The forecast was for rain and that’s how the day started but we felt like we could take a chance on it as at the halfway mark there was another town where we could stop if needed. Rain hadn’t felt like an issue earlier in the trip, but with dropping temperatures we weren’t sure how we’d fare. I hadn’t had the best sleep and maybe the warmed over coffee (some places made it the night before), white Bimbo bread and sugary orange beverage had me feeling not great.
It was a stressful exit from town via a very busy roundabout and then most of the morning was on the N630 with a pretty narrow shoulder. It wasn’t the worst traffic-wise, but it made for pretty unpleasant morning's walk. At least the rain let up. There were a few places where you could get off the highway and on to a little bit of a trail, including one that led to a narrow, but beautiful, stretch of the Cañada Real. Eventually we came to a lovely path that led us into the spa town of Baños de Montemayor where we stopped for a drink—7Up for me which helped to settle my stomach. We were also low on cash and had had trouble with the bank machine in Aldeanueva, so we topped up our funds and picked up a few vegetables in case we wanted to cook.
Leaving town by the cobbled calzada romana we climbed up steeply. Not long out of town we stopped for some food and the view looking back of the town, the fall foliage on the hillsides and the embalse further below, was wonderful.
The afternoon was marvelous and soon we passed into Castilla y Leon having walked the entirety Extremadura from south to north. Our route had us deep in shady woods with lots of chestnuts and oak leaves on the ground. It felt very autumnal. It was a steep climb into La Calzada de Béjar and I was flagging as we arrived.
It was the first town we had arrived in where someone accosted us wanting us to stay at his casa rural or albergue, and it didn’t come across at all in a pleasant way. We had already had another place in mind but it was closed. That casa rural recommended another one to us, and that worked out. But not before we’d run into the partner of the first man who again was very unfriendly about us not staying at her place. It did make the town feel less friendly than most other places we’d stayed.
It was the closing night for the one bar in town so we settled on a very simple soup with the veggies we had. There was a tub, so I enjoyed a bath, a cozy evening and a great night’s sleep. The owner had indicated that it often rained the hardest overnight and she didn’t think the forecast looked too bad, so although we’d wondered how it might be, we reckoned we’d keep going. I had been thinking that if the weather looked really dodgy we could try to get transport back to the spa town and enjoy some unexpected luxury.