Mud Mud Glorious Mud!

by tim 5. May 2012 15:49
5.5 Saturday Zafra to Villafranca de los Barros.

Once again the church in Zafra is a bird sanctuary for a flock of Lesser Kestrels that nest communally there. These unusual raptors nest comunally and this is the second protected site we have seen.
We hoped that weather was improving but soon after an optimistic start the rain starts and continues all morning. Joe walks with us today, he is pleased with our time and speed as he considers himself unfit, so is pleased to finish with us. As Tony says its heads down keep walking weather, but Joe and Tim are behind setting the world to rights from opposite positions, the morning flies by! Noted by those in front a pair of hares one sitting on the track ahead, and a hoopoe and the call of the cuckoo. The countyside is fairly fertile with olive and vinyards thus the path is moderately muddy in keeping with the observed rule, mud and fertility are directly proportional.
This rule reaches the status of a law when we arrive in Villafranca de los Barros and Betsy anounces that "barros" is spanish for "mud". This explains the lack of concern from the lady running the bar we enter for beers over the state of our boots! If you have a bar in "The Freetown of the Mud" you can't be too particular. Joe explains Villafranca probably meant that it started as a large house that provided a royal or ducal favour and was granted freedom from taxes.
We lodge in the Alburgue Carmen a high roomed old house near the centre of town with a view of the inevitable stork nest from the balcony washing lines. In the afternoon the weather improves enough to use them, for a time.
Link to where we are on Google Maps


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