This was an absolutely delightful day of walking. We crossed back over the highway on leaving the albergue and climbed up steeply, giving us wonderful views back to the embalse. We were on the same Camino Natural de Tajo that we’d been on a bit yesterday. By noon we came to the town of Cañaveral where we stopped for coffee, then followed a sidewalk that led out of town next to the highway—great innovations, sidewalks!
From here it was a steep climb on a dirt track which led us into a beautiful pine forest, and one that appeared natural rather than planted. It made a lovely spot for a picnic with a comfy log to sit on surrounded by pine needles and cones, somewhat like our fir forests at home and so perhaps a bit nostalgic. Especially after yesterday’s time on the highway, it was a very peaceful place to walk.
The pine forest gave way to cork oaks as we descended and this was again a particularly lovely stretch of the trail. Grimaldo, our night’s destination, is a kilometre off the camino, but the sweet path up to the village was well sign-posted.
After not sleeping well the previous couple of nights we opted for the Posada Grimaldo which turned out to be an excellent choice. Our room (the Gaudi) was a riot of bright colours with a stunning bathroom (and great shower), super comfy bed and one of the loveliest proprietors, César. César was a fount of information who made sure that we had all the options outlined for how we might want to proceed the next day.
We had dinner that evening in the small and comfy village bar. We arrived early thinking we’d start with a drink and see how the atmosphere seemed. We’d asked when food might be served and were told around 7:00 or 7:30. We were relaxed and enjoying watching the coming and goings of the locals when just before 7:30 the owner’s wife arrived and sure enough, now we could order dinner. The food was delicious and we were glad we had opted for that rather than the one other fancier place in town. Nedjo also discovered cider at the bar, which seemed a good choice as given that he was wearing long johns and a toque, ordering tinto de verano (summer red wine) seemed a bit of a stretch.