TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Last night we wandered the streets of Caceres, soaking up the atmosphere of the little spanish jewel. Plaza Mayor was bustling with tourists and teenagers and everyday folks going about their business. But if you wander off the main square you’ll find shops, bars and cafes aplenty.
We were looking for a bank and a pharmacy… we found both.
In the pharmacy the young woman assured Maggie that they sold everything… and it appears they did. We found what we wanted and paid. At the checkout there were bags of Australian style liquorice… I pointed it out to Maggie. This caused much excitement as they thought we were both Aussies. Out came more packets of the sweets… “do they have these on Oz?” … yes we both said… I have no idea but I quite liked being a token Aussie. Then the young man said… AC/DC…that was lost on me but not Maggie, who laughed and nodded… so I started singing Highway to Hell so as not to be left out and the young guy pretended to play lead guitar along with me… by now we had 4 assistants joining in and admiring the Australian style liquorice. We bought a couple of tiny boxes of orange sweets… bid them all a Buenos Noches and left… not only with our purchases but also a couple of great big smiles too.
We meandered through the streets full of folks enjoying tapas and beer and wine… old, young and everything in between. I found a great handbag and matching boots for under 60 euros… a total bargain and totally gorgeous but alas I can’t carry anymore so they stayed in the shop window.
We ate tapas and drank beer too and said farewell to Caceres… and I made a silent promise to come back one day as there is a certain Mr Sims who would also fall in love with this place.
This morning we headed off in search of the bus station. I know this is a walk but there is a problem ahead. The walk out of Caceres to the next stage is short… too short really… the stage after this is too long…. Added to this there are no accommodation options over one stage either…. and trust me we’ve tried (even Mr S couldn’t find anything!) There are 2 days of 31km and 38km with nothing in between. Maggies comfortable limit is 20-25km. Her hip is niggling her at the moment… this terrain is really really hard underfoot…it’s still in the mid 30’s … and we’re starting to climb again… so all in all we felt it would be foolhardy to attempt this section. We’ve looked ahead and worked out that by jumping over a stage we then have 20-25km days ahead to Salamanca… which is perfect for us.
So we took the Cañaveral bus… and we’re not alone in our plans. As we waited a few other pilgrims joined us… which made us feel a lot better!
We drove through the flatlands and out the other side… the countryside is now much bumpier. .. which is great news and we’re looking forward to a few hills.
We took the front seat as Maggie gets travel sick… I know they are reserved for pregnant women or old folks but better to not have a vomiting pilgrim… and the bus was almost empty so I think it was ok.
The driver played more Spanish disco music … which suited the mood and I don’t hate it anymore. His seat reminded me of a baby bouncy chair as he bounced up and down over the bumps in the road… I guess it needs to be comfortable if he’s sat there for 8 hours a day!
Anyway… we made it and we are now in Grimaldo sat outside the bar eating a bocadiila (the queso is so strong it could burn the roof of your mouth)… senora is very smily, the little donative albergue is spotless and smells of cleaning products with beautifully crisp sheets … and both of us have bottom bunks. We’re eating whilst watching the lorries thunder past and we’re happy with our decision.
P.s. the Bordeaux guys have arrive so our day just got even better!