In Plasencia - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

April 23, 2024

In Plasencia

It’s been quite awhile since The Team has shifted gears on you - not since we left Almería over two weeks ago - so we feel pretty comfortable shaking things up again.  In all likelihood you didn’t know what the plan was at this point anyway.  To refresh your memory, after parting ways with Suzanne and Janos in Plasencia so they could start biking back toward Estremoz to pick up their car (all of which went by the wayside of course), our plan was to spend the next two weeks slow-traveling along the north side of the Serra dos Gredos range to Segovia, taking our time to enjoy rides and hikes in the mountain foothills.  Our planned route: Hervas, Béjar, 2 nights in El Barco de Avila, two nights in Navarredonda de Gredos, Navaluenga, two nights in Avila, San Rafael, and finally three nights in Segovia.  It looked like a fine route, but a challenging one that would carry us high into the mountains with Navareddonda standing above 5,000’.

It looked like a fine plan months ago anyway, but not now because the weather is changing on us again.  After two weeks of sublime weather we’re looking at another wet and windy spell - at the lower elevations anyway.  Toward the top it will be wet, windy and cold: there are three straight days coming up with nights below freezing and highs at around fifty.  That’s well outside of Team Anderson’s comfort zone, and we’d have to be pretty desperate to willingly bike in wet, windy, near freezing conditions. 

We’re not desperate, and we’re not doing that.  Instead, we went back to the map, found a lower elevation route, and realigned our layover days to allow us to sit tight during the coldest and wettest stretch.

All of which is background for noting that the realignment starts today, with a lazy layover day here in Plasencia.  Rachael’s new brake pads will have to wait another day to show their stuff.

And it really is a rest day.  Rachael took the opportunity to read a good book, while I took a short walk through the park along the Jerte River this morning and then checked out some of the sights in the old city later in the day.

La Isla

Plasencia is quite an appealing small city.  We stayed here for two nights the last time through here (and in the same hotel, in fact) and really liked it then.  It wasn’t the plan, but I’m happy to be having this second day to explore it again.  One of its attractive features is the ribbon of parks along the Jerte River which flows right beneath the city.  At the heart of this greenbelt is a small island, La Isla, which is in its entirety a protected, mostly pedestrianized park.  I spent a relaxed, enjoyable couple of hours this morning walking through the park, as usual checking out the birds.

Crossing the river on the Pepe Neria footbridge.
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A side view, since Steve seems to prefer these for some reason.
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A hot playground monitor.
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The view from across the Jerte to the cathedrals.
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A closer look. There are two conjoined cathedrals here. The one facing us is the old cathedral, a Romanesque/gothic transitional structure begun in the 13th century and completed in the fifteenth. Behind it is the larger and taller new cathedral, begun in the fifteenth.
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The Episcopal Palace.
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#222: Black redstart. Where’s the black, I’m sure you’re wondering. Good question. I’m not the one that names birds though.
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Karen PoretHow about photoshop ?:)
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3 weeks ago
Bob KoreisDon't see any red, either.
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob KoreisGood point. The black’s on the males, and this is a female or immature. The red is the underside of the tail, which is less pronounced in the females also. the reddish tail is where the redstarts (there are multiple species) get their name.

I’d always thought it was because the flash of red startled you, but it’s from the old English word steort, meaning tail.
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3 weeks ago
You have to like a place that invests in its bikers and foot traffic.
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Some barn swallows.
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I don’t remember being to a spot before with so many bold magpies. They’re everywhere here, don’t fly off as soon s they sense someone’s watching them, and seem practically domesticated.
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#223: Grey wagtail, another first.
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Rich FrasierDid it wag its tail for you?
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3 weeks ago
Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like it is proudly posing!
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltDoesn’t he though? This was really lucky. I was watching him in the shadows a ways off hoping he’d move into the sun when a man walked by and startled him off. I was just curing this guy when the bird circled around and alit about fifteen feet from me.
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3 weeks ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Scott Anderson-Chuckle!-
Sounds like it really did pose!
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3 weeks ago
Another barn swallow.
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Like the magpies, the wood pigeons are also very comfortable with human presence. There must be a reason for that.
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Karen PoretUnfortunately, people probably think it’s “nice to feed them”..
Don’t get me started on the bears in Lake Tahoe, CA..
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3 weeks ago
Another bridge connecting the city and island.
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The Cathedrals 

A substantial section of the original walls has been well preserved and restored.
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The Episcopal Palace (Palacio de Obispado) stands next to the old cathedral and offers what must have been a wonderful view across the walls to the river and island before the coming of the automobiles.
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Another section of the walls.
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Entering the old city through the Trujillo Gate.
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In Saint Nicolas Plaza?
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Three’s a crowd.
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Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonThanks! I was really afraid someone would look p before I got my shot off, but they were all quite engrossed.
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3 weeks ago
Karen PoretThank the cell phone rapture..It’s world wide now..
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3 weeks ago
Kathleen JonesThose poses make a Renaissance painting.
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Kathleen JonesThat’s a nice observation. The hair colors, facial profiles and expressions all fit if you filter out the devices and white tennies.
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3 weeks ago
Kathleen JonesTo Scott AndersonI was looking to see if any of my apps have a Renaissance filter but alas.
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3 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanA wonderful photo, Scott.
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3 weeks ago
Chimneys of the Episcopal Palace.
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Above the portal to the old cathedral. You can’t enter through this door though. Entrance is through the new cathedral, and past the ticket kiosk.
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The portal of the new cathedral.
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A detail of the new cathedral.
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In the cloisters.
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Karen PoretI’m stumped..What is the barrel looking object with metal pulls for? There are a lot of guesses , but it’s better to “keep quiet and appear dumb, than to open your mouth and remove doubt”…
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Karen PoretI was stumped too, Karen. I wish now I’d thought to take a photo of just it. I’ve never seen nothing quite like it, and was surprised there was nothing explaining it. And it is roughly barrel shaped, with all of its faces the same.
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3 weeks ago
Karen Poret..Okay, here goes: Maybe it’s an archaic bingo cage ;)
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Karen PoretThat’s funny. I had the same thought. I doubt the sisters were into games though.
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3 weeks ago
Keith AdamsTo Scott AndersonThat must surely be it- we can't all three be wrong, can we?
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2 weeks ago
In the cloisters.
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In the cloisters.
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In the old cathedral.
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Keith AdamsThe bare stone is startlingly skeletal-looking, isn't it? There should be gilding and frescoes and marble sculptures everywhere...
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith AdamsI’m not sure, but I think this isn’t unusual for Romanesque architecture. We’re coming to a region with some important Romanesque churches soon, so I’ll look for other examples.
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2 weeks ago
In the old cathedral.
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Entrance to the Chapter House.
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Just outside the entrance to the Chapter House is the unfinished junction between the old and new cathedrals.
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In the new cathedral.
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In the new cathedral.
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A look at the western face of the cathedral. From this point the only visible part of the the old one is
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