiful morning but after a steep descent and re-climbing, an hour later I was back where I started. So if you stay at the Pension El Parador, remember you are already on the Camino and only need to take a left out of the front door, walk across the Roman Bridge, then straight across at the first roundabout, right at the second and you are off.

wp-1522593871381..jpg
Road walking with the important yellow arrows.
wp-1522593871414..jpg
Looking back at Galisteo as I was crossing the bridge.

What a very hard day! 11 hours on the road, including two mistaken detours.

wp-1522593871425..jpg
Farm country with plastic tunnels, familiar from Perthshire, Scotland.

I walked along a road with no pavement for ages until I got to Carcaboso where I happily stopped at a bar and sat in the sun with my cortado.

IMG_20180330_105702.jpg
The bar in Aldehuala del Jerte (not Carcaboso!).

Then I took the recommended right fork. I could see inviting-looking countryside to my right and left but I was on the road. Still. With very poor signposting. I did enjoy the toads jumping into a brook and today’s flower – what I think is the field lupin.

IMG_20180330_111322.jpg

Then an old man stopped his car for a chat and told me that, no Carcaboso was ahead! I had actually just passed through Aldehuala del Jerte (Jerte is the name of the river).

When I did get into Carcaboso it was obvious!

IMG_20180330_120526.jpg

I followed the Way past the Iglesia de Santiago and a tiny sign on the wall showing left. It seemed to be a dead-end but, if you are going to do this after me (while the road works are there), do keep going, following the odd indication and then you will be out of the town in no time.

IMG_20180330_120638.jpg
Beautiful, traditional Spanish tiles decorating a family courtyard.
IMG_20180330_120616.jpg
A very smart house.

I stopped at the Three Crosses and rested, people-watching. I read the poem on the sign beside the bench, for ‘every Friday’ and reflected that it was especially apt for today as it was Good Friday. My feet were aching so I took my boots off, renewed the plasters, trooped over the little bridge knowing I had 4 or 5 more hours to go and that the rain clouds looked ominous. IMG_20180330_121755.jpg

At the bus shelter style tourist information, I took a left and found the ‘Bombay’ sign as indicated in my book. (Vía de la Plata and the Camino Sanabrés by Gerald Kelly. He is a renowned author and walker but Do Not get an out of date copy as things change really quickly.)

wp-1522593871434..jpg
New-born lambs everywhere.

The noisy geese cheered me on; the raptors glided and wheeled overhead; fences made of barbed wire and a variety of sticks including Ash with black buds were on either side; bulrushes at the cotton-wool stage; derelict buildings; lots of gates and trolling uphill.

wp-1522593871443..jpg
Storks nest on a handy monument.

I saw what they mean by ‘cow’s lick’ as the fur at the front of the cows’ faces is in a pretty whorl; there were donkeys (I heard them though the night too) and I was happily traipsing in the middle nowhere.

wp-1522593871401..jpg

I was reflecting that there was no point in thinking of going quickly or getting there faster as it is impossible, one must just live through it, even if it does start raining or your feet hurt.wp-1522593871460..jpg

New here is a good idea: start a pole exchange at airports now that it can be impossible to bring them through security.

Up and down I went, wondering if I had made another mistake. Yes, I had! It was a very long way to retrace my steps: at least an hour. A really bad mistake given it was already well into the afternoon.

IMG_20180330_114453.jpg

Basic advice: only go when you see the signs; if there are none, keep going straight; and where there are two blocks of light grey polished stone, one with a yellow square in plastic on it and one with a blue/green one, ignore the latter.

It was so beautiful, like a Garden of Eden, but I was really, really tired and I did not know how far it would go on. Far, it turned out. Through Holm Oak trees; along stony paths; with large insects (for the first time) flying around my head); and amidst cows with scary looking horns I went until I eventually got to the road and tuned right for Oliva de Plasencia.

IMG_20180330_181615.jpg

Then it was a long walk on tarmac – one and a half hours – until I reached the village. The wind howled and the rain rained.

The albergue was full and the woman shouted that I should have reserved my bed in advance. I had in fact phoned approximately 17 times that day, and showed her the record on my phone, but she had not picked up. The other hostel was also full (it is also run by her). And so was the one miles away which she angrily gave me the number for. People walking around the village tutted and tried to help a little. It was nearly dark.

So I went to the church – after all it was Good Friday and I had read that Spanish people are very fond of pilgrims and very generous in their hospitality.

After a long time during which I sat, exhausted, while it started to rain, someone phoned the priest who said I could not stay in the church but in the porch (I knew it was due to snow that night and was already two degrees so that was impossible). No-one was prepared to offer me a floor or sofa, though I said I could pay. A kind woman phoned and discovered there was one bed left at a hostel in Aldeanueva and another couple then took me there in the car. What a mess.

I guess I should not have gone there if I did not know there was a space, but it is a very unusual situation and the men and women who helped me said that he woman who ran the places was not following Tourist Association rules. The day before, I learned later, a fellow walker did the same thing because he, like me, did not want to walk more than 25 kms that day and this village seemed to offer an alternative.

It was pouring by the time they very kindly deposited me at the city albergue and I was greeted by backpackers I knew. It was warm and had all that I needed. I am very grateful to the people who helped me.

3 thoughts on “Galisteo to (Oliva de Plasencia) to Aldeanueva del Camino

  1. Dear Tamsin —

    I haven’t been commenting regularly because you seem to have more than enough on your plate (finding a bed … and the right road). I’d love to talk to you at length when you get back about some of these issues … e.g. I guess you have to be on a specific path (the whole point?) otherwise you could be compassing or scouting the way … which I guess would not work anyway since you are trying to go to specific albergues. Are they full because it is high season, or what?

    Lovely photos!

    I leave for AZ on 23 April — will you be back?

    Buen viaje

    Irene M.

    ________________________________

    Like

    1. Hi Irene, thank you for your feedback. No I won’t be home until 24th but would love to talk to you aboutit. Yes you are right, I am following a specific path and the Easter Week was very busy which certainly accounts for some of the hostels being full if they were private. Have a good journey.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.