We are all tired and today was a rest day. Andy outlined the walk up to Sad Hill Cemetery, the last scene in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly filmed near here. It was only as we were trudging up the hill that I realised it wasn’t 4.5 kms all up but to and from! I did say to him , ‘What part of rest day didn’t he get?” We should have driven because once we got to the top of the hill it was a long winding road down to the cemetery. We all decided the view from the top was probably the best aspect anyway! We returned, thankfully downhill.
On the walk up to Sad Hill and subsequently as we drove to the gorge we could see the ravages of the recent forest fires this past summer. Santo Domingo was almost surrounded so it must have been extremely worrying for the locals and the Monastery.
Next stop was the Yecla gorge (by car!). Wow! How dramatic it was after our gentle undulating country walking. We could understand why they chose this part of Spain to make the film. This country is so surprising with such contrasting landscapes.
To get to the gorge you drive through two tunnels cut in the mountains. Then we walked into the gorge on a well built path. Above circled many vultures. We have seen them many times and I think we occasionally thought they were eagles. On this occasion there was no doubt. I could photograph them on the cliff edges and they flew low.
After the gorge we drove to Lerma an interesting town with a Duke’s palace, now a Parador with a gorgeous courtyard lounge area. There was a poet’s walk outside the St Teresa’s convent with Poems by Jose Zorrilla, whose sculpture was sitting on a seat. I love these little things about Spain. We missed the market but a pulse and spice stall was still open. The produce was displayed so attractively in white bags. We wandered around and found a little place for lunch. I have been craving a bit of meat- I think it is why I was tired. So I had pork chops and Morçilla sausage with salad. A very happy girl after!
Another successful day. Only a week left of our trip.
We headed home but saw a supermarket and got excited. At home we are blasé about supermarkets but in Spain many of these places only have a little shop and they have to travel to bigger places to see a supermarket and they aren’t as big as ours. We have really appreciated them when we find one! We stocked up on basics and wine and fruit. We still have a few days to go. I was able to get some gluten free bread and gluten free muesli bars for walking. Then it was home for a light dinner and off to the church to hear the monks sing vespers. They ask you not to photograph and it felt intrusive to do so but I did video the sound of singing. It was very harmonious and gentle. We were surprised by the number of younger monks. There were some who were also very old. They must live a peaceful life.
Peter has developed a severe tooth ache which is getting worse. The most likely opportunity for a dentist will be Burgos. He was trying to wait till he returned to England but it is getting too painful. We are trying to organise a dentist through the Airbnb host.