Spain
Extremadura

Here you’ll find travel reports about Extremadura. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

38 travelers at this place:

  • Day646

    Badajoz

    April 3 in Spain

    We travelled today through more Eucalyptus forests and Cork Oak plantations, on a route that wound up and down successive hillsides. The road was in poor condition; travelling on it produced an almighty rattle within the van as cupboards and their contents vibrated. Some of the bends were tight and we came accross a lorry with a trailer full of old logs that had tipped over on its side. The Guardia Civil were in charge of directing traffic around it (apart from when they knew the people in the passing car and stopped them for friendly banter!)

    The layby we stopped at for lunch was close to work taking place to reduce the risk of rockfalls from the roadside cliff. There are some very different hazards to look out for over here compared to driving around Dudley back in the UK!

    Badajoz is a large town with several bridges spanning the wide river Guadiana. The free aire is on the south bank, near a well used park and the Puente de Palmas; a grand, red sandstone pedestrian bridge that is illuminated at night. A series of arches hop over the water and are punctuated by large circular cutouts. On top there are wrought iron lamposts and even small turrets!

    The van park was packed but we managed to slip in to a recently vacated space facing on to the service area. Luckily the dividing lines between the bays were wide enough apart for it not too feel claustrophobic. Later arrivals weren't quite so lucky and parked at the side of the quiet road.

    We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon watching people going in and out of the park. There were lots of dogs, strollers, nordic walkers, joggers and a running club. Old and young, people came by themselves, as couples or with family or friends. It was great to see the green space being appreciated and made use of. It was well maintained by friendly park keepers who showed a keen interest in Poppy, asking Vicky lots of questions about her; 'Is she a wolf? What breed is she? How old is she?' Unfortunately the conversation was extremely stilted because they didn't speak English and Vicky's Spanish is very limited!

    Later on we had a visitor; a lone British vanner who'd begun full timing in November and wanted to know if we had any paperback books she could swap for ones she'd finished reading. Sadly for her we only ever read fiction on our Kobo and Kindle. We went over to her little van which had a problem with its gas bottles that we tried, but failed to get to the bottom of. We did however have a good chat about vanlife and travel in general and enjoyed connecting with someone for a proper conversation.

    Before leaving the following day, we walked over the bridge to the town and made our way to Plaza España; the central square. A large church dominated here, but our eyes were drawn by a run of tall townhouses with attractive stained glass and a little blue and white mosaic tiling. At the base were cafés whose street tables extended to a neatly pruned line of orange trees, the scent from which we could just pick up now they were coming into flower.

    Unfortunately Vicky had no luck when asking for churros and chocolate - a Spanish 'must have' that is proving particularly elusive! She'd had high hopes because we'd seen not one but two Churrería delivery bikes (like a pizza delivery but for churros!). Instead we had the usual of camomile and espresso (no prizes for guessing who had what) and made our way back to the van, stopping in at a small corner shop along the way to pick up a fresh bunch of spinach and some sweet treats to satisfy Vicky's frustrated sugar craving 😋
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  • Day647

    We are enjoying travelling through and staying in the rural Spanish region of Extremadura. There are few enough settlements for us to appreciate one when we come accross it!

    After a morning driving we went a little way down a disused road and parked up for lunch. Will went to explore while Vicky took Poppy out and set the table. Will came back in with some yellow rocket flowers for the salad and a chunk of cork he'd pealed off a Cork Oak. Vicky inspected it carefully; the tree she'd seen had ants crawling all over it. It was then that Will saw the first ant emerge and hastily chucked it out the door, regretting the fact he'd carried it in the pocket of his shorts!

    The journey brought many gorgeous Spring sights; little pigs foraging amongst yellow wood sorrel in an orchard, lambs with their mothers and even a few brown wooly calves. The rolling plains were coated in blankets of flowers, mostly yellow or white. Above them soared vultures and numerous birds of prey, Kestrals, Buzzards and Black Kites. It rained heavily but intermittently and it was good to see the rivers full, although some fields had become flooded.

