A walk in the park, plus Calvary Hill.

by tim 30. April 2012 18:01
30.4 Monday Castilblanco de los Arroyos to Almaden de la Plata.
It's not raining, just cold and clear when we leave Castilblanco a nice little town with a very average albergue, redeemed by the good cafe/bar opposite (open around 6.30 for breakfast. It is just light after breakfast but we do not see any of the seven pairs of storks nesting on and around the church some of whom we saw changing the guard yesterday.
Our route today starts with a 16km road walk which in fact passes through very pleasant countryside undulating through olive and cork trees. The road is good quality but relatively little used by vehicles so the walk is good and we learn to identify the call of the hoopoe as well as seeing a dead one at the roadside. We also get good views of the bird that yesterday we thought might be a greater spotted cuckoo, it is not! We later identify it as an Azure winged Magpie, they seem quite common here.
We are rising slowly and some clouds form as the sun rises preventing the day from warming up so we bowl along at a good speed and soon reach the entrance to Parque Naturel de Sierra Norte, a good gravel track leads through. In the air above the large area of cork oak and scant pasture we see a stack of over 10 vultures rising on a thermal to look for food. We hope to get out of this area without providing their next meal.
The final route out leads up the very steep slope called in our guide books as Calvary Hill it is steep but not really very long and the views back are excellent. We descend the hill into Almaden which is quiet as it is a holiday.
Good albergue after 28km 6hrs.
Link to where we are on Google Maps


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