Spain
Badajoz

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

19 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Day13

    Last night I was too pooped to write up the blog, but for the record - Zafra is a dear little town with a couple of pretty squares, a nice medieval centre, a couple of interesting Mudejar churches (none open) and the Convent of Santa Clara. Where I purchased some delicious pastries from the nuns for my contribution to the shared pilgrims dinner in the albergué. And arranged for some prayers to be said. It can’t hurt!

    I am now in Villafranca de los Barros - having showered and washed my clothes like a good pilgrim, I have my feet up. It was not a long walk today, only 19km, but it felt longer. I left late, stopped at a bar (cafe) and lingered, so I finished up walking in the midday heat. And my feet are sunburnt - I really need to stop and apply sunscreen more often.

    As the stages on the Via de la Plata are reasonably set, we meet the same people each night, and everyone has become friends. A nice varied group with 3 Australians, some French, Belgium, English,German and Catalonian s they emphasis NOT Spanish!). We often have a pilgrims dinner with wine at night, with everyone contributing something.
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  • Day16

    The stork season is well and truly here. So many flying overhead - I can’t tell if they are scouting for food or flying further north. But certainly every storks nest I pass, and there are many, is now occupied. The clattering of bills is such a joyous spring sound. I tried to take a photo of the nests and storks on top of the Roman aqueduct but you can’t really see the storks.

    Today’s walk was only 17km. A late start so I was glad it finished before the heat. I’m using my umbrella for shade. Wildflowers are still spectacular.Read more

  • Day26

    Hoofed it to Merida

    May 3 in Spain

    My choice today was 25 km to a small hamlet with a Pension above a gas station, or 40 to Merida, I opted to grind it out. This was one of those days where the stimulus had to come from within, because the scenery was unlikely to get your juices going. There was the occasional flower burst or bucolic scene with cows grazing, but for the most part it was 40 km on asphalt next to a busy highway. In fact, I’d have to say that one 5 km stretch on the shoulder of a busy national highway was right up there on the list of “scariest walks on the camino.” But I made it. And joy of joys, the last 8 km or so into town were far from the highway all on dirt.

    So I walked into the main square at around 3 pm feeling pretty whacked. The following facts presented themselves— 1. there would be no touring for me since I have been to Merida 3 or 4 times, most recently in February with Joe. 2. there was a fancy hotel in an ancient building inviting me to go in and check out the last minute prices. 3. Since I had walked 40 today, I could sleep in and take a short stage tomorrow. All indicators pointed to my flopping down in the fancy hotel with a cheap last minute rate. Which I did!

    I have been out to the Roman bridge, one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I have been in the square in front of the hotel. But for the most part I have enjoyed the little balcony off my room, the glorious bathroom with forceful hot water spraying out of the shower head, and the lovely feeling that comes from having walked a monster stage unscathed. I am pretty ascetic but every now and then these creature comforts are irresistible.
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  • Day27

    I woke up at 5 as usual and forced myself back to sleep. It wasn’t quite 6:30 when I woke up again but I was sure I wouldn’t go back to sleep so I got up and going.

    By 8, I was leaving Mérida, having had a leisurely breakfast. The exit from town goes right by the Roman aqueduct, and with the sun rising it was really pretty. Hard to believe this amazing structure used to go all the way to Proserpina, which is where the first century reservoir (another engineering feat) was the city’s water source.

    This short walk was beautiful, through the dehesa, the typical southern Spain countryside of boulders, meadows, Holm’s oak, wetland meadows and tons of wildflowers. Just gorgeous.

    And here I am, shower and washing done. The albergue is full (lucky me to be in the room of 2 women and 2 men instead of the room of 15 men and one poor woman). There’s a restaurant in town, but not much else going on.

    PS. In case you are wondering what it was that led to me walking such a short day, it has to do with a planned detour tomorrow to a visigothic church, Santa Lucía del Trampal.
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  • Day24

    Today was a long 40 km day. The first 12 or so on asphalt were not my favorite, but it was in total quiet through olive groves and cultivated fields. Then about 8 km on a nice track, where the wildflowers began their display in earnest. After a long walk from one end of a long small town to the other, the camino went off road onto a path that had me totally gasping. The wildflowers were amazing— pink, purple, red, white and yellow. I started a little contest to see which combination I liked the best. Yesterday’s clear winner was the red and yellow, but I think today’s would have to be purple and yellow.

    This was without a doubt the best wildflower display I’ve ever seen on a camino. And with the changing sky and rolling hills with scrub oak and holm’s oak, it was a riot of beauty.

    And then...about 8 km from my destination, thunder and lightening started popping up all over in front of me. I thought it was unlikely that I’d make it to Campanario before the downpour and I was right. About 3 km outside of town, the wind picked up, the rain started and then bam it was hailing —hard. After about 15 minutes I cane upon a little chapel with a porch where I waited out the rest of the storm. I was already soaked through and cold, but I thought it best to wait till the thunder claps receded. Thirty minutes later, I dragged myself the next few kms to my pension. It is probably the worst place I’ve stayed yet, but it’s 20€ for a private room that seems basically clean.

    I am eating a good meal, have showered, and the storm is a distant memory. But those wildflowers are vivid in my mind!
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  • Day23

    Except for the fact that the last 12 of the total 32 km were on asphalt (but on a very untraveled road), this was a great walk. The first 20 were just perfect, for me at least — out in the middle of nowhere, on dirt tracks, through scrub oak and barley fields, lots of wildflowers. Not a person anywhere, just the occasional flock of sheep guarded by big barking dogs. Fortunately, there was always a fence between me and the dogs.

    I came to the site of what had been a two day romería (procession up to the little chapel about 17 kms away). I learned that a couple thousand people camp out for two days and carry the statue of a special Virgin Mary across the river (which I avoided crossing today bc the water is shoulder-deep, so this would have been quite a spectacle) It looked more like the scene after a raucous outdoor rock concert than a religious procession, with garbage everywhere and a few stalwarts cleaning up.

    I am in a hotel that seems to survive with pilgrim guests. About 6 of us here tonight, I’d say. Tomorrow the choice is 20 km or 40 km. I will probably try for 40. But rain is predicted, and if things are too bad at 20, I will just stop there.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia de Badajoz, Badajoz, バダホス

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