We left Lisbon on Wednesday morning. We took the 25 de Abril bridge back over the Tagus River and as we drove by the huge statue of Christ, Gerry noticed a couple of figures high up on one of the outstretched arms. He thought they were workers checking or repairing Lisbon’s giant landmark but I like to think they were there to wave us goodbye… and wishing us well! Goodbye Lisbon, see you in October!
We were heading back towards Spain. When I walked the Via last year Gerry said he wanted to visit either Merida or Caceres; he picked the latter. We followed the motorway to Merida before turning north, driving along the smaller local roads that ran parallel to the camino.
We had a ‘cup of tea’ stop at the roman resevoir a few kilometres out of Merida. Then we drove along passing Aljucen, Alcuéscar and Valdesalor. Memories flooded back… the roman bridge, the night in the monestry, of thin places and sunrises. I loved this path and my eyes stung as I fought back tears… such was the power of this camino.
We checked into our hotel, a skip away from Plaza Mayor. It was getting late so we decided to hold off on the unpacking and instead went to explore… and find beer or even wine… we found both!
Today I followed Gerry. He wanted me to be the guide but I wanted to see Caceres through his eyes. We walked along the city walls and wandered around the Cathedral. Gerry coaxed me up to the bell tower and so I did indeed see the city differently! The fields around are so green and there is still snow on the distant hills. All around we can hear the knock knock knock of storks beaks; nesting pairs are everywhere and as they fly over the city, their wings cast shadows over the rooftops. Gerry leads me through different streets, up into more towers for more distant views. We even paid a visit to the museum, which housed some amazing ancient treasure… paelolithic, bronze age, arabic, roman and more, including a few items from Caparra.
Retracing my steps has been bitter sweet. I’m here with Gerry and that’s the best place in the world to be… but I’m a tourist and my heart yearns to fly again across the flatlands. By way of compensation, Gerry is planning a tapas and vino ‘crawl’ for this evening… it certainly is very different travelling with my dear lovely man.