Cold trout and colder water.

26.5 Sabado Saturday.Calzadilla de Tera to Mombuey.
We march up the valley of the Tera, at first in the dark, exit from our beds upstairs above the pensionistas in the little village of Calzadilla not being a problem. We are proceeding up between the Sierra de la Culebra to the south, a fairly low range of hills, and the mountains of Galicia to the north. The valley floor is slowly increasing in altitude, only a gain of 100m tomorrow but up to an altitude of 930m. The two days after have a bit more up to two cols the first at 1370m the second a bit lower, but today we have still been in the Tera valley. The weather generally is cooler and this morning was quite cold when starting and even at noon we were putting on clothes to sit outside a bar.
The walk past the reservoir and across the dam was well marked although paths and roads had altered significantly around the dam. The terrain is largely Cistus and oak trees with plenty of flowers and increasing numbers of fritillary butterflies. Blackbirds and magpies are common and we see a group of young shrikes just fledged we think.
We get a much appreciated coffee at a house owned and renovated by Craig Wallace and his wife Dorethea. A true christian he provides a seat and coffee or tea and biscuits in their garden, and a chat about the weather, and pilgrims passing. His dog is a scrounger and must not be fed! All this in the tiny hamlet of Villar de Farfon, truely farfrom anywhere else. The track through the scrub heathland is remarkably straight and traces of very old stone markers are found along with occasional clumps of orchids. We reach Rionegra de Puente at 9am just as the bar by the ajuntamiento is opening, in time for another coffee. The Negra is a tributary of the Tera flowing clear cold water down from the still snowy mountains to the north.
This is a short day and despite efforts at dawdling we reach Mombuey just before 12 and find the tiny (donativo) albergue near the 13th century church and bell tower built apparently by the Knights of Santiago. A black redstart clings to its walls hunting for insects. Our lunch in the bar is interesting – we are offered trout and accept expecting a standard panfried hot fish, instead we get a great cold trout pickled in oil vinegar and garlic. The albergues hot water does not seem to be functioning and the temperature outside discourages both cold showers and washing, therefore a sleep is indicated.
25km 6.40hrs

Link to where we are on Google Maps