In the Footsteps of the Wolf.

by tim 10. May 2012 14:04
10.5 Thursday. Aljucen to Alcuescar.
We leave the little village of Aljucen at 0700 sharp it should be a hot day again, we lucked out in this small albergue as an early arriving group of three we had the three bedded room to ourselves. We tumble down the hill to the cafe and start the day right with coffee all round. A smart downhill trot and over the bridge on the Rio Aljucen and we are on to a series of verdanas, the green drove roads of the spanish countryside. These are a delight with flowers in the early morning sun and we trend slowly upwards through granite boulders and oak trees in beautifully managed wooded pasture, this is the Park Natural de Cornalvo. There are occasional olive groves and some cork trees but mostly this is pasture for foraging animals, and takes some serious forestry to maintain it in its open shaded but with swathes of grassland state, like a Capability Brown landscape at times. We see the foresters, and the results of their labours all around, a very harmonious landscape.
All too soon we reach the cross where reputedly a sheperd boy was eaten by a wolf in a year we cannot ascertain, on his way to a fiesta. This is only 5km from our lodging tonight in an old monastry now in part a home for elderly survivors of a down and out lifestyle, this home recieves no government support and exists on donations from pilgrims and others.
We have a good lunch again with Joe who catches us up after his breakfast in the cafe and then are locked in to the monastry for siesta. Of mention are the excellent drying facilities, washing lines under cover plenty of space bring your own pegs!
There is a service tonight at 7pm, some of us may attend.


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