Salamanca to El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino
Leaving this exceptional “oasis” of Salamanca for which Andrej said: “Salamanca is simply – an intelligent city!“, to proced north. Back out into the “never ending” valley again just to come to anoter – small “oasis”. On the way we had a short snack for 8 Euros. A village called El Cubo de Tierra del Vino that we later called … L’incubo (a nightmare in Italian)! First the Albergue (called Tower of the Saber”) at the end of the village, owned and managed by lady Dolores is actually a small house with two rooms. At the time of our arrival she was normally taking her siesta sleep so we had to wait a bit. Or was she just avoiding the sunlight? As we coulnd’t see her pass any mirror… Still it was, kind of a warm place to stay, for 12 Euros.
Full of embroidered…things. From pillow slips to…Glade freshener in the toilet!
We repelled her lunch offer to stay for lunch in oreder to… avoid some kind of curse being thrown at us? Instead, we choose to go for lunch in one eating house. We took the menu del dia which included – garlic soup which was fabolous! Luch was 8 Euros and coffee for 1 Euro. Btw, the other restaurant (Bar Hernandez) is located by the main (and only) square. There we will “go out” in the evening.
In the evening, the centre of night social life (actually all social life) happens in and around that pub. The town hall is also located here and on top of it the town clock (actually an old loudspeaker which reminded me my last year visit to North Korea). It feels like being catapulted in some past times. This village is probably fenced and locked in history?! In this “twilight zone” and all the inhabitants are captives. Wanted or not. In the corner of my mind, heavy thought emerged – what if we end trapped here?
The bar was full of people, half watching football game and the other half playing cards. As first half-time of the football game just ended now all were either playing or watching others playing cards. Second half-time of the football game never happend but let’s leave this fact in the “twilight zone”. Anyhow, we somehow managed to find two chairs to sit and drink a beer. Cards locals played were very similar to our Briscola and Tresette. One of the players was Darth Vader. A lemonade for 3 Euros.
Afterwards, we went out to sit in front of the bar, on the main square, in the half dark. Right there, nearby a – telephone cabin?! One person actually came to make a phone call. The language he spoke was prpbably a dialect of Spanish. Yet it sounded more like… Latin Arabian?! A cheerful girl approaches, sits next to us, brings her closer and starts to seduce pilgrims. After three weeks of dust…
Suddenly a car stops nearby, a man gets outside talks to her and they leave. Father? I realized the centre of the village is in the shape of a pentagram!
It’s time to get back to the albergue. In the living room they keep the guestbook (Libro de Honor del Peregrinos). A peculiar note is written by us. Good sleep was needed as a demanding stage was ahead of us to reach the magical – Zamora.
*In Spain, in bars, they throw all kind of things just on the floor! Tons of papers, seeds etc. Then clean everything before opening the bar again.
El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino to Zamora
As soon as possible, and as early as feasible we leave this place, at 6:10. With a strong suspense we crossed the village boundaries. Yes, we succeeded. The “incubo” of Via de la Plata is behind us and it will never happened again on the Camino! Oh, how mistaken we were …
Still walking in the dark, in one valley, a group of dogs engaged with us! They surrounded us from all four corners so we changed to a “formation”: one walking forwards with walking sticks pointed toward two fron corners amd the other faced backwards and protectinh the other two corners. In the, when we reached a house, the owner went out and complained why we were scaring his dogs?!
Today we march toward Zamora. After “the escape” we calmed down. Another beautiful sunrise and then the long, yellow tray and this walk on the dust. A photo taken nearby a mountain of manure, genuine environment.
Nearby Zamora we just had to stop by those three pylons. The little stretch of shade that they were producing was enough for us to find a place for a short rest. I took a reflection on me in Andrej’s sunglasses. The sun was today hot as hell!
Entering Zamora but first a really cold beer in the suburb at the Bar Los Mellizos La Cantina.
What happends then… a real gloriuos entrance. The Jerusalem of the Via de la Plata! Maginficent. The town “on the rock” still surounded by its protective walls! Zamora is the city with the most Romanesque churches in all of Europe.
Walking over the bridge that leads to the town, the beautiful, shallow Duero river is reflecting this Romanesque jewel on its surface. We are located in the nicely renovated old albergue nearby the church of Saint Cipriano.
We didn’t lose time but went to walk the town. The old Cathedral, a number of other churches, fortification walls… thank you Zamora. After refilling the “strategic reserves” of ham and chees, we went back to the albergue, washing some clothes and a long chat with the two hospitaliere – one Italian and the other from Leon. The Italian was teaching history to “drunk pupils” in Friuli. I was in the mood to bully… well to make this (relatively) long story short, for me Istrian ham is the best in the world, for them, Iberico. That’s it. De gustibus (et coloribus) non est disputandum.
At 6:00 PM we went for another tour of the city. Cofee and tapas fro 3.50 Euros and in the grocery nearby ham, salami, water and that special cheese from Zamora for 4.50 Euros, bread and drinks for another 4.50 Euros. Additionally bought some souvenirs for 8.50 Euros. Went to sleep at 10:00 PM.