Mar 29 2017

Stage 19: San Bartolomé de Pinares to Ávila 24.7km.

A solid 450m hike up to a mountain pass this morning. Luckily, the heat has been turned down. Vultures up early. Beautiful landscape. Watched farmers tagging calves in the field – one to tag as quickly as poss, the other to beat the mother away with sticks (looked fairly dangerous to me). Made it to Tornadizos de Ávila as the clouds burst – in time for tapas. Almost ran to Ávila in the rain, hail and bitter wind .. we’d just entered the city when an old man commented ‘estupendo’ when we told him we’d walked from Alicante. Half way. Nearly.

A good ‘donativo’ albergue, to the west of the city and outside the old wall. We shared with 3 cyclists. Ate in a surprising bar in the evening, close to the albergue, surrounded by images of Franco (and Hitler) .. plus military memorabilia, and ‘to-the-point’ notices about if you don’t like it, then leave. Quietly ate and watched the football. Decided perhaps it’d be better to breakfast some place else in the morning! Snow forecast.