Three snakes and a swim with one.

25.5 Friday. Tabara to Calzadilla de Tera.
We are off early again expecting a long hot day, we are not disappointed, only Tim (the wuss) wears gloves in the morning, first a km or two on the road to warm up (we are hooted at by a cheerful Gardia Civil patrol car(probably were the interest for their shift)). But they are soon discarded as we mount the small but perfect hills to the north (Sierra de las Cavernas) only 200m at most above the prevailing 700m level. The route wends its way through fairly small fields and then an area of oak pasture, the cuckoo is a continuous accompaniment. Descending the hills we pass multiple bodegas, these old wine making/storage sheds are set into the hillsides to try to maintain a constant temperature, some are still active. We disturb another large snake warming up for its day on the track, it disappears quickly.
Eventually we reach the valley of the Rio Tera, all villages here end in de la Tera, many have saints names, this is confusing to those passing through, but it is a delightful area. The first village we go though is Santa Croya de Tera believing it to be extensive we commit the cardinal sin of the pilgrim and pass by an open bar! Searching the rest of the village is no good but Betsy spots and videos a small Viperine water snake. We get coffee finally, after crossing the river, outside the ancient 13thC Romanesque church at Santa Marta de Tera, this has the reputedly oldest Santiago Peligrino stone statue on the camino ouside on its south entrance.
We now walk a great 10km up the floodplain through intermittent poplar plantations, blackbirds (that have been rare for the last 600miles) become common. We see multiple Bee eaters flying and perched in the trees along the way and a buzzard, not common here like these days a home, is mobbed by a crow.
We reach the bridge at La Barca not a village but a municipal picnic and swimming spot, we are hot now and two of us are determined to use the swimming costumes we have carried all this way. The water is cold, a largeish water snake swims off as we enter the water as if disgruntled by our use of his river. This valley also contains more butterflies than any we have seen so far, fritillaries of various sorts, blues, whites and a yellow one with orange wingtips who will have to wait arrival home for identification.
We pass a water spring and are invited to drink by a local man filling two water containers it is cold and tastes very pure although labelled as untested and therefore not officially fit to drink. At last we enter the village of Calzadilla de Tera, our destination today, this has a small refugio (donativo) above the pensonistas club in a new building by the games pitches. There is a shop nearby but signs to a bar/restaruant in Calzada de Tera the sister village on the other bank of the river cause puzzlement, there is no bridge on any of our maps. Urged by locals we follow the signs anyway, a new bridge was built in 2006. We get a good lunch of “whats on today” and beer, wine and coffee at a very reasonable price and return for siesta. These pilgrims have reached heaven!
34km 8.30hrs including the swim.

Link to where we are on Google Maps