At a distance of just 16km, todays trek to Marida should have felt like a stroll in the park.


The over night rain had stopped thankfully but left us with some very muddy tracks to contend with. Not an issue for Dr John however who sensibly stuck to the main road for much of the day, whilst we lesser mortals followed the track and very quickly developed heavy platform soles on our boots as the mud stuck like glue.


The town of Marida, capital of the esturuda region is steeped in history. At 790m it has the longest Roman bridge still in existence as well as an abundance of ancient Roman ruins matched only by the city of Rome itself.


Entering the outskirts of the town, passing a gypsy encampment by the road bridge, Mark received a message with helpful directions from Davin and Richard who had arrived over an hour earlier:-

“We’re in Merida. Go straight up the hill after crossing the bridge, turn left at Burger King to the town square. We’re down the left hand side.”

After clambering up a slippery steep bank , crossing the dual carriage way road bridge and walking for over an hour, Mark finally reached the top of the hill and still no sign of a Burger King. Then another message come through from Davin;

“Bit more info Mark, make sure you cross the river over the old Roman bridge.”

Very helpful – thanks Davin !


Putting the dodgy directions to one side , all was forgiven and very soon after Dr John arrived too, so the Band of Brothers were once again reunited and sharing a cold beer and a plate of Tapas.

We were the only pilgrims staying in the 20 bed municipal Albergue. The Hospitalaire arrived on her bike to open up and let us in giving instructions of what to do if other pilgrims arrived later.

Richard , considerate as ever gave his own advice to potential new guests . Writing in the visitors book :

“We are four pilgrims from England – warning , stay well clear of the person in bed 1 – he snores.”

After an evening visiting the fascinating ancient ruins then mingling with the locals in the Plaza De Espangne we all agreed that Marida was a fabulous place to be on a Saturday night and well worth visiting again.