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Day 20 - Solar

Thu 5th Oct., Galisteo to Carcaboso, 12 klms.

Today's theme/title came to me early in the day. It’s actually a sort of amalgam of three interconnected but random matters all of which popped up one way or another in the last 24 hours.

The first came in the form of a question from a friend back home.  I’d been commenting that the walk was generally harder than I had anticipated.  Her question (valid, but slightly cheeky) was: “Is it hard because of the distances, terrain, heat, health, age or all of the above?”. The answer fairly obviously is “all of the above”, but my reply to her was “I think mainly the heat. It's amazing that after only a couple of weeks my legs feel very strong, but the heat is all pervasive. I suspect (hope???) that we've probably only got another week or so and then it'll start to cool down. The locals we speak to say that this is totally unusual.”

The next came from news headlines which popped up on my phone first thing this morning – “Global temperatures soared to new record in September” (The Guardian) combined with news of early season bushfires (wildfires), and ironically, flooding. I didn't need a news headline to tell me that it was hot!! Interesting though that it's very clearly global.

The last came from a massive solar farm we walked past not far out of Galisteo. There's some pictures below, but they don’t really do it justice (and there were limits as to how close I could get). So to try to explain these solar monsters ...


The arrays from a distance, with a wind farm on the distant hilltops

As close as I could get. Looking at them from behind

There were dozens of standalone units. At its heart, each had a Y-shaped frame, which duplicates the unit into two sides. Each side had an array of cells that looked like it contained the equivalent 10 domestic sized panels across by perhaps 15 deep. So each side of the array had some 150 panels; a total of some 300 on each unit. And of course the big Y-shaped frames tracked the sun, so that they'd follow an almost 180-degree arc from dawn till dusk. The output must be massive.

So, “solar” naturally fell out as today’s word (better, I should also say than the stupid word on Wordle today).

And as an afterthought, here's a self-explanatory "solar" shot from today's stopover town, Carcaboso

And now for the rest of the day in pictures. It was indeed an easy day, a mere 12klms or so (a bit more allowing for wandering), broken into 2 roughly equal halves with a coffee break in the middle.

The Galisteo city wall at dawn

Our final view of the Puerta de la Villa, one of the three openings in the wall.

Galisteo's Roman Bridge. I learned yesterday that the tower in the wall (top left of photo) was built to defend the bridge. I'd have to say that their ancient arrow shooting would need to have been first class to be able to do that!!

The whole walk today was on the CC-106 local road. I wouldn't want to walk the whole way to Santiago on bitumen, but it does make a nice change not to have to watch every footfall for rocks and ruts, especially when in the shade

No idea what the cylindrical things on the end were. Quite out of place. Perhaps grain storage from years gone by

Coffee stop in Aldehuela del Jerte. Note the relaxed "easy day" looks

Pretty garden art, also in Aldehuela del Jerte

Welcome to Carcaboso

Carcaboso is an intriguing little town. Lots of street art, seemingly based on the Hollywood 1940s (ish) era. Lots of inspirational street benches, as I had seen in Cañaveral. A display in the church grounds of Roman miliarios. Two discos!!

Above four: just some of the movie street art

Above two: inspirational planter boxes and benches in the Plaza España. There were lots of them.

Some of the inscriptions read:

For all the wonderful women that are around here, smile at life!


Mutual support and the good neighbourhood as a basis of care of people


Lots of little people in small places can change the world


Least effort maximum performance. Think global act local

Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol, with the Parque de los Miliarios to its right.

The plaque in the park read (largely consistent with an earlier post, but with a bit more detail):

A miliario or stone miliar (from the Latin miliarium) is a cylindrical, oval or parallel piped column that was placed on the edge of Roman roads to mark the distances every thousand passus (double Roman steps), that is, every Roman mile, which is equivalent to a distance of approximately 1,481 meters.

It used to be made of granite, with a cubic or square base and measured between 2 and 4 m high, with a diameter of 50 to 80 cm.

The first known milestones date from the final period of the Roman Republic, but the vast majority of those preserved were made during the High Empire and, to a lesser extent, in the 3rd and 4th centuries.

Most of the milestones carried directly engraved inscriptions, depending on the importance of the road or the proximity or distance from Rome, or the cities of origin and destination.

The inscription always consisted of a series of well-defined parts:

 1. The full title of the emperor under whose command the road was built or modified.

 2. The distance to Rome or the most important town on the route.

 3. The governor or/and the military unit responsible for the works on the road.

 4. The expression refecit or reparavit if it was a road maintenance work.

Here are preserved 6 milestones of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian as well as stones from the missing Guinea Bridge. [In truth there were only 2 miliarios at this site.]

This town clearly has some character to it. 2,000 year old Roman artefacts in a special display next to a modern-ish church. (As an aside, three people opened the church whilst I was poking around next door, and so with a bit of sign-language I invited myself in, and the priest kindly stamped and dated our credencials for me. Pretty cool sellos they were too.)

Cena at Zapp 2.0

Big day tomorrow. 30 klms, 8+ hours. Early start. No towns. More Romans. I'll be setting out carrying almost 5 litres of water!!! 34-degrees mid afternoon. I may not be quite so chatty tomorrow. ¡Hasta entonces!

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Danielle Beckwith
Danielle Beckwith
Oct 08, 2023

The milestone markers are extraordinary. I guess all roads did lead to Rome.


Oct 05, 2023

Street art is amazing as are the mileage markers. All the best for tomorrow.

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