Travelling by coach to the north of Extremadura is quite an experience. The journey from Madrid to Plasencia took me almost 4 hours and I even had to change to another bus half way.
I was the only person to go to the final destination and I was not surprised at all. Who on earth would make an almost 4-hour journey by coach when you can make it in 2 hours by car using an alternative route? Only someone with a driving licence that has never driven a car (me).
The journey involved corduroy hats, chesty coughs, snoring and unintentionally overhearing the conversation of a man with a butcher:
‘Hi, it’s Miguel. I would like three really big pork loins. Oh, if they are not big, then six half pork loins. No, wait. Eight. Eight half pork loins.’
Then there was another man who only got on the coach 40 minutes before arriving in Plasencia, but was annoying enough to make me regret not having an iPod with me. He seemed to need being constantly engaged in conversations and called at least five different people to loudly speak about everything you can imagine: hospitals, Real Madrid next pre-season taking place in Australia, reminding whoever he was speaking to that his nephew’s birthday is on the 13th August, wishing everyone happiness, success, good health and a Merry Christmas…
The coach entered Extremadura via Tornavacas mountain pass and the curvy road soon made me feel a bit carsick, but the views of the valley were worth the hassle of the journey. Totally worth it. The area is called Valle del Jerte (‘Jerte’ Valley, ‘Jerte’ being a river) and it is so beautiful, with its tiny little villages spread over the valley, which is full of cherry trees. It is most beautiful in spring, when the cherry trees blossom and a layer of white flowers cover the valley.
I am already planning a road trip across the north of Extremadura in late March 2015, and this area is definitely on my route.
The journey itself was a bit of a nightmare, I am not going to lie. But the views from the window were jaw-dropping and well worth it.
The pictures talk for themselves…