Of Orioles and Big Dogs.

by tim 2. May 2012 14:56
2.5 Wednesday. El Real de la Jara to Monasterio.
A very good nights sleep in the quiet lodging at Alofamiento Molina sets us up for a up and down route over the border into Estramadura. The pigs do indeed change colour, we see the soon to be familiar, ginger hairy pigs of this province instead of the bald black ones of Andalucia. Other than the usual herds of milking goats and sheep in the process of lambing with their large guard dogs one of whom is very officious, we see no other mamalian fauna. But the bird life as usual is prolific we see vultures, black kites, a shrike or two, skylarks multiple charms of gold finches and the bird of the day 3 or 4 Golden Orioles.
We approach about 2/3 of our distance down the good dirt track and see a large hotel in the distance, this is puzzeling in the middle of nowhere then we discover the motorway it is a service station and hotel restuarant complex, we have coffee and a piece of spanish omlette. The small shrine to Santa Isadore is on the island in the middle of the interchange, the route hops crash barriers to take it in, or maybe we get it wrong. After a confusing bit where we progress between the autoroute and the main road in a small elongated wood we hop some more crash barriers and join a local dirt track that gradually increases gradient.
There is a reasonably steep pull up the final slope to the edge of Monasterios, past pig and sheep farms and we are onto the town. We pass by both Hotels Moya and Pilar both advertising pilgrim rates and find the small but new and very comfortable alburgue on the left side of the camino route through town.
This albergue opened in Aug 2011 and is the baby of Father Miguel Angel the parish priest and hospitalero of the albergue, (a keen young man) he has a lovely old church probably going back to Roman times, certainly in masonary terms it is a patch work. Picture some pics on the wall of the 4 bed room we are in.
20km just over 4hrs with cool temperature and rain threatening all the way.
Link to where we are on Google Maps


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