El Real de la Jara to Monesterio

Apr 16 – Happy Easter, Happy Resurrection Sunday or Happy Fiesta de Judas to you! In Andalusia, an effigy of Judas is hung on Good Friday, then it is taken down, beaten, burned, exploded with firecrackers or otherwise held accountable for turning Jesus in, on Sunday.  That’ll teach him.

Today we have a 12.5 mile walk.  All the stores and bars are closed for the fiesta, so there is no sense even thinking about a hot breakfast or coffee.  We ate the yogurt and oranges Jim had the prescience to purchase yesterday, and hit the road at 7am.  We took a moment to appreciate the Easter sunrise, pictured above.

Our walk took us out of the province of Andalusia, and into Extremadura.  Sounds pretty extreme!

We met an older German hiker today, who proudly showed us his Garmin satellite tracker.  He always knows right where he is, how much farther he has to go, and exactly where he is going to stay. He prebooked all his rooms for the whole trip, which means he cannot deviate from his plan.  Very German.  We also met a Frenchman who saunters into town, has a drink, and asks for a recommendation of where to stay.  He looked like the happier of the two.

So now we are in Monesterio, in a very nice room.  It is still Easter Day, and no restaurants are open, even the ones that cater to hikers and pilgrims.  Jim found a very small grocery, and bought us an overpriced can of meatballs.  Yes, we ate it cold, out of the can. Yes, it was every bit as Alpo-like as you are thinking.  Yes, I will be happy when the fiesta is over tomorrow!  556 miles to go.

Apr 17 – We decided to spend a day here in Monesterio, as we need the grocery store to open so we can reprovision.  Monesterio is the Iberian Ham capital of Extremadura, and we also didn’t want to miss our chance to see the Museo del Jamón. The sign at the entrance to town shows how important ham is around here.

We arrived at the Museum bright and early, and were given a very comprehensive tour of the raising, slaughter and sausage manufacture of Iberian ham, which are produced by the black pigs we spent some time on the trail with the other day. 

Iberian ham is low in fat, high in protein and full of vitamins.  You should eat some every day.

Famous artists have creativity adorned many Iberian pigs, similar to the decoration of mermaids that we have in Norfolk.

This one is by the famous artist Eduardo Naranjo.

The tour concluded with the opportunity to take a captioned selfie.  Here is ours!

4 thoughts on “El Real de la Jara to Monesterio

    1. I agree, Doug, and have thought of mustard fondly since we have been here. Our bocadillos de jamón are served only with a slather of butter or a sprinkling of olive oil. The ham is dark and very flavorful, but what couldn’t be improved by a dab of good brown mustard?

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