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An overview of the Camino Mozárabe from Almería with resources, Part 1


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I decided to walk the Camino Mozárabe from Almería largely in response to a camino forum member requesting company on the route. I was an early responder and thought for many months that there would just be the two of us. Whereas slowly but surely other forum members showed interest in joining us until we became eleven peregrinos from around the world. We were assured by the very helpful amigos at Almería (Asociación Jacobea de Almería-Granada Camino Mozárabe, www.almeriajacobea.es) that there would be sufficient beds for us at all stages as far as Granada, but I have to admit to being a little concerned about such a big group setting off at the same time.

As it happened two people set off a day earlier and the remaining nine of us met with the Almería amigos the evening before the morning after. And to ease the situation further, four of our number had walked a half stage the day before and were taxiing back to continue from their stopping point.

So that left five of us setting off from Almería on 14 April 2018. We marked the occasion with the first of many group selfies and strolled out of town. Included in our initial group were peregrinas from New Zealand, Canada and Denmark, plus my best camino pal Marilyn from South Africa and of course me from the UK. We were all experienced serial caminoists, with at least five caminos under our respective belts. I have to say it was the best camino company, such camaraderie, so much fun and no judgement.

I was expecting not to see other pilgrims along the way. From what I had read about the route it was still fairly undiscovered and little walked. So I was very surprised to discover within a few days that we were walking in a ‘bubble’ of thirteen-fifteen pilgrims. On day two there were an Italian couple, a German couple, an American mother and daughter and a Spanish guy all staying at the albergue, although other than the Americans we didn’t see much of them along the way. There was often a choice of accommodation at the stage ends and although my group usually opted for the albergue, there wasn’t any problem finding sufficient beds until after Granada. For the most part the accommodation was good to excellent (although I have to admit that my standards are not too high!).

From Almería to Granada the hospitaleros work with each other and the association to serve the pilgrims. It is important that you phone a day in advance to let them know of your arrival. The hospitaleros have lives that involve being away from the village and cannot just happen to be there if they do not know anyone will be turning up. And just as important is to inform them if you have reserved and then change your mind and walk on, as much effort is involved in preparing for pilgrims and in winter heating the accommodation.

The scenery was quite barren for the first few days and there was a lot of walking along river beds which was quite tough. By day five/six it began to get greener and more varied. There were some mighty inclines and descents and some stages without facilities when it was necessary to carry extra food and water. And it is also wise to remember that there probably wont be any shops open, even in big cities, on a Sunday. I faced an extra challenge this year as I was eating a plant only diet - not a problem when I could shop well and cook for myself, but sometimes a little difficult to eat as healthily as I would have liked. I shall write another piece about walking the camino on a plant-based diet.

We walked nine days from Almería to Granada, six stages from Granada to Córdoba, and seven stages from Córdoba to Magacela where Marilyn and I took a different route (when I walked previously from Málaga I took nine days from Córdoba to Mérida (which included some very long stages that could have been broken down).

I planned this camino to discover some lesser-walked trails which included the Mozárabe, the variant through Trujillo, the Camino Torres and the Espiritual. I shall write separately about each of the four sections. This is meant as an overview only, giving brief details of each stage. If you want a more detailed description with lots of fabulous photos, please refer to my blog or click the link for each day.

From my research I prepared two documents that I referred to constantly. One with stage distances and accommodation details. The other with distances between towns and villages and the facilities available in each. I find this is sufficient to guide me through my camino without need to carry a guide book. It should be noted however that just because the list states there is a bar or a shop, it will not necessarily be open. Spanish bars normally close one day a week, if there is more than one bar they will alternate days, but if there is only one, then that refreshing drink you have been dreaming about for a number of kilometres may not become a reality. You are welcome to use these documents as a guide, but please do your own research - much may have changed since I prepared them and I take no responsibility for any misinformation.

Stage facilities from Almería to Aldeanueva del Camino

Stages and accommodation from Almería to Magacela

I have learned something new today - that posts must be less than 20,000 characters. I've no idea how many characters I attempted to post but they obviously exceeded the limit. I have therefore split this in two, you will find second part, a brief description of each stage here.
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