May 3 – We hated to say goodbye to our Hotel Iberia and its breakfast buffet, but it was time to hit the road. As we only have a 7 mile walk to Casar de Cáceres, we had an extra cafe con leche and left at 9am. There was a lovely promenade on the way out of town, with roses blooming on either side of us. So nice!
As soon as we were out of Cáceres, the yellow arrows deserted us. We walked a while on the side of a busy highway, but that didn’t seem right. We saw a path in a field to our left, and figured we must have missed a turnoff. Jim bounded nimbly over the barbed wire fence. Me, not so nimbly. We walked for a while on what was obviously a cow path, until we came to the obvious cows. They didn’t look pleased to be sharing their meadow with us.
We got to the top of a hill where we could survey the terrain, and, sure enough, there were a half dozen other hikers all walking along the highway. Duh. It took us two more barbed wire fences and one metal gate to get out of cow territory and back on the the road to Casar de Cáceres. An adventure!
We had the choice today of staying in a hostal, or renting a two bedroom apartment with full kitchen and a washing machine for 5 euros less. Guess which we chose? A two minute trip to the Dia gave Jim the fixings of an eggplant mushroom chicken casserole, along with fresh strawberries. Yum! Our clothes are hanging out to dry (yes, there was a washing machine, but nobody has an electric clothes dryer), and we are lounging in our living room. Life is good!
After our siesta, we walked across town to visit the Museo del Queso. As we had been to the Ham Museum a few miles back in Monesterio, it was only right that we should see the Cheese Museum too. Friend Doug informs us that there is a Mustard Museum in Wisconsin. If we could get them all together, what a sandwich we would have!
This area is known for a special soft cheese made from sheep’s milk. We learned as much as we could glean from the Spanish-only text.
While looking at cheese making tools and furniture, we struck up a conversation with Carolyn, originally from Chicago. She is the first American we’ve met since we’ve been walking. She just started her Camino yesterday.
Casar de Cáceres also boasts a fine church, complete with gargoyles and storks.
429 miles to go.