the last full day in Extremadura. I did not even know this region existed and now I’m quite sorry to leave it. It’s not that the scenery was extraordinary, apart from the national park, it’s just that the sun I got in the past few days has made this a quite pleasurable part of the trip.
Today was no exception, but before I tell you more about the day let me tell you about last night and in general about hospitality in the middle of Spain.
I was staying in one of what they call Hostal, and I would call cheap hotels. The place, like all of the ones I stayed before was clean and comfortable and rather affordable, If I remember correctly the one last night €22.
It had a Restaurant so I decided to have dinner, for a change. I first went to the bar and had a glass of red and some olives, then I sat for dinner. I had a lovely seafood soup followed by pork steak and chips. I did not have dessert and all that was washed down with more red wine.
The whole thing came to €13 only as I insisted to pay for the drink at the bar too. As far as drinking at the table I was presented with the whole red wine bottle and told to have as much as I liked. Knowing my limits and the fact that I was facing 60 miles today I decided that a couple of glasses were the right course of action.
Anyway all this to say that Spain away from the beaten track is:
- cheap, and
- totally enjoyable.
The ride today was a whole lot of easy followed by a steap-ish bit at the end. As you can see below though it was no Lake District.
I got to enjoy very good weather for the first four hours of riding, I saw a pharmacy sign saying 24º C round about noon. I got a bit wet in the last part of the day. In saying that I do consider myself lucky as it really started to rain in earnest as soon as I got into the hotel and it has not stopped yet.
Weather forecast is much better for the next few days so I should have two warm days into Sevilla to come.
I did not get a picture of the herons in France but I manage to get pictures of cranes in Spain.
I have to admit an electric blue top, bright red panniers on the bike and a Scottish flag are nowhere near the territory of the kind camouflage outfit that a good bird watcher should sport, however, there were so many of these around today that I could have been wearing high visibility gear and that would have not mattered.
Apparently they live in the Scandinavian countries in the summer and come down here for the winter. I sincerely hope they were not the target of the many hunters out today. I for myself was a little concerned about the shotgun shots I kept hearing. It would be very embarrassing to be shot by a sportsman rather than a bonafide terrorist.
While they obviously felt safe in numbers, after a few shots they decided that my company was not welcome and they left, undoubtedly only to land outside my camera range.
After the bird watching I had twenty more miles to go to get to Villafranca de Los Barros, where I’m staying tonight. In those miles apart from getting mildly I had the chance of spotting another of those amazing nests and I think this one might have multi-species occupancy.
Finally, in the last ten miles of the ride the farmland turned to vineyards, most likely Tempranillo vines.
Other point from the day, I saw a great number of dead animals as in road kills. Namely: 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 otter and 1 snake. By the way the snake from yesterday I think was a Hoseshoe Whip Snake.