Nothing beside remains
It was an easy day, too easy really, for tomorrow is long, and it would have been nice to have evened out the days, but there is no convenient stop a little further on.
The day began with a brisk five-mile walk along a straight road to Valverde de Valdelacasa. The sun was rising over the mountain and catching the frost in the fields as I left. The countryside is changing. Smaller holdings bordered by stone walls are replacing the larger estates, and Northern European oaks, branches still bare, are appearing in place of the evergreen oaks from the south. Every so often, I would pass a Roman column celebrating Caesar Augustus, the words of praise eroded by wind and rain.
I climbed steadily up to Valdelacasa, and then up and around an ugly quarry, and over a hilltop to see a large plateau stretching out to the horizon. A few kilometres further on I reached Fuenterroble de Salvatierra.
I am staying at a parochial albergue, donativo, where the hospitalier really takes his job seriously. When we arrived he put a plate of the most delicious fried rice I have ever tasted in front of us, then a salad, then a bean soup.
There are seventy beds here scattered in about six dorms. Mine has character, if not heat.