San Pedro de Merida to Merida. 10 miles Flat.|
Over the last bit of well tilled flat Spanish countryside to the city of Merida. It is typical Spanish spring day cool damp and misty at first then clear blue skies warming up gradually. We soon get to Trujillanos a small town preparing for the feast day of it's saint. San Isadore the Labradore. Patron Saint of Farmers. He was a pious generous farm labourer in 13th century who gave away much he owned including food to animals birds and the poor. His son was saved from drowning in the well by a miracle. Isadore and his wife swore chastity and lived separately in thanks. The boy died as a youth, sadly living a good life does not make you imune to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. No bars are found open and the village seems to be paused, drawing breath before festivities begin. For such a small place the giant astroturf covered traffic island seems incongruous but it does mean visitors know where they are.
Several groups of cyclists wish us Bon Camino as we wander across the Camino Agricola. This is nothing to do with Roman emperors but simply a farm road, the warning on signs being for tractors etc.
The flowers at the field edges are still in bloom but within a coupleof weeks it will be drying out and only the organised irrigation of the area will keep crops growing. Some plants have already set their seed and are waiting a fair wind for distribution.
More hoopoos and magpies of both types are seen as well as the church of San Isadore who would have welcomed we are sure the dozen or so storks nesting with young on its roof.
We arrive in Merida and realise that even the three who have been here before have not seen this the second Roman aqueduct of the city. Tim feels at home when he spots the round about with the large fallen Roman column in its centre and we have the Menu de dia at one of the many restaurants. Big city prices at 12euros a head but still vino tinto included.
Tony easily finds the three bedroom apartment he and Betsy rented for us for two nights and we settle in. Team work solves the problems of persuading the gas water heater to ignite and provide hot showers, so when Ray returns from a slightly rapid visit to the museum (early closing Sunday not open Monday) he gets his shower without effort.
The apartment is perfect for pilgrims a treadmill on the balcony provides support for those who just can not stop walking. None of us utilise it.
A day in Merida tomorrow and then bus to Madrid and a flight home. It seems odd not visiting Santiago but this is how many Spanish utise the Caminos. One man we met freely admitting to going on Camino when his mother in law visited.
Link to where we are on Google Maps