Estramadura land of extremes.

Thursday 12 .5 Campanario to Don Benito 16miles pretty flat.
The Railway Station last night was very comfortable, no trains disturbed our rest although one passed about 8pm and one in the morning before we left at 7.45 crossing the line quickly before the next one arrived. The weather looked ok and the forecast was for rain about midday. Opinions differed as to appropriate apparel. Those opting for full wet weather gear winning hands down over the course of the day.
We see many more storks on our way to the Lonely Mountain. Well we had not miraculously entered Middle Earth it just seemed like it. The castle atop the hill on which Magacela, our first chance at coffee and tostados, is perched resembles this from a distance and we had plenty of distance to admire it from. The hill up through town gradually discloses the superb view and every house on the roaf up could claim the name Buena Vista, at the top is the social club and home for the elderly. One really might not mind living there even though the part of the view we thought was a lake was in fact a huge set of solar panels.
Tony spots a toad lurking in a puddle but he is hiding in the mud when Betsy gets there. A charm of goldfinches, multiple azure winged magpies, and a very large spider at the edge of the road completes the countyside report which consists largely of arable field with occasional olive groves rather than the Holm Oak dehesa we have been accustomed to. We have reached the edge of the Serena that area of granite on the border of Estramadura. On the road we see a curious sign warning motorists of the presence of the Iberian Lynx sadly we see non, alive or flat.
The air clarity is very good in between rain showers but between Megacela and La Haba ( the bean) a small village with an open bar the going is heavy with more fertile fields producing more glutinous mud. The bar is friendly, locals drop in for beer or stronger. One gives us a handful of broad beans and proceeds to demonstrate how to peel them to ignorant foreigners we eat a few to show cross border solidarity. More than we could manage with the tapas, bits of pigs ears and unmentionables in a sauce. Oh we did manage the chips with them.
We leave the bar after being overtaken by the two Irish ladies who also stayed at the station last night. Within five minutes a cold wind is blowing hard and near freezing rain starts Tim spots an unfortunate young swift caught unawares and blown to the ground we hope he will survive. We are soon in open country those in full wet gear are head down happy. Tim has shorts and sandals and is less than comfortable. The rain lasts half an hour clearing quickly and the sun is out as we enter Don Benito, who he is we may find out this afternoon.
We head to the centre of town with a sizeable church dedicated to Santiago and not much further along we find Hostal Galicia a recommended stop for those on the Way. Even if as us you are not going all the Way, or even to Galicia.

Link to where we are on Google Maps