I left early this morning with “Philip” as my guide at 6.15 am. It was already 28c, by the local “Farmacia” sign. I knew it would be around the 40c mark, as already “gusts of hot air” were “blowing”, into our faces !!!
Yesterday, I had been “nervous” coming into “Carcaboso”, as the terrain ahead seemed very flat. The big mountains were also far away, so there would be little protection from the sun, in the morning. However, I should not have worried, as the path “veered” to the right.
After 3 km, there was an incline up a small hill. This led to field, after field of “Holm” oaks, with stone walls and boulders everywhere. There were no highways nearby, and no sign of habitation.
The only inhabitants were “occasional” cows, fending for themselves. It was “stunning”, and very peaceful !!!
The trees gradually got older, and closer together. Their “canopy” gave almost constant shade. There was a real feeling of “stepping” back into time. You could almost imagine “legionnaires”, walking towards you!!!. This continued for 10 km, and I can only describe it as “glorious” !!!
Then a gradual descent, to reveal “beautiful” mountains”, in the distance. There were less “Holm oaks” now, and more wheat fields, but still the walk was in “shade”, and I was appreciative of the protection !!! .
I felt I was experiencing, a “visual” overload. I started to understand in a limited sense, the “autistic” descriptions of information, becoming almost, too much to handle !!!.
I was taking so many “photos”, that “Philip” was now, way ahead of me. I had told him, he should “meditate” more in nature, but I did not know, he would take me literally !!!.
I told you he needs to be watched !!!
When I stopped to talk to him before moving on, I noticed a small movement on my bag. It was a white “Preying Mantis”, saying “Hello !” Wow !, I had to get a picture. This was getting too much !!!
It was perfectly “camoflauged”, against the yellow grass. It was very hard to get fine detail, but I did my best !!!
The last 2 km into “Capara” were very hot, and I was grateful for the trees, that still gave “occasional” shade.
“Caparra” is an abandoned Roman city. There is an arch still standing, which has become a symbol for “ La Via de La Plata !!!”
The nearest accommodation, “Hostal Asturias” was 10 km away. They usually do a 4 pm “pick up”, from the “interpretative centre”. The site was completely exposed to the sun now, and looking around in 40c +heat, was not was not an option.
The custodian of the site took pity on us, and phoned the “Hostel Asturias”, and using “local pull”, asked them to pick us up early.!!!
It felt strange to travel in a van, when you are used to 3/4 km an hour. I wanted to tell him, to slow down !!!
I was glad to arrive at “Hostal Asturias” !!! It was extremely hot and there is no doubt in my mind that 20 minute journey was a “lifesaver”. It would have taken us at least 3 hours, in very exposed conditions
I was extremely tired as though “shaded” by the tree`s, I felt I had too much “reflected” sun. I was glad to get to the hostel, have some food, a few beers, and then a “siesta” !!!
I think this day on reflection, was the most visually stunning of the whole “Via de La Plata” !!!