Cáceres to Alcalá de los Gazules:
Leaving Cáceres we continued south driving amongst lush grazing country interspersed with newly planted vines and ancient olive trees. Sunny Spain delighted us with deep blue skies and little fluffy white clouds with not a threat of rain to depress us. Long wide plateaux up to 600 metres made the driving easy.
At Sevilla we tried valiantly to find a supermarket, big or small no matter, only to find that everything - and I mean everything - was closed on a Sunday. So no fresh bread for lunch. Did I say EVERYTHING was closed? Well, the MacDonalds was open and unsurprisingly doing a roaring trade. Our taste buds lost out to our rumbling stomachs - we 'dined' on a NY Crispy Bacon Burger' and a Crispy Bacon Chicken Wrap. Every time I have any kind of MacDonalds (which is rare) I know why I avoid them like the plague. The food was tasteless except for the sauces chock full of salt. We searched for and finally found the crispy bacon - we each had a piece about the size of 2 postage stamps which was so thin the light happily shone through it.
With hunger sated but without any satisfaction from the fact, we took backroads towards the south. Wheat ws growing in what was clearly prosperous country to judge from the large haciendas dotted through the farmlands. Finally near our destination, the landscape changed dramatically and we entered the fringe of some National Parks centred on the sierras - ancient volcanic vents rose up sharply from the undulating countryside, stark, sharp rocks with sheer sides and little vegetation to clothe them.
Past the white Andalusian town of Alcalá de los Gazules with a ruined castle at the peak (though the big white water tank next to it did nothing for the general ambiance), we entered a narrow country road at the end of which was our campsite for the night. Given that we were out in the country, I wish we could say that we had a peaceful night and a good sleep. I can't. Next door was a restaurant that played doof-doof music till midnight. Every cow in the paddock beside us had a large and noisy cow bell. Children screamed and roared around the place till all hours. The ground was muddy and overgrown with weeds. The shower block was miles away and the hot showers were crap.