07.30: Breakfast of 2 glasses of cafe americano. Am pleased not to be asked if I want milk with these.
Agree with colleagues we don't want to repeat yesterday's experience of ending up stranded in a tiny village of 30 souls, 28 of whom appear to have gone to meet their maker and 1 of whom - the bar owner - has gone to work in Segovia fot the day. And where there is no hope of getting back to Segovia except by summoning a taxi from there.
08.45: Set out in my car for Coca, 40km away, to do a circular walk of 17 km.
09.35: Almost reverse into the only other car on the roads when I'm parking the car.
09.45: Breakfast of a shandy and a jamon sandwich.
10.00: Set off on the walk under a blue but cloudy sky and in a temperature which demands a pullover.
10.45: Remove pullover as the the clouds have thinned and the temperature is now 10 degrees higher.
11.00: Observe that, as yesterday, we are clearly the only 'pilgrims' on this Camino stretch.
11.15: We are nearly run down by a bastard on a bloody bell-less bike.
11.30: Take fotos of 3 buzzards circling above small wildlife or large wilddeath.
11.45: Arrive at irrigated fields of carrots, leeks and spring onions. Argue among ourselves as to how to distinguish between the leaves of the latter two .
11.46: I take a foto of a vast field of carrots. And am sprayed with water as I do so.
12.00: Arrive at our destination. Lunch of 2 shandies and chips with 5 sauces - 2 more than is customary. Although I speak in Spanish several times to the bar owner, he puts up 10 fingers to show the price and asks whether we want a pilgrims' stamp using appropriate hand gestures. I thank him for his kindness, without using my hands.
13.00: We resume the walk and argue about which return path to take. I ask a man with a dog and claim victory.
14.00: I demand a 10 minute break as my legs are aching, possibly because we've walked through quite a lot of sand beneath the ubiquitous pines.
15.00: Arrive at the last 200 metres, a steepish haul up from the river to Coca.
15.10: Collapse at the top of the incline.
15.20: Climb painfully into the car and drive 100 metres to Coca's astonishing Mudejar castle. Finally decide to get out of the car to take fotos.
16.15: Get back to hotel and sink into very hot bath.
17.05: Drive into Segovia, taking not 45 minutes to park this time but a mere 8. Which is stll 60% more than claimed in the hotel brochure.
Spend a very pleasant evening in the city and confirm with a nice policeman that 'my brother' should not have driven through the pedestrian area the previous night.
22.00: Collapse into bed and resolve to get up at 5 to write this post.
Which I did, dear reader.