Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 8: Torremejía to Mérida (16 Kms)

Stepping into the light

Yesterday as day slipped into twilight we noticed the church door opposite our albergue was open, so off we went to have a look. As it turns out the local priest was preparing to say mass. Robin and I lingered on the well worn pews offering our prayers and reflections. At 7:00 pm the mass began. It was wonderful to have this quiet time as a beautiful way to conclude another day on the Via de la Plata.

We wound up with only 4 in our albergue last night. The evening temperatures have been in the mid 40's F and this makes for great sleeping weather. Once dinner was done we sat up for awhile with Giselle, our French peregrina. After we turned in Christian a young German guy arrived on his bike. He has been cycling all over Spain and Portugal and is now headed back to Santiago. Lights out shortly followed. Breakfast was a self serve affair with most of our attention drawn to the somewhat counter-intuitive coffee machine. After a few floods we finally figured out how to make a cup of coffee. As we slipped out the door the tractor parade was well underway. Much work apparently needed to be done in the nearby olive groves and vineyards and the local menfolk were off to do it. For Robin and I it was also a new day, and we happily turned northward towards Mélida and simply started walking. On the road again.

Let's get moving I'm cold

Today's 16 Kms walk was short, half on asphalt and half off. We enjoyed the cool start to the day. It was 45 F as we started out, but it quickly rose into the low 60's F and topped out around 70 F. It was a sort of transit day. One of those days where not much is expected except arriving at our destination. As always it was quiet except for the highway portion. But once off the road it was still enough that our footfalls brought tight brownish clouds of small birds into the air and sent them swirling off in search of a quieter place to roost. That was about the extent of today's excitement. Not bad actually. We walked mostly in silence deep in our own personal thoughts. In this quietude we found ourselves approaching the Roman Bridge that would carry us into Mélida. So it was up onto the bridge and straight ahead to the Plaza de España (every Spanish town seems to have one) where our hotel, the Hotel Mérida Palce stood waiting. Robin did quite well and we are hopeful that her knee is slowly healing. No swelling, so that is good. Off tomorrow for another short day (15 Kms) to Aljucén where a Roman bath awaits us. All is well.

Roman Bridge
Rumor has it the Romans were here



  1. When I walked my pilgrimage I walked with a very good friend and former work colleague and I had anticipated that we would talk and discuss a fair amount as we walked. However, we found and both enjoyed that most days were spent in silent reflection. Keep trekking and keep posting I am enjoying your blog. And Robin I am glad your knee is better and getting stronger.

  2. Thanks, Michèle. Robin is slowly improving so we are pushing onward albeit at a stately pace.