The Age of the Aquarius.

by tim 9. May 2012 15:48

9.5 Merida to Aljucen 16km.
Eventually we agree a short day, Tony's planning spreadsheet normally excellent is adrift 8km, it is too far to Acuescar on the hot day forecast. So just as it is light we have a pastry and orange juice in our room and set off through the streets of Merida looking for yellow arrows and coffee, the former are easily found just before the aqueduct of Milagros the latter not available, the closest being a nightclub still cleaning after a late night.
The Milagros Aqueduct looks most impressive in the early morning light storks are already noisily clacking their beaks at each other. Betsy takes yet more photos, she may yet be done for storking.
After about 7km of road we reach the Prospina reservoir, a marvel of Roman engineering by Aquarii whose responsibility it was to ensure the water supply to the city. The pictures we have seen show the inside wallof the dam during cleaning a few years ago and the regularly spaced support towers along its length. We wondered why these were needed and were informed by one of the many explanatory notices along the dam wall that a similar aqueduct supplying Toledo had collapsed while empty due to the weight of earth needed against the downstream side. The citizens of Merida and their Aquarius obviously learnt from this misfortune.
The rest of the walk slipped uneventfully between oak trees and flowers though we are happy to reach Aljucen as the day is already heating up by 11.15.
We find the little albergue 100m up the road by the church, it is a small placel and a party of seven just starting from Merida and arriving late are turned away inspite of trying to book by phone. Camino rules of first come served apply, they will learn.l
Link to where we are on Google Maps


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