    Dry stone walling began to replace metal mesh fences; an obvious choice given the abundance of suitable material dotting the landscape. The roads were straight, rolling and good quality and before long we were crossing the old roman bridge and pulling up at what would be our home for the next two nights.

    The small parking area was on the side of a ravine spanned by the impressive Puente Romano an old, cobbled and arched stone bridge. Behind us the road led away up the hill and ahead was a walking track along the valley of the River Tajo. Flowers bloomed in great variety and abundance; Corn Camomile, Mediterranean Lavender, Field Poppies and a multitude of yellows, pinks, whites and purples. It was truly beautiful! Our enjoyment was marred slightly by two members of a coach party who began picking the least common and most striking flowers; the poppies. One of them ripped at a flower and pulled up the whole plant, roots and all! We may have said something had it been England, but didn't feel we could here, so just stared disapprovingly.

    When the day visitors had left and the sun began to lower, highlighting the warm stone of the bridge, we found ourselves amongst a constant flurry of House Martins and the occasional Crag Martin. After watching them for a while at the edge of puddles, we realised they were collecting mud in their beaks and taking it back to the underside of the arches, where they used it to build and repair their nests! We felt very privilaged to have been able to stay in our 'mobile hide' to observe and identify this behaviour.

    You can watch a 60 second movie of the Martins on the VnW Travels You Tube Channel here: https://youtu.be/fdR6VJDhaxw

    We need to make progress up north in order to give ourselves time to explore without it feeling like a roller coaster. We were therefore in two minds about whether to stay a second night, but in the end the place was just so enchanting we couldn't drag ourselves away! Vicky wanted to explore the track ahead and Will wanted to hike to a wild swimming pool in the opposite direction, so we split the day in two. The morning walk was Vicky's choice and took us along the Tajo valley, above the swirling river. The sun shone, wildflowers surrounded us and we only met two other people on the entire walk. After a while we came accross an old winch station with a metal cable still attached. We think it must have been used to move goods from one side of the valley to the other at one point, but had since fallen into disrepair. Along the way we were entertained by Black Kites and Griffin Vultures and when we stopped for a snack a Kite cruised hopefully overhead, no doubt assessing how likely we would be to leave food scraps behind. Having turned back, Vicky spotted some plants that our WWOOF hosts had told us were wild asparagus. We'd seen locals with bunches of spears, so we looked very carefully and found one ready to be picked! It was a little way down a very steep bank but Vicky managed to get there and back safely and we shared our find then and there!

    After lunch we set out on Will's choice of walk. The day was hot and although we'd lathered on sunscreen and brought water, we found the rocky uphill hike hard going. Grass and flowers grew around us, but all that remained of the shrubs were burned bare branches sticking up from the ground. It looked as if a fire within the last year had killed them and the Eucalyptus grove a little further on. Signposts had been burned to a crisp but the authorities had acted quickly and a new gate, fence and signs had been installed (although the signs hadn't yet been written).

    There were so many flowers we didn't recognise but we did identify White Spanish Broom, a native to the Iberian Peninsula, growing alongside the more familiar yellow Broom. We actually walked past the wild swimming pool that was our intended destination and had to double back. We hadn't realised it was the site of a disused quarry! It didn't look promising as we entered but we were soon standing on soft yellow sand with a clear blue-green pool ahead of us, looking up at brown stone cliff faces and huge birds circling above. Somebody had put a lot of work into making the site an attractive local amenity and refuge for nature. We spotted a Black Stork, Egyptian Vultures and Griffin Vultures! We had the place to oursleves for more than 20 minutes. The water was chilly, not having received much direct sunlight, but Will enjoyed a swim or two while Vicky photographed the birds. We were shown how lucky we were to have this quiet time when a school group turned up and their shouts echoed off the quarry walls! Feeling tired we took the shorter route back along the road, our minds full of the wonderful sights we'd seen.

