Sep 7, 2015
|Monday, September 7th.
It rained during the night which I am sure the locals were grateful for. The land which we had been driving through looked quite parched in areas and reminded us of driving through parts of Arizona and California.
By the time we got our act together it was around 11 pm. Our journey today was primarily on main highways traveling through harvested wheat fields and open range for cattle, sheep, goats and even pigs to forage in. All of this was against the backdrop of rolling hills and mountains.
I noticed that all the rio’s we crossed over were just dried up cracked river beds.
We decided to take a side trip off the highway through the newest and 14th. National Park; Parque Nacional de Monfrague. To us the park was sprawling high desert bushland. Not appealing to walk through but the Tajo River which separates the park was beautiful with its rock formation and deep gorges and beautiful green water. Its beauty was probably intensified by its stark surroundings. It reminded us of the Salt River in Az. or any other river winding through the desert.
Across the river gorge was the Pena Falcon crag home to over 300 black vultures (the largest concentration of Europe’s largest bird of prey) and 75% of Spain’s protected species. We saw many vultures floating in the air above with their incredible wing span. Also a few peregrine hawks notable with their white under feathers. There was something majestic about the way they soared in the sky.
We approached the town of Trujillo (population 9,690) with some interest. The Lonely Planet suggested it was one of the most captivating small towns in Spain. I don’t know what they were on when they wrote the article but that was not what we found.
There must have been some sort of a celebration happening because the narrow street leading into the centre of town was full of young and very young noisy people, standing, laying or sitting on the street with music blaring from speakers every 10’ or so, and a very dirty square. It held no appeal for us so we turned tail and headed out of town hoping to be more fortunate in Caceres an hour down the road.
We were; Camping-Bungalows Ciudid De Caceres was waiting of us. On the outskirts of town the campground is beside a huge football (soccer) stadium. There are 129 pitches each with a private toilet/shower block. How convenient is that!!
The onsite restaurant served a delicious pork loin with mushroom sauce, large green salad with tuna, wine and a dessert for E15. Can’t beat that. Oh yes, and we sat overlooking a large green area with an Olympic sized pool in the centre.
Best of all even though quiet hours are 1AM-8 AM (can you believe that) it was one of the quietest nights we have had since arriving in Spain.