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Day 8 - Ups and Downs, Pt I

Sat 23rd Sept., Zafra to Villafranca de los Barros, approx 21klms

Surprisingly, we've arrived into the mid-sized town of Villafranca de los Barros absolutely exhausted, and I'm commencing this post from my bed in the delightful Casa Perin, which is about a kilometre from the centre of town (the Plaza España, would you believe?). We arrived late-ish (about 5:30) and immediately collapsed into bed for an hour-and-a-half.

Time will be agin me to do a proper post, so my aim is to do a brief Part I now and hopefully fill in the gaps with Part II later. Here goes ...

One of the questions I sort of ask myself, and you out there in reader-land ask is, why do this (write the blog, that is)? Well there's a few reasons. Firstly as many of you know, I love writing. So that's easy. Secondly, I like engaging with you there in reader-land, but perhaps most of all to keep a record of each day, almost diary-like, so that in future times I can look back and relive not just what we did, but how I/we were feeling. I try not to get into the smaller detail of blisters here or blisters there, as we all get them, or sore feet. But I do try to capture a sense of the bigger issues.

Let me start with why "ups and downs"? There's a literal and a metaphorical answer. Literally there were quite a few ups and downs today, although maybe no more than other days. But metaphorically we seemed to trip ourselves up a bit today. Partly because I misread the map and thought that the stop at La Almazara was a "normal" little village and that we'd be able to stop and recuperate a bit. In truth it's slightly off the path, and so we gave it a miss and pressed on. And so that was a bit of a "downer". We came over a hill and there was our destination, 7/8 kilometres away. That sort of stuff plays with one's head. And it didn't help that we slightly mismanaged our water (because of giving La Almazara miss), so I think that I arrived into Casa Perin slightly dehydrated.

So there's the background, and here's a few photos ...

Had to get a shot in front of the Cervantes ...

The main plaza with the castillo/Parador in the background. Very very bright sunshine.

Plaza Grande

Plaza Chica (yes, that's its name)

Inside the Iglesia

The magnificent Casa Azul

The Torre de San Francisco, just on the edge of town

And finally, a beautiful Camino mural just as we left.

That gets us out of Zafra. Part II, all being well, will pick up from here.

We have a 27klm day tomorrow, and we have just worked out a contingency plan. We're here to enjoy ourselves, and learn and grow, not to kill ourselves ...

Hasta manana

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