83km Cevico Navero to Covarrubias

Self-portraitPainters in LermaToday it felt like we had all of Spain to ourselves. We slept in again – the result of late nights, we now have light until nearly 10pm – and only hit the road by mid-morning but even then we hardly saw any cars on the road. Only the occasional tractor passed us as we worked our way through endless fields of wheat. Although the landscape was very similar throughout the day, it was beautiful in its own right with blocks of colour that almost looked like a modern art painting: deep green fields, very straight roads and rich blue skies, with just a few fluffy white clouds to break up the clean lines of the view. A nice surprise was coming upon a little chapel named Ermita de Notra Senora de Garon, which seemed to be a pilgrimage spot and where the community had built a brand new picnic area. Unfortunately we were a bit too early to stop for lunch! Instead we had our midday meal in the town of Villafruela, a sleepy little village but where a few locals noticed us and said hello as they passed. Once again we wished we could speak Spanish. The town of Lerma greeted us in the early afternoon, a pretty spot with cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and a number of sights to take in like monasteries and a wall around the old centre. A group of artists seemed to have moved in for the day and there was someone on almost every corner painting the view around them. After a stop in a local pub (our morning coffee break has been replaced by an afternoon beer break), where we were served huge beers in frosted glasses, we carried on to another historic town, Covarrubias. With more half-timbered houses we could almost believe we were back in England! The ride between the two towns stood out in our mind for the cherry trees out in blossom and a group of at least 50 large birds, possibly eagles, soaring above our heads, obviously enjoying a draft. Finally we settled in the local campsite, getting our tent and tarp up just before a thunderstorm rolled through and poured rain down on us.