Trolls in the fields Crayfish in the ford.

10.5 Tuesday Monterrubio de Serena to Casuera.13 miles pretty flat.
Monterrubio is not the worlds most exciting town except for no fewer than six Stork nests on the church tower, mostly with storks in residence. But our beds and rooms in the hostal Vaticano were good. Well up to papal standard!
This morning, as most we suspect, our host was prevented from offering breakfast by his spouse who declined to rise before 9am. We set off towards the part of town where we suspected activity and sure enough found a cafe providing tostados cafe and zumo de naranja. Thus fortified we leap off across the countryside, at first through olive groves and then dehesa with boulders some of which bear a resemblace to trolls caught by the daylight that has come inspite of the clouds covering the sky. But hey it’s not raining!
It is forecast for the afternoon but with only 13miles we hope to be tucked up in the new albugue in Casuera by then. And so it proves. We bowl along the metalled but deserted road the rocky hills to the north at the NW end of which lies our destination, gradually converge with our line of march. On the way we see multiple hoopoos and azurewinged magpies as well as the obligatory herds of sheep along the Way. Many of the flowers shut up in the rain yesterday are out again and the fields on either side are brightened by them.
However the excitement of the day comes almost on the outskirts of Casuera when a small ford across a stream needs crossing, a crayfish annoyed at our passing leaps out almost on Rays foot provoking a prolonged photo opportunity before Ray tries to help it back into the ditch from whence it came. It seems strangely reluctant.
We wander round Casuera looking for the albugue, eventually a kindly lady admits it is through the unmarked gate at the rear of her tiny grocery shop and directs us to the Policia Locale for the keys. We are checked in by the slowest police assistant yet, each of four seperate forms with carbon copies, which are then photocopied Oh and the passports photocopied separately. Still we are probably his excitement for the day and at 8 euros for a nearly brand new alburgue it is well worth the wait.
It has now started to rain in earnest and a dash back to the alburgue ensues. Lunch after showers (lukewarm cos it took a while to figure the water heating system) is in Las Naranjas a rather smart looking restaurant. Slight concerns re potential cost dissappear after the three course meal 8.50 euros plus a coffee, less than 40euros for the lot. Its great to be back in Extremadura.

Link to where we are on Google Maps