    While sitting in the van drinking our cuppas the next morning we were lucky enough to spot a medium sized black bird with a bluish head that we think may have been a Blue Rock Thrush. This was followed shortly afterwards by two Iberian Magpies; birds that look a little like a Jay but with black caps and blue wings and tails. We'd previously seen them from afar, but always so fleetingly we'd not been able to identify them, so to finally get to the solve this puzzle was a lovely end to our stay! (Sorry no photos of these).
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  • Day17

    A lovely walk on a perfect surface in perfect weather - not cold but with enough cloud cover that my sunburnt feet were happy. About 17km from Aljucén to Alcuéscar, through national park. Once here I caught a taxi out to see Santa Lucía del Trampal - a Visigoth church that has survived since the 7th Century. Quite remarkable. Staying tonight in a very nice German hostal and we’ve just had a great meal. Tomorrow I’m promised hot churros at the local bar at 6am! What a way to start the day.Read more

  • Day19

    Last night I stayed in Câceres in a nicely situated but rather dingy old hotel, tonight I’m in a spacious and bright modern apartment in Casar de Cáceres. With a washing machine, oh joy! I have on swimmers while every other bit of clothing goes through the wash.

    Cáceres was heaving with people as the city prepared for a 4 day Womad (world music) festival. Technical vehicles everywhere putting up stages and lights and hooking up amplifiers (and testing them). The contrast with the medieval buildings makes an interesting juxtaposition- particularly when one long van got stuck in a narrow street corner. The city centre is another world heritage site. Fabulous lunch at LaMinerva restaurant.

    Leaving Càceres this morning was a truly frightening experience as it meant walking for 3km along a very busy road with a narrow shoulder. Cars and trucks going full pelt. It won’t be long before some poor pilgrim has a sticky end. I was really glad to get off onto a side path and across the fields. First time I’ve felt truly frightened on this Camino.
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  • Day22

    The morning after

    May 13 in Spain

    I think there will be some sore heads! Short video under.

    My night was interesting. I headed back to the albergue early. It’s a lovely place run by a young couple with two small children. Good facilities - I should take photos for those unfamiliar with albergues. My friends had arrived before me and were allocated a small room which they filled.

    I was in a huge room, with lots of bunks but only two older men. I don’t know why they took the adjoining bunks and not ones further away!

    A night full of snoring, interesting noises, and no sleep for me! Ah well, albergue living.

    Now I am in Grimaldo which does not really qualify as a stage but I’m catching a bus from here to Salamanca tomorrow- to catch up with a friend. And to buy a replacement wind jacket - having left mine behind somewhere. And it’s cold! Snow further north. Then I’ll bus back south to continue the walk.
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  • Day10

    Set out from Al Real in crisp cold weather. The skies are quite spectacular in this weather - cold air streams must be interesting the cloud patterns. Again, another beautiful day of walking, for the first half of the walk along a quiet gravel road with a perfect walking surface. We crossed a few pretty streams, some via concrete fords covered in a few inches of water. My guess is that these are normally dry. Again, made it into Monasterio just as the rain started to spit. Tonight I am staying at a parochial albergue, very well set up and spotlessly clean.

    Photos today - setting out past the castle at Al Real, early morning with Romy from Germany, another castle along the way - and pastoral scenes. Those sheep are in sheep paradise! Plus a shot of the albergue.
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  • Day11

    Walking in the Air

    May 2 in Spain

    Today was a day that I’ll remember forever. A day of thin places. Moments of sheer joy. I walked most of the 22km alone - apart from an eagle soaring over me - and was absorbed by the beauty around me. It was a day that answered the question “Why do I keep coming back”.

    Again, a crisp cold day with heavenly blue skies and a lovely gravel path to walk on. About half way along the landscape changed from stone fences and trees (still trying to work out what they are) in small fields, to large open paddocks sewn with new wheat and other grain crops. Saw my first storks today, and enjoyed listening to the beak clattering on top the nests. Also saw my first poppies. The wildflowers are still spectacular.

