Another very lovely, interesting little city steeped in history. Plaza Grande and Plaza Chica are great places to hang out and watch people. Very tranquil and relaxed plazas away from the main shopping streets. Completed One large panoramic sketch and sold a couple of smaller sketches. Took plenty in drops also. Paid just €10 for a bed in the Albergue, so managed to save a sizeable amount for a local charity.
Few people speak English here. My Spanish is improving noticeably by the day as I have no choice other than to use it. Communicating more effectively with local people means I explain exactly what I'm doing and ask which local cause they would like to see money donated to.
The bed could/should have been free, but I still don't have the 'official' pilgrims paper work to qualify as a real pilgrim :D Strange that all the albergues appear to be very busy, but I have yet to meet a single other pilgrim on what is now the main route to Santiago de Compostela - Via del la Plata. What's more, I haven´t even seen a foot print other than my own!
Plan to hike through the night towards Merida. A long stretch through moonlit grape vines under a bright full moon. Now I'm on the old Roman trading route from Sevilla to Santiago I expect to see plenty of Roman remains. I'm told Merida is exceptionally rich in Roman architecture. May spend Four, or Five days there if fund raising proves to be worth while.
Grapes! Loads of them. No wonder the red wine is so cheap around here; it doesn't have to travel very far. Looks like the grapes have just been harvested, but there are plenty of forgotten/late ripening bunches hanging on the vines. Big, lush, super sweet white grapes (I suspect Muscadet, but I'm no expert) and small black grapes the size of large blackcurrants, very juicy and only slighty acidic. I'd say it's been a good year for red wine grapes here :)
Junta de Extremadura 'Palace of Wine and Olive Oil'. A huge contemporary building in the middle of an industrial estate. As tacky as they come. I couldn't resist a visit.
Merida next. I'll get my cameras out and start posting a few photographs. In the meantime, try some Wikipedia info:
I'm actually making far more money than I was expecting. So any suggestions about good causes in Spain are still very welcome. I'm hoping I've stumbled upon a new career as a freelance fund raising artist. That would be a very nice way to make a living.