We drove back to Salmerón to pick up the Camino to continue the route into Trillo. This involved a 4.5 km steady but scrambling climb up to a wide road atop a range. It was rough and tough but once on the range it was quite flat through oak forests and low spiky shrubs. This part of Spain has many spiky plants similar to Australia which survive in the hot dry conditions. The rivers, when we see them are incredibly clear and fast flowing. Doing this walk in spring would be hard too for reasons other than heat, like muddy, clay paths and swollen rivers.
The flies were horrendous and eventually I resorted to a switch to keep my face clear. Along the top was quite easy until we reached a village that required a steep descent through a narrow stream bed bordered by spiky plants that tore at our legs, scratching and drawing blood. Our reward was at the bottom before entering town. An abandoned house had a flourishing grapevine laden with sweet purple grapes. We ate handfuls and just as well because the village we were entering had no bar open. Today was a bring your own lunch day( which we had) but a cafe con leche or aqua con gas would have been so welcome. It had warmed up and I was running low on water.
We passed through the village and Peter was starting to tire. He always struggles on hills and what faced us was a rough, stony constant climb up and around the Tetras Viana, glowingly described as a natural wild place with ‘savage’ animals. It was probably the roughest path I have walked for some time. It was interesting but you had to constantly watch your feet and the path. It was full of ruts and round stones that slipped and rolled underfoot. Andy was impressed with some of my balletic moves required to keep my footing. It wasn’t long before Peter started to fall behind. We kept stopping to wait and eventually we stopped for a break. Andy had gone back to help carry Peter’s pack up the last part of the hill. We were very concerned about him and rang Karen to see if she could meet us at the end of the walk. I was almost out of water but travelling okay. Andy had more with hydrolytes so he was able to share with Peter. I walked on hoping to intercept Karen.
I never thought I would be glad to see a nuclear power station but the sight of those towers really spurred me on!
Karen had driven up beyond the village to the start of the walk from Trillo. Eventually we all met her and were grateful to get the last km home in the car. It was a tough 28km. On the way we stopped for ice creams, beer and a bottle opener as our accommodation hasn’t got one!