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Day 21 - Rookie Error

Fri 6th Oct., Carcaboso to Jarilla, ~33/34 klms (~45,000 steps according to various devices)

Well, that certainly was a big day. Planned big. Executed bigger. All due to a rookie error on my part ...

We left Carcaboso at 7:25, a little later than expected, but acceptable. I strode out, cool and confident, on the wrong road. I had checked the guide book a couple of times last night, and was sure I knew what I was doing. We ended up on the rather busy EX-370, cars, buses and trucks coming at us in the dark, sometimes passing us less than a metre away. No option to leap out of their way as there was a 2-metre deep ditch immediately on our left. Kept looking for las flechas amarillas, without success. Took perhaps 1.5 klms (and by then a little more light) to figure I'd stuffed up. Reverse course, back into town, get it right the second time, and on our way properly by 8:15. Today of all days we didn’t need to add an extra 3klms or so to the journey, but no real harm done. Coulda been worse ...

Anyway, that aside, top day today. Hard, of course. 33+klms in the heat. Almost 10 hours door to door. 8+ hours on the hoof. But a beaut day all the same. Somewhere in my mind I had conflated the relative isolation of the VDLP with the word desolation. Nothing could be further from the truth, certainly around here. The country is very beautiful, as hopefully some of the photos below show.

We're back to "hardly a soul in sight" mode, but we did meet this perra puppy, and a short time later Manuel, who's walking from SdC to Sevilla, where we gather he lives.

But without doubt the highlight of the day was the visit to the ancient Roman city of Cáparra. We'd already walked some 23-ish klms by the time we got there, so weren't really feeling like a detailed exploration of the whole site, so a few snaps had to suffice.

The centre piece is El arco tetrapilo, the only one left on the Iberian peninsular, but there are extensive archeological excavations over the site.

Collected a cool sello there too.

Back to my previous isolation comment, even that is not really the case. Leaving Cáparra, and whilst it's not all that obvious/clear from the photo below, we could see 5 separate villages, all probably within a couple of hours walk from each other. So whilst we wander along in our relative solitude, "civilisation" in its various forms is never far away.

We've gone off piste a little this evening. With very few accommodation options (other than very very long walks), we've diverted a few klms from the Camino and are staying at Hotel Restaurante Jarilla. Perfectly acceptable, and our rather dapper host is a dead ringer for Billy Bob Thornton.

"Easy" 23 klms mañana.

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