    In Fuente de Cantos I am sharing a room in a “rural apartment hotel” with another Australian. A lovely old building, with the prettiest sunny garden, complete with pool and fountain. We decided against the municipal albergue in the old monastery on the basis of the weather - it’s freezing at night.
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  • Day20

    A 22 km walk today.

    Casar de Cáceres was an unexpectedly pleasant village - obviously great local pride as they had made a very welcoming green arcade into town - vine covered trellis walkway and shady trees. A good local bar and an excellent apartment I’d reserved to share with the two other Aussie girls walking. It had a little back courtyard garden and we invited our walking friends round for a shared dinner to say goodbye to Uli and Harold. They have been steadfast companions since Seville but Harold’s hip had become increasingly painful and he could not continue.

    Today’s walk was beautiful for the most part, across gently rolling hills along a gravel path, past wildflowers, horses, sheep and sleek cows, a Roman road (well preserved) then beside the dam with a narrow rather rocky up and down path and finally about 4 kilometres of hard unforgiving bitumen. Across two long bridges high above the water - Ian, I looked straight ahead and did not look down!

    My feet and legs felt the pounding of the last 4km on roadway and I had to stop to take out the extra 750mls of water from my pack. Knowing there were no water supplies anywhere along the route I’d put in extra. And I was grateful I had.

    This albergue is excellent - and I’m grateful it is open because it seems to have been closed for the last few years. It is rather in the middle of nowhere (no villages or towns for another 10km) but a nice site overlooking the Embalse (dam). Terrific hot showers, good rooms and facilities. I’m looking forward to dinner!
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  • Day25

    Baños en fiesta

    May 16 in Spain

    A quick holiday from the holiday while I visited Salamanca by bus, to meet up with a friend. More of Salamanca when I walk there, in a couple of days.

    So from Salamanca I bused back to the Camino and to Baños. A thermal spa town that also happened to be having a fiesta. With everything closed. And the thermal baths “completo”. But free beer and alcoholic punch and cheese and jamón and beef with paprika stew and dulces and loud music and dancing and very friendly locals. One of whom was playing a saxophone made out of plumbing pipes - there’s an idea for you Ian. So here are some videos and photos of Baños.Read more

  • Day15

    Beautiful Mélide

    May 6 in Spain

    Wow! What a gem. No wonder it is a world heritage site.

    The day started early, leaving our rather primitive albergue before dawn. There was a wedding last night and the locals seem to celebrate by driving round all night and sounding their horns in the early hours of the morning, so we were all wakened by a 5am cacophony.

    It was a straight tramp along the highway and we reached the Roman bridge into Mélide by morning tea time - perfect for sightseeing. Aside from the magnificent arched bridge I also saw the Roman ampitheatre, the circus, the Alcazaba (fort), temple of Diana and the Roman and Visigoth museums (phew!)

    And a local exhibition of folkloric singing and dancing!

    Tonight I and two other women are sharing a room in a good hotel. Such luxury to have our own bathroom and be able to spread our gear around.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Extremadura, Estremadura, منطقة إكستريمادورا, اكستريمادورا, Эстрэмадура, Естремадура, Εξτρεμαδούρα, Ekstremaduro, Estremaúra, اکسترمادورا, Estrémadure, Èstrèmadura, Ekstremadûra, Ekstremadura, אקסטרמדורה, Estremadure, Էստրեմադուրա, Extremadúra, エストゥレマドゥーラ, ესტრემადურა, Эстремадура, 에스트레마두라 지방, Estremadūra, 埃斯特雷馬杜拉, Екстремадура, एस्त्रेमादुरा, Эстремадурæ, ایکسٹریماڈورا, Ikstrimadura, แคว้นเอกซ์เตรมาดูรา, 埃斯特雷马杜拉

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