Via de la Plata Guillena to Castilblanco Day 2
Sunday 18th September 2011
|Shayne - our track stretching away.|
The German pilgrims from the day before made an appearance on the breakfast terrace and sat at the next table. Shayne is a fluent German speaker and we were relieved to learn that when the woman hadn't felt well enough to continue in the relentless heat, her husband had walked back to Santiponce to get a taxi which had leapfrogged them on to Guillena. They were going to take three weeks to reach Santiago de Compostela.
Laden with enormous tortilla rolls prepared and wrapped in the Hotel Francés kitchen we set off at 9.30. Crossing the Huelva river on the town outskirts we headed north on the A 464. The yellow arrows had disappeared. A kindly motorist, perhaps sensing our uncertainty, stopped and pointed us towards a Polígono in the distance from where our path would leave the road. Overhead microlight planes circled.
|Easy walking under the cork oaks|
|Mike - map and communications check.|
Our hostal Hospedería de la Plata was practically at the entrance to Castilblanco. From the outside it looked definitely more upmarket than the previous night's accommodation. In our planning, Shayne had researched hostals along the route before we set off and I had made the reservations.
On entry I was greeted by name which I liked, perhaps there weren't too many other father and daughter pilgrims arriving that day? Of course we had a celebratory cold beer before going up to our room. Reading the day's newspaper I was struck by a photo of the Guardia Civil taking measurements on a section of road we had just walked along. In a sensational accident which gripped Spain four months earlier, the Spanish rancher and bullfighter José Ortega Cano had been returning to his nearby ranch at night and collided with an oncoming car, killing the other driver. Our barman explained that the accident had taken place at Km 28 on the approaches to the urbanisation La Colina just outside Castilblanco at the very spot where we had jumped off the road.
|The Pilgrim on our hostal wall.|
Before returning to the Hospederia de la Plata hostal we checked out our exit from Castillblanco so that we could find our pilgrims' way easily in the dark of the morning. Our friendly barman Eduardo had advised an early start for the next day's 30km stretch. It turned out to be excellent advice.
Keeping up the tradition established two nights earlier in Seville, we had a very large glass of Pilgrims Pacharán with ice as a night cap before retiring. The night was cool and peaceful and we slept like tops.
Castilblanco to Almaden de la Plata Day 3
Back: Via de la Plata Seville to Guillena Day 1