Robin and I are moving along and closing in on our final stop, for this camino, Salamanca. We had a nice break in Cáceres. We tidied up some miscellaneous items such as renewing our Vodafone SIM card contracts, replenishing some toiletries, and working out the logistics for the rest of our trip. Nothing taxing, just a bit of running around to get it all sorted out. Yesterday we left our hotel by taxi to the bus station and hopped on an 11:00 am bus to Cañaveral that arrived at 11:30. All that for 4.25 euros per person. Upon arrival in Cañaveral we set out on foot for The tiny hamlet of Grimaldo where we were booked in for the night at the Casa Rural Grimaldo. This, logistically, was planned to be a short 8.6 km day for us. We met our host César at the house, got checked in and headed across the street to the only open bar/restaurant in town. We squeezed through the door around 2:30 and the place was in full lunchtime bloom. Waiters bringing steaming plates of food one way and used table settings the other way competed for floor space with hungry customers hovering near the dining room door. It was all well practiced and choreographed and somehow the crowd of folks waiting to eat (including us) steadily thinned out. The bartender, playing her role, was cranking out coffees and beers at light speed in an attempt to keep something in peoples hands even if it wasn’t lunch. Everyone seemed to understand the process and just went with the flow. Fascinating.
We, in turn, were eventually shown to a table and proceeded to have a wonderful home cooked meal. We lingered over our meal as the crowd was now all but gone. When it was time to go we asked for a plate of lomo (dry cured pork loin) and a bottle of wine to go (just across the street). No problem. We were even given a plate from the restaurant to take it home on. Thanks be for small town kindnesses, and yes we did wash and return the plate. That was all of yesterday’s excitement.
This morning we left our lodging bound for Plasencia by way of Riolobos. Let me explain. Today’s stage would normally end in Galisteo, a 20 km day. However, there is currently a flooded arroyo that prevents anyone from crossing thus requiring a diversion to the town of Riolobos. From Riolobos you have the option to carry on by road to Galisteo making it a 24 km day or you can return to the Camino path from Riolobos which adds up to a 23 km day to Galisteo. The second option might be attractive to some as it is off road.
All of this was a moot point as we had set out with the intention of stopping in Riolobos to catch a taxi to Plasencia where we had booked a room. So, for us, it was about a 12 km day and a 25 minute cab ride to Plasencia. We are now tucked into a beautiful Parador (ex convent) and enjoying it shamelessly. Plasencia is a small city, very clean, and rich with history.
Tomorrow we will do just what we did in 2015. We will go by taxi from here to Cáparra and then walk 20kms to Aldeanueva del Camino where we will spend the night. The weather has been perfect, spirits are high and tomorrow is another day.