The See of Mud.

by tim 6. May 2012 17:20
6.5 Domingo.
Villanova de los Banos to Torremejia.
The day dawns an orange ball of fire is seen in the east, it is Not Raining! We leave town about 7 after breakfast in the Albergue Touristico, very soon we hit the dirt track it is well made of fine gravel and we race along in fine spirits, after a while the Camino yellow arrows indicate a camino de tierra to the left through the olive and vinyards, one of our guides warns against it after rain, we think the last few days count and continue along the good gravel track. This adds maybe 2km to our route but avoids a very muddy and tiring route. There are vinyards all around, new plantings are common and the whole area is well tended. We see a male Hen Harrier magnificent in his pale grey plumage quartering across the land of mud (yes it really is called Tierra de los Barros) on the lookout for food. After a long while we pass Alemendralejo off to our left but the sea of vines does not change. There are square kms of it. Gigagallons of wine.
Our first taste of what the grit road protects us from occurs as the olives return and occasional patches of wheat relieve the ocean of vine, we stop at a cross roads a few steps off the road to frame a photo, our feet are coated in mud, our height increases and steps become leaden. This repeats again as we leave the true grit road and hop,jump,slither along the last km reaching tarmac like seals beaching from foaming seas. The albergue is by the church to the left of the route in, again, a restored old building with bits of roman looking staturary used in its initial construction. We think from a local map we are now at the edge of the See of Mud!
28km 5hrs 30min.
Link to where we are on Google Maps


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