Straight talking. The Meseta stole my MOJO.

Line, not homosexual, edge, face, man (comic's foil), laced, edge, ahead, bat, down, jacket. The most important one today is 'as far as the eye can see'. (Late additions from Martin…to Jail (do not pass go). And narrow. Dire). We walked, Ellen listened to music, we walked some more, the music replayed and so it continued in a pretty well unbroken straight line. Deciding that nuns were altogether too distracting, I switched to thinking about not much at all. Any additions to my straight words would be much appreciated.

Finally we pitched up at the third of the advertised picnic spots that punctuate the route. This was change, this was excitement. We turned off the straightness into a service area and sat on a covered bench, little knowing that many compound eyes were watching us. Still, there we were, shaded bench, rucksacks off, legs spread, food emerging from various pack orifices. Just a single wasp joined us, but we are English, we know how to deal with them. A quick wave of the arms and he was off. Or so we thought. This was scout wasp, an advanced party of one. Soon he was back with a few mates. Never mind, we are still English let's hurry off to that other seat over there. Well no not really. All his mates had joined by now, they smelt blood or at least food. Being English we really knew we were beaten, at least we hadn't taken our boots off, we ran. A hundred meters down the straight the final wasp buzzed goodbye, they hadn't had any of our food but neither had we!

Early Meseta. Not the agricultural desert type.

We managed 23km finally pitching up at Calzadilla de la Cueza, a one donkey town but to give it it's due a multi tractor town, serving the infinity of cultivated fields in these parts. We met Philip walking back the wrong way, maximising his distance before catching the daily bus to Bilbao and home to Hamburg, very sorry to see him go, swapped blog addresses.

I really must mention agriculture at this point. We pass enough of it, and something here just had me absorbed. As you may recall from a previous entry, there are numerous sunflower fields, all becoming blacker as the season progresses, and no blacker than the field I was looking at as I enjoyed my evening cervezas. First of all a big 4×4 Tuareg and and an old Peugeot went by and turned off into the field. The Tuareg left the Peugeot and both drivers set off back to the hotel. The sun was setting. A few minutes later over the horizon, all horizons are distant here, a huge combine harvester appeared trundling slowly and impossibly large along a track. It turned ponderously into the field. This whole episode had lasted about three sips of my second large cerveza. It then engaged the business end and off it went. People were gathering outside the hostel in awe. In the time it took to nearly finish my cerveza he had done it. He had totally harvested a huge sunflower field, before the sun had even set. His mates had even anticipated this event and brought a huge container trailer alongside, the harvester discharged an improbably large number of sunflower seeds into it. The whole business took about half an hour and I am sure the guy sitting in his AC pod didn't even break into a sweat. How is this done, how is it possible. He got into his Peugeot and went off home as the sun set.

The one donkey town housed a reasonable hostel with good double room. The 60 something French have been replaced with their Canadian counterparts. Equally fit and hungry. We shared a Paella with them, Ellen sensibly having a great looking pizza.

In the night my rumbling cold made a turn for the worse. The Meseta stole my MOJO….


Author: paul

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