Saturday, 10 May 2008

Memories of Spain, part 5

We left Merida using a different technique than previously: we followed the actual Via de la Plata trail. This proved to be what I would consider a farm track. It was very nice and calm. The ground was mostly a coarse, yellow sand, which probably explained why the farming that was going on was pastoral, i.e. they were raising livestock rather than crops.
We arrived in Cáceres early in the afternoon. We didn't intend to spend the night there and as there was a WOrld Music And Dance (WOMAD) festival going on, we couldn't have if we had wanted to. It was, however, a beautiful, old walled city to spend an afternoon in. While we were having lunch, we were chatted up by a musician from Iran.

Cáceres included some of the first indications of Santiago we had seen. Note the scallop shells (symbols of Saint James) in the picture below.
As the day was quite hot and our intended destination for the night, Casar de Cáceres, was only about an hour's ride away, I looked around for a nice place to spend the afternoon. I found some tables outside a restaurant that were simultaneously in the shade, in the breeze and offered a nice view of the city, the countryside and our bikes. We sat down at a table and nursed drinks for a few hours. I am not sure if the management truly appreciated us in our biking gear, but it wasn't as if there were hordes of people clamouring for tables. Nor were we were being rowdy, so I guess they merely shrugged as off as part of the price of doing business. If I ever return to Cáceres, I should make a point of having a meal there.

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