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Sevilla to Merida

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Early morning light.
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We headed out from Sevilla on October 21, 2019 aiming for about three weeks of walking on one of Spain's many caminos--pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela.

For the time while we're walking I'm keeping a journal which I will come back to and flesh out more detailed entries about our time, but for now getting photos out for family and friends will be the priority.

Road to Guillena
Day 1: After weaving through the heart of Sevilla and then its suburbs, the rest of the day was flat and relatively short. A good way to ease into walking. Met a group of other fellow pilgrims (peregrinos) who we'd often meet up with at day's end.
Road sign with distances
Signage on the camino comes in many variants. These ones with distances were less frequent than the friendly yellow arrows which would show our way.
Church in Castilblanco de los Arroyos
At the end of each day, exploring the towns and villages where we stayed overnight was a relaxing, especially without our packs. This is the church in Castilblanco de los Arroyos (day 2).
Nedjo walking
Day 3 was a long one with the first 16 km along the side of a road. But then the path turned into a natural park where we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in the dehesa, the dry forest with oaks as the primary tree.
Pigs
The next day was also spent walking through the park, which includes many farms and today we were walking with the animals. Lots of pigs who feed on the acorns and produce this regions famed ham, jamon iberico. The pigs didn't seem that interested in our picnic which was lucky.
Castle ruins Real de la Jara
Real de la Jara had two beautiful castles. One in the town that we visited after our short walking day, and this that we walked by as we left town the next morning.
Signage on the highway roundabout
Some days have brought us to busy interchanges, round-abouts and sometimes walking along the side of a highway. Not the nicest but usually they are well marked so vehicles know to expect walkers.
mina plaza Zafra
The end of our first week of walking brought us into the lovely town of Zafra. It had been another very hot day of walking with very little shade so we were glad of a cold drink in the plaza and the fancier hotel.
Ancient olive tree
Over many days olive trees were the common theme. Sometimes alone, sometimes mixed with grape vines, some ancient like this one and others with many new young trees planted among them. One farmer told us that the lack of rain has them  very small this year.
Olive treet and grape vines interplanted
Olive trees and grape vines interplanted.
Picnic under an olive tree
On many days seeking a bit of shade under an olive tree for a snack or break was a relief from the sun. The hottest clocked in at 32 degrees.