After a day and a half spent mainly flat on my back we set off with some trepidation on the road from Jarandilla de la Vera to Ciudad Rodrigo. I was taking heavy doses of anti-inflammatory pills and paracetemol, wearing a support belt, and staying very upright and as still as possible. The latter was tricky in a moving car.Read more: The road to Ciudad Rodrigo
The Vera Valley
The road through the Vera Valley to Plasencia was very pretty. We wound our way through olive orchards and past pomegranates and prickly pears. The mountains were on one side and the countryside was undulating on the other side, and there were several small towns along the way. This looks like holiday country and is perhaps very different to the standard English perception of Spain and beaches?
We planned a coffee stop in Coria and turned into the town on the wrong side of the road, in front of a Guardia Civil car. Two officers marched over and we immediately apologised for our mistake. It seemed to work because they stopped the traffic and directed us to the right side of the road! The driver needed a drink to steady his nerves and I needed to try and walk and take pills, and so we parked in the town – facing the wrong way in a one-way street. Fortunately we were not caught.
Sierra de Gata
And then we were back on the road to Ciudad Rodrigo over the Sierra de Gata and a very empty and lonely part of the country1 along the Portuguese border. Apparently there are still unique dialects which are spoken here – Fala and Lagarterieu. But apparently there are also plans to develop the area for rural tourism. I suppose it is inevitable? But what a pity. I am reminded of Gerard Manley Hopkins…
And then we had our first sight of Ciudad Rodrigo.
I had made the journey on the road to Ciudad Rodrigo, but the pain was bad, walking was a real effort, and as I collapsed on to the bed I wondered if I would have to cut short the holiday.