Extra-mural activity

When I arrived in Spain it was seriously hot and I was worried I had brought too many cold-weather clothes. Hah! It was 5 degrees when I got up this morning and I wasn’t keen to go out.

So after a very leisurely breakfast I went to visit the Avila Museum. It’s a small museum with a pretty uninspiring collection, but it was warm. The main thing I took away was that in a wide range of photos from the 1930s the men were all wearing hats while the women were all bare-headed and squinting. Not sure what to read into this but it plays into an observation from every visit to Spain that the locals rarely seem to wear hats and sunglasses.

As the day warmed up I decided to leave the walls of Avila behind and follow the nearby river to the town of El Fresno. It was a beautiful walk beside the river surrounded by trees and wildflowers. Although Spain has been suffering through a multi-year drought, there was still water flowing and frogs croaking in the reeds. Little yellow birds flitted about and there were flowers everywhere. Really delightful.

El Fresno proved to be a tiny farming village with two bars. I had a good bocadillo and coffee for lunch for the princely sum of E2.40 – say A$3.50. It really is one of the wonderful things about Spain that there is quality food and drink at what are, compared to Australia, really cheap prices.

After the walk back, which was equally pleasant, that made about 18km walk for the day. And to answer a question asked elsewhere – I am indeed training, for a walk through French Mountains in a month’s time.

I returned to Avila and sat on the terrace of a bar with fresh orange juice writing this blog until I was forced back to my hotel as the weather closed in and became cold and I realised I really needed a shower.

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