The morning was cool with 30 mile per hour head winds. It was a perfect long-sleeved shirt day for walking through open, beautiful countryside. I am climbing toward the Meseta, the high plain that dominates central Spain. The mountains seem far in the distance but are becoming clearer each day. I am climbing through a pass, where there are still oak trees, cattle, sheep, and beautiful horses prancing down the roads. The wheat dances in the wind and shimmers in the sunshine. Shaggy goats with long, twisted horns frolicked in the meadows and the storks were abundant. They circled gracefully over head and searched for food in the fields.The walled city of Galisteo looked magical from afar.
The walls encircling the old town are 35 feet tall, made of stone and brick. They were built in the 800’s and 900’s by the Almohads as fortifications. I asked some boys playing soccer if it was possible to walk along the top of the walls. They enthusiastically directed me down an alley and behind the church, assuring me that this is how they always climbed to the top. Why do I listen to 10-year-old boys? The steps were about 16 inch rises, very old, tilted, and crumbling. They had holes worn in them from centuries of footprints, and weeds sprouted in the cracks. Naturally, there was no railing. It was clumsy climbing in my zapatos plastico (plastic shoes). About 1/2 way up, unable to turn back, I dropped to my knees and crawled the rest of the way. Once on top the winds were fierce, gusting to gale force. The storks were most perturbed that I was eyeball to eyeball with them as they snuggled into their nests. However, the view was fantastic! It was soon obvious that boys will be boys, because I was on the wrong side of a security fence that designated the safely restored area of walkway. There was a hole in the re-bar, probably made by my guides. I squirmed through the hole to a much more civilized area of sound footing and protective hand rails. There was still a disconcerting and pronounced lean to the walls, but I do not think they will fall down today. It was a great walk along the battlements, looking out over the rolling hills and surrounding mountains.
Distance from Grimaldo to Galisteo = 13.2 Miles / 21 Kilometers
Actual Distance Walked= 15.77 Miles / 25 Kilometers
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