Today’s stage of 20.5kms was completed without too much trouble. Angel dropped us in his car at the mid-way point at which we had arrived the day before and from which his son had collected us.
The morning’s path had just enough inclines and declines to keep one’s energy focussed, but nothing too steep or arduous. It tended to flatten out a little bit in the afternoon.
The sun was shining most of the day, but there were occasional clouds that provided some welcome cover. The day was mostly still, so it was quite hot. But there were occasional breezes that provided a wonderful cooling effect. I was wishing the breeze was more frequent.
I kept a steady pace through most of the morning and stopped at Ermito/Merendero, a small wayside chapel for lunch and “feet break” around 12.30.
The blue sky in the background with the white clouds gives a good idea of the lovely weather I have been enjoying today.
From there it was only 4km to Alcaracejos, where I arrived just after 2.00pm.
A novel idea, walking “down” to a town in Spain, instead of “up”!!!!
I found a bar and a beer and settled into accommodation. I went for a walk around the town, but there is no Mass! However, a bevy of mostly women were busy cleaning the church, sweeping and then mopping the floor, cleaning and polishing, getting things ready for the Holy Week processions of the Nazorene (Christ carrying the cross), the Dolorosa (the grieving mother) and the saints. One of them kindly provided a “sello” (“stamp”) for my pilgrim credencial.
I am about to have a meal and get an early night.
The question you are all busting to ask, “Did the one kilo reduction in weight in the backpack make any difference?” It was certainly easier to pack in the morning, with a few less clothes, some more space, and easier to have things “compartmentalised”. Did it feel less as I walked? Today’s walk was not a stroll in the park. It is still work, especially on the inclines, but it was not too bad, so when I arrived at destination, I was tired but not too much so. I could perhaps have continued for a few more km if necessary. So, did the reduction in weight make a difference? Yes, it must have, but the overall better feel at the end of the day is probably a combination of not too demanding a terrain, slowly becoming more accustomed to the the daily walking, and the reduction in weight.
Incidentally, the guide book says: “From here onwards the landscape opens out and is much flatter and the Camino becomes much less strenuous …..”