MERIDA - CACERES
Accumulated Ascent: 882,40 m.
Accumulated Descent: 667,50 m.
Maximum Height: 490,6 m.
Minimum Height: 207,10 m.
Leaving the shelter we go up on Avenida Jose Lopez to take to the left, then right, and just before the roundabout, go up Toledo street to get Calvario street, which we will cross to the left to lead Marquesa de Pinares street, then we take the underpass to cross the railway and then we cross the bridge over the river Albarregas, leaving on our right the aqueduct of Los Milagros. At the exit of the bridge we will find the yellow arrows, which indicate us to go straight. 300 meters after the bridge we will get to a roundabout. There we have two possibilities: take Calzada (Roman road) and in this case it is necessary to follow the yellow arrows or head to Proserpina Reservoir and in this case continue the yellow arrows with two overlapping signals indicating "EP"(Proserpina Reservoir). The path described below passes through Proserpina. We go beyond the last houses, then we leave a craftwork area on our left, and we reach a roundabout. Panels to the indicate what we will find in diferent directions: to the right, Merida; to the left, Esparragalejo. We have to go straight (though what is in that directon is not indicated). We will pass through A-5 highway at first, then we will see a cross on our left, and we will leave behind the entry of a campground that announces the arrival to the Roman dam of Proserpina.
Having admired this work of Roman engineering, built 2,000 years ago, on the other side of the dam we go out the road that goes up the hill, we turn right and take a path that goes around the edge of the lake and that finally joins with the road we left before. We continue on through the asphalt and about 2 Km after passing the dam we are going to see a large house at the top of the hill, on our right. We advance to reach a white house at the left of the road, behind which goes a path that has not to be considered. 300 m after passing the house we have to turn left on a road that rises over the hill and where the arrows, on rocks and trees, perfectly inform us the itinerary. The track runs through a pasture area. We go around the stone wall of a pig farm and after a journey of 13 km we reach:
In this town there is the possibility of water supply. Eventually the trail will reach the highway under construction. We cross a lower tunnel wall on which a casual artist has painted a vieira and a pilgrim. At the exit of the tunnel we turn left, cross the highway again and enter Aljucen.
From the church, we turn left leaving the bar on our left and we go down the street. At the exit of village, we continue through the road that runs parallel to the River Aljucen and reaches the N-630. We turn left on the national road, crossing Aljucen River bridge, and continue to the gas station. Once there, yellow arrows indicate us to take a path on the right that runs parallel to the River Aljucen. We will go around walls. Signposting is poor and becomes nonexistent at about 1,800 m away, where the track splits in two directions at a metal cross. To the right we go through a track that crosses the river Aljucen, and then to the left to follow a track marked with arrows going up slightly for some miles. 6 or 7 km away from Aljucen or 4 or 5 Km away from the metal cross, we leave the trail to enter a grove following the yellow arrows, painted on rocks and trunks of oaks (there are other red arrows that correspond to a local path).
9km from Aljucen we leave the province of Badajoz to enter Caceres. Attention, follow the arrows strictly, as the route changes direction sometimes at crossroads. Once we get to the province of Cáceres we will find an information panel. The route will continue through extensive oak meadows, often closed. After crossing a plateau the path goes down again and then rises, we reach the cross of San Juan. Approximately 2 km after the cross of San Juan, we go to the top of the climb and once there, the track that goes to the right will lead us directly to Alcuescar, located approximately 3 km away. The path that goes to the left leads to a road that connects the N-630, we continue towards Casas de Don Antonio, which is located 10 Km after Alcuescar. The first houses we found announce that the arrival to Alcuescar is not very far. We enter through the upper area of the village. We go down the main street and across the city to find the road that connects the N-630 to Montanchez. Along with this crossroad we find the shelter.
Leaving the Shelter "Casa de Beneficiencia de los Esclavos de María", we take the small road to the left, pass the stage on the right and at 800 meters from the exit, when the road begins to curve left, we can see, on the wall in front of us, the yellow arrows that indicate taking the track on the right. It runs along a pleasant path through meadows of oak, but you need to pay attention due to the poor signposting. However direction changes are indicated correctly in each crossroads until reaching:
CASAS DE DON ANTONIO
You enter the town by a Roman bridge over the River Ayuela. Just before the passage over the bridge you can see an informative milestone. Shortly after the bridge we have two choices again: We can make a detour through the town, or turn immediately left heading to the national road. Anyway the two paths join later. Just before the N-630, turn right to follow the road in parallel. We pass by a milestone, then by a second one called "mail milestone" or even "milestone of the postman" as long time ago the gap it has was used to deposit the mail of the farmhouse "Santiago de Bercaliz". Currently are pilgrims who leave messages. Between the two milestones we will be available to read an information panel. From there we can see the shrine of Santiago. After that we reach another milestone, which is on the left of the track, and we pass over another Roman bridge before turning left into the direction of the road N.630, which is crossed to get to the next town:
ALDEA DEL CANO
Two possibilities again: we can make a detour to the town to get supplies, or we go straight on. The two routes come together on the road that goes to the station of Aldea del Cano. For about 1 km after crossing the road to the station, the route passes under the highway and continues through oak meadows. After a grove it leads us to the runway of an airfield, which we cross. One kilometer after the aerodrome we reach a crossroads where we can see on the right a ruined house and a very high antenna just after it. We go straight on and reach a Roman bridge over the river Salor, which we cross to enter Valdesalor.
From City Hall, we cross the N-630 and turn left on a track that runs parallel to the national road and that leads to the gas station. Overcoming the gas station we get to the highway, and then we turn right going around it to the east for several tens of meters. Then we cross the highway through an overpass. Once on the other side we turn left go around it back westward in the direction of N-630, where we find the Way, and we continue on the track that rises over the hill for about 2.5 km to reach a tarred road. Once on this road, we turn left and go in direction of the N-630 for about 200 m, then we turn right onto a track and then we cross the N-630 by an underpass. From the en of the tunnel, the path gets divided into two branches: one going straight on (this is not the one to be taken) and another that turns right which is what we will take. Follow it forgetting other tracks that are incorporated into the N-630. Go along the mountain pass of "Camellas", between a military camp and N-630, then cross the N-630 and finally climb the slope that leads to:
The entrance to Cáceres is well signposted. We get to there by an industrial area. We go down the street to get to Oceano Atlántico street and then continue for about 400 meters until you reach the road to Torreorgaz. We cross the road in the direction of the gas station and follow the arrows to the roundabout of San Francisco and then we pass through it to reach the old bridge. We cross the bridge, continue by San Ildefonso street (it is a hard climb), then street of la Soledad, Hornos street, Gallegos street, San Juan Square, "Defensores del Alcázar" street and finally we end in Plaza Mayor.
From there you can go to visit the old city of Caceres.
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