Walking from home in Extremadura, south west Spain

Gisela Radant Wood
By Gisela Radant Wood
2 minute read

Living in isolation on a small finca in rural Extremadura is not much different to normal life for me and husband, Roger. Unless we make the effort, we normally do not see anyone for days, even weeks, on end. We are very fortunate in having a dog, Jack. He gives legitimacy for our walking because we are not allowed ‘out’ for exercise, as in Britain, but dogs do need exercise, so we are able to explore the surrounding beautiful countryside.

Cancho Blanco and Cerro San Cristobal in Extremadura
Cancho Blanco and Cerro San Cristobal r

Living in isolation on a small finca in rural Extremadura is not much different to normal life for me and husband, Roger. Unless we make the effort, we normally do not see anyone for days, even weeks, on end. Is it possible to write that we are now seeing fewer people than no people? Maybe not.

When ‘lockdown’ started on Monday 16th March I already had a good store cupboard full of all the essentials in case the Spring rains swelled the two streams that separate us from the nearest village. That happened eight years ago and we were cut off for a month. That taught me a valuable lesson in ‘being prepared’. Not that shopping is a problem. The village shops still have everything; the bread is delivered fresh from the bakery every morning and the fresh fish man arrives every Friday. Everything is normal.

What is not so normal is that we are all confined to our homes. We are only allowed out for food shopping or to go to the pharmacy. Free face masks are issued by the town hall and we have to wear them. They also organise the disinfection of the village every five days. So far, so good.

I read, with interest the advice that Paddy Dillon gave us all; to walk from home. Absolutely.

We are very fortunate in having our dog, Jack. He gives legitimacy for our walking because we are not allowed ‘out’ for exercise, as in Britain, but dogs do need exercise.

Leaving our gate and turning left gives us some lovely options to walk the tracks and footpaths in the shadow of the Sierra de Montánchez. If we go far enough in a fairly straight direction, we reach an ancient track used for moving sheep from summer to winter pastures. From here, if we turn left, then Mérida, the capital of Extremadura, is 40 kms south-west. If at that point we turn right, then Trujillo, the city famous for being the home of the conquerers of the New World, is 40kms north-east. The track itself is in deep countryside and we are certain to meet no one. It’s very tempting to walk further, but we are not supposed to go too far from home. There are other tracks and footpaths to choose, so we can create many variations for our walks.

If we go right from our gate we have six options that all include lovely views of mountains, lush verges full of flowers, streams, old mills, dry stone walls, birds and peaceful walking. In all we have 22 variations of how to walk the routes straight from our gate that last from between 30 minutes to over two hours. We are lucky and we really do know it.

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