Day 16 – Valdesalor to Casar de Caceres. Today I didn’t expect to be too hard a day, it was about 22 kilometres, although the weather in the afternoons is still quite hot. Hopefully, as we get further north, it will start to cool a bit. The first bit then to Caceres was really nice. Caceres was a beautiful city. I was walking with a couple of Pilgrim buddies and we decided to have a look around at the cathedral and a few other sites and we also stopped to get some amazing hot chocolate and churros. So that kind of slowed us down a bit for the day. But then we had a final 11 kms from Caceres into Casar de Caceres.
This is where I made a mistake with water and directions. Given there was only 11 kms I had just over a liter of water, and I thought that would be fine. It wasn’t! It really wasn’t enough given the heat of the day and I had the umbrella up for the last hour or two. I was having to ration my water for the last 5 kms or so, which was a bit uncomfortable because as I start to dehydrate a bit, as I do, my tendons start to hurt and that kind of thing. That was the first mistake and I made sure I wouldn’t make that mistake again.
The other mistake was coming out of Caceres, there was a couple of options for the Camino. There was the traditional Camino route, which seemed to follow the roads then there was lots of new arrows pointing up to the left over a hillside. We asked three different groups of locals, and they all said this is a better route go up over this hill.
It wasn’t really shown on any of the guidebooks but as all the locals were telling us to go that way and there was lots of arrows telling us to go that way, we went that way. That was a big mistake because it was quite a steep hill to go over. It was quite rocky to come down the other side. And it probably added a bit of time and distance to a very hot day. I think the track, the normal Camino route, a track alongside the road might have been the better option for us. But hey, it was still a great day and we got to see some wonderful sites in Caceres on the way through.
That first bottle of Aquarius went down fast! and the second! As there were three of us we shared a small apartment. Apartamento Barbancho. It was great. An added benefit was the washing machine! Fluffy socks again 🙂