Saturday November 8 th 2014 Grimaldo 20 km.

Matras er af, Tosca er op bij Lago tago Mattrass off the bed and Tosca on the bed at lake Tago
Another, now with animals, so you see, I do not take pictures of the internet Yet, now with animals, so you behold, I did not steal pictures from the internet 

 Schraal, but now some green landscape  Dry, but now some green landscape  

] Vast, sparsely populated Extremadura (3xZwitserland) 

with cattle of the same race that is used for bull fighting


Vast, sparsely populated Extremadura (3xSwitzerland)

2000 j. oude, Romeinse schapensheep on the Roman Via de la Plata

Bruggetje uit 1400 en pony uit 2010, ten zuiden van Cañaveral
Bridge from 1400 and pony from 2010, south of Canaveral

And then it was Saturday 8th Nov. 2014 via Canavaral to Grimaldo.
Today only a 20 km trip ahead, so I was in no hurry at all. I filmed a little, took pictures, enjoyed the weather (T-shirt), nice landscape, with walls of natural stones surrounding the fields, an old bridge before Canavaral, pastures with flowers, cork oaks, vast sights and wasteland as far as you can see. The Dutch Veluwe and the Belgian Mechelse heide are nothing compared to this. Often scents of lavender, in the villages nice scents of Mediterranean jasmine, which now flourishes for the 2nd time this year and the delicious scent of blooming orange. Every now and then we encountered groups of those semi-wild Spanish fighting bulls, but most cattle are of the same races as are used in the Netherlands, or crossed with Limosines, Charolais or something the like. So also here old breeds are getting extinct.                                                                                                          The old world is gone, I discover again and again. Often cork oaks are no longer stripped of their bark, many kilometers of olive groves are surrounded by all kinds of shrubs, partition walls are no longer maintained and crumble. All cattle have identification numbers in their ears and since a few years the owner has the obligation to clear the cadavers. The number of vultures seems considerably reduced because of this law but in this endless wilderness those big gliders probably still manage to find a missing dead individual of cattle.                                                                                        Dog Tosca doesn’t have a problem with the distance, dragging discovered bones, pieces of sheepskin which are left over from a cadaver or, by default, she walks with sticks. Leon also seems to carry 50 to 60 kilos of luggage without a problem, over rocky paths with a lot of loose rocks, up and down steep mountains , across ditches and streams, along fearsome bulls and immune to the groups of intrusive awfull little dogs running around freely in the neighbourhood of farms. And all this with a minimum of “pienso” (food), spending the night outside on a rope in the rain. I hope he keeps standing that, but it’s a tough one, this Iceland horse.

Today I once again met Norbert from Hamburg (Germany). I had already met him days ago at an inn, but then I thought that he was a very introvert, almost dying Englishman, somewhere in his 40’s. He seems continuously at the brink, drags himself forward, breathless panting, limping and with a look like the dying Christ. He warned others for his own snoring. From fellow pellegrinos I had also heard about him. Fortunately. So now I can instantly take measurers when I arrive at the inn in Grimaldo. Everyone gets an identity on this route: The snoring German, the complaining Austrian with back pains, the Hungarian living in Switzerland, whom one could hardly understand, the weirdo from the Netherlands with his horse (or is it a donkey, many ask) and dog . A man afraid of Tosca, showed me on his mobile, why he was afraid of my black Tosca: a scene of boar hunting, where some dogs were attacking a wild pig, or maybe it was already killed, and the worst dog was that black one, he pointed. Indeed, kind of like my dear Tosca. That’s why he was afraid of her. Grimaldo has 40 residents, two bars and one church and part of this metropolis is a hoar house! Probably especially for the pilgrims!
By now I know that horse Leon doesn’t easily panic; at night at a rope, which he survives when he is tied up in the rain (like a lot of other horses here in Spain) staying in a bare pasture with only some dry, picky plants. Now I also know that dog Tosca is as hardened as those chained dogs here and I become ever less concerned about the success of my mission. My previous concerns and uncertainties about the animals is much less and I can enjoy my trip more. Many of the anticipated problems are surpassed and did I cover more than 400 km. without feeling tired. My feet are not taped any more, eating at random, with high-fat / oil or sugar, in order not to finish my life as a skeleton in the mouth of the dogs of my camino successors or in the beaks of many vultures, which seem to be very concentrated on me.
After settling in the simple inn in Grimaldo, awaiting the arrival of Dutch Pauline and Rob I decided to have a delicious diner with German Norbert from Hamburg. A menu with three courses, with coffee afterwards for 9 E. The pilgrims lodge is for free. The dog can sneak in tonight. Ha, nothing can happen to me. I only have to take care for the curtains, the chair cushions, remove rugs or else Tosca will ruin everything. So half a house move before bedtime. A Spanish cyclist, also staying in our very primitive inn, agreed with Tosca inside, if in turn we allowed him to put his bike next to his bed. Ha, good exchange! Here at the bar I constantly hear Caballo (horse) and perro (dog). So probably they are impressed here. That’s nice. Horse Leon is tied to a long rope in a beautiful lawn above the inn.

Right at my diner with German Norbert at the local café God (Rob) and Archangel Paulien appear (didn’t God have three archangels, but therefore he also is God?). I left Norbert alone for a while. Rob, Paulien and I sat at another table and chatted a while. I accepted the from the Netherlands newly imported rain blanket for Leon, raincover for Tosca, my wive Sonja’s camera and an inexpensive new mobile phone. Paulien and Rob went to diner at a restaurant across the road and we agreed that I would come there after my meal to have desert with them. In the meantime I went back to Norbert. With the help of some drinks etc. there was still a lot of laughter. Paulien and Rob had plans to explore the beautiful city of Caceras, that I passed days ago and where I didn’t understand well the nice, young Hispanic girl and where I made pictures together with the street guitarists. I was already 60 km. ahead to the north. We agreed to meet in three days, Monday, about 90 km. north of Caceras. I will, as long as we’re together, walk shorter distances, so Paulien, Rob and I will have more time for socializing. Comme si, comme ca, comme tralala.

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