Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Tuesday 23 February – Valverde del Camino and Fregenal de la Sierra

Where’s Colin? He’s in a municipal aire at the bus station in Fregenal. I’m hoping the buses don’t run too late or too early.

After two days of limited visibility due to a dust cloud, today dawned blue-skied and bright, with much better air clarity. Indeed, there were views to be seen today, and our morning walk on Route 10 (ish - see gayleybird.blogspot.com for more detail on that) allowed us to enjoy those views over the green and undulating area.

All our our neighbours from last night had moved on by the time we returned to Colin (I don’t think most of them even went into the town, purely using the Aire as a stopover), and after lunch we made tracks too.

The road between Valverde and Fregenal is very winding and uppy-downy, but it goes through a very scenic area. It would have been most enjoyable if it hadn’t been for a poor road surface causing Colin to vibrate so much. Every now and then we’d hit a resurfaced section of road and it’d be a welcome relief for a few seconds before the old, crazed surface resumed.

Arriving in Fregenal I wasn’t too enamoured with the Aire, although first impressions were (I hope) misleading as we seemed to hit rush-hour when lots of buses were coming in, as well as artics coming and going, parking in front of the motorhome area, presumably for their lunch breaks. We’d also arrived mid-siesta, so our first walk into the town bore no fruit as both the Tourist Office and the castle were closed until 5pm. Back in Colin with a wait ahead of us and lots of vehicle noise all around, I muttered a bit about going somewhere nicer, but the final decision was to stay. 

Looking up to the castle and one of the churches, as viewed from about ten yards behind Colin.

At 5.30, information about local walk options was obtained from the Tourist Office (the download on their website wouldn’t work for me) and into the castle we went, which happens also to house a fish market and a bull ring:

I’m not sure whether we were supposed to go up onto the castle walls, but there was nothing (and no-one) to say we couldn’t, so we climbed up the steep seats of the bull ring to the access point, just right of centre in the above panoranic shot.

The railings up there seemed rather flimsy, but at least there were some, unlike on the narrow, winding staircase up to the top of the tower visible on the right. We completed our visit with a walk around to another (more substantial) tower (out of shot on the left), on the side of the castle which gives a bird’s-eye view over the town. Talking of birds, it was up there that we came upon proof that baby pigeons do exist, as Mick spotted this tiny ball of yellow fluff in a nest (on the other side of some glass; we caused no disturbance):

Another planning session, whilst we waited out Siesta this afternoon, established that even with the bonus day of 29 Feb we're a day short to do everything we'd wanted to do on our way back up Spain. Something is going to have to be omitted, and I suspect that something will be Cacares.

(Random extra note: two good deeds today - removing a screw from behind a car's tyre, and (after watching multiple manouevres to try to get their van within range of their very short hose) we made a French couple happy by volunteering ours.)

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