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2019 Camino Guides

Bad Pilgrim starts from Almería, June 2018

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#1
Hi everyone,

I am back on the Camino, this time on the Mozárabe from Almería! Well, in two days, at least. I am not saying "Live from the Camino", because I don't know how much live it is going to be. I may just pop in on the Forum to leave a few words from time to time...

I don't know what to add to the description of this route. There are good guidebooks/pages, and several prilgrims have already walked the Mozárabe in 2018. For example C Clearly, Magwood and Laurie, if I am not mistaken. So I won't have many things to add or any information to correct. I will post mostly my impressions of this Camino and hopefully one or two photos...

Tag along! :OD

Byyyye

BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#4
Thanks,

I wonder how many pilgrims are out there in June-July... It will be hot...! :OD

My plan is to stop in Mérida and then travel to Ponferrada to walk the Invierno. I have the 2018 Invierno Forum guide already in my mochila ;O)

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#5
Oh again Buen Camino!!
Going to follow you here once again.
Hi,

Thanks SabineP, but don't expect too much... The Camino seems so well documented already... Perhaps it is less travelled in Summer so I can contribute with that experience at least... :Oo

/BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
#7
It is always interesting to read about other people's experience. I would like to know whether there are others walking this camino - some say it is beginning to be quite crowded, other find they are quite alone most of the time. Am planning for next year and will certainly follow you (have just finished following magwood, followed Laurie before, both of them part of the Mozarabe mob)!

Buen camino!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#8
Just printed my tarjetas de embarque... Tomorrow I will travel all day long to get to the starting point, so I won't start walking until the 22. I think I will go no further than Rioja for my first stage: some 15 kms (?)

Still hoping that there will be a bus in the late evening tomorrow from Almería Airport to Almería....... I arrive at 10.25 pm to the airport and as far as I can see there should still be 2 of them leaving before midnight. I hope I am right.

See youuuu
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#9
It is always interesting to read about other people's experience. I would like to know whether there are others walking this camino - some say it is beginning to be quite crowded, other find they are quite alone most of the time. Am planning for next year and will certainly follow you (have just finished following magwood, followed Laurie before, both of them part of the Mozarabe mob)!

Buen camino!
Wow, ok, I will try to do updates as often as I can then! I am a bit nervous now as I am leaving tomorrow. Packing my last things......... Wondering what I have forgotten to buy this time, as always...

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#13
Well here I am in Almería, FINALLY! Exhausted after travelling all day long... I wonder if it will be difficult to find the right way tomorrow. How is the waymarking on this route?? I guess I will find out... It is past midnight here so I don't want to walk around scoping my way out of town in the dark. I have to sleep now... I am off to Rioja tomorrow so just a baby stage to start with. Oh I am hungry for breakfast already... !! Good night ...
 
#17
You shouldn't have any problem finding your way to Rioja, and beyond. Buen camino!
Just finished walking from Almeria to Alcaudete. Lovely walk, well signposted. Challenging at times. Only met 4 other walkers. The association in Almeria is very enthusiastic and helpful. Paco in Guadix gave us a tour of the city. Hope to continue next year. David and Michael
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#18
Just finished walking from Almeria to Alcaudete. Lovely walk, well signposted. Challenging at times. Only met 4 other walkers. The association in Almeria is very enthusiastic and helpful. Paco in Guadix gave us a tour of the city. Hope to continue next year. David and Michael
Hi David, I have seen your entries in the registers in the albergues! Good to hear from you! /BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#19
DAY 1 ALMERIA - RIOJA June 22

Hiii everyone. Difficult to write on cellphone! I will do my best. I said I would do a baby stage to Rioja but I ended up adding 5 km as I missed a turn and ended up in Gádor. Don't be surprised, I would get lost in my own garden. I had to walk back the same way I came and enter Rioja from another angle. Shame on you, Bad Pilgrim! Oh well.

Facts : I was the first pilgrim to arrive in two weeks according to the register. Since the middle of May, shortage of pilgrims. Then again Rioja is a short stage so people go further on the first day perhaps. Albergue super clean, not a particle of dust, not a single fly. And AC!! A happy surprise. BUT : no fridge (the guidebook from this month of June said there would be) and no cold water! As there was no fridge I had to fill my bottles with hot water and then put them in front of the draught of the AC to cool down - it worked. But otherwise a fantastic albergue! I slept like a baby all night. Super hot weather: I had to use the AC all night through, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to sleep.

Stay tuned...
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#20
DAY 2 RIOJA - ALBOLODUY June 23

Sooo hot. This has been the hardest stage so far, albeit short. I haven't trained enough before this Camino so the ups and down almost killed me, especially in the heat. I didn't see a living soul during that middle part amongst the hills. It looked like a lunar landscape to me, but I mean it was beautiful in a way.

The rest of the way to Alboloduy is flat but I was exhausted. Super nice albergue with views over the entire town. An electric fan, hooray. I had a slight headache before I took the siesta so it was probably the beguinning of a sun stroke, but when I woke up I felt OK.

The guidebook says Alboloduy looks like a Christmas card, hmm, hard to see in Summer, but ok it is quite pretty!

The hospitalera is German and married to a Spaniard. She told me a bit about her family and her work for the Asociación. We also talked a bit about the football match as our countries would meet each other in the World Cup the same evening. Unfortunately, Germany won, ha ha. There is a TV in the albergue so I could watch the humiliation unfold.

As David wrote above, the Asociación in the Almeria region is very active and helpful. I hope this will continue along the way!

Oh, I hate my cellphone, my fingers are not made for typing like this. Let me get back to you tomorrow!

Take care!

BP
 
#21
DAY 2 RIOJA - ALBOLODUY June 23

Sooo hot. This has been the hardest stage so far, albeit short. I haven't trained enough before this Camino so the ups and down almost killed me, especially in the heat. I didn't see a living soul during that middle part amongst the hills. It looked like a lunar landscape to me, but I mean it was beautiful in a way.

The rest of the way to Alboloduy is flat but I was exhausted. Super nice albergue with views over the entire town. An electric fan, hooray. I had a slight headache before I took the siesta so it was probably the beguinning of a sun stroke, but when I woke up I felt OK.

The guidebook says Alboloduy looks like a Christmas card, hmm, hard to see in Summer, but ok it is quite pretty!

The hospitalera is German and married to a Spaniard. She told me a bit about her family and her work for the Asociación. We also talked a bit about the football match as our countries would meet each other in the World Cup the same evening. Unfortunately, Germany won, ha ha. There is a TV in the albergue so I could watch the humiliation unfold.

As David wrote above, the Asociación in the Almeria region is very active and helpful. I hope this will continue along the way!

Oh, I hate my cellphone, my fingers are not made for typing like this. Let me get back to you tomorrow!

Take care!

BP
Hi, BP, it is so great to hear from you - I’m sure I’m not the only member of the April mob who will enjoy re-visiting (at least from afar and online) this camino in the summer.

Your comment about the German young woman in Albodoluy is so interesting to me, because others told me that she was rude and unhelpful! I only met the Spanish husband, who was extremely nice. Just goes to show once again that people have different moods and different attitudes depending on the day and the circumstances and which side of the bed they got out of. And that being nice to someone is the first pre-requisite for being treated nicely in return!

Just a few more days of that crazy river bed walking. You are a real trooper to do this in the heat, BP!!! Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#22
I remember walking that long flat stretch to Alboloduy and thinking how hard it seemed - that rocky river bed in a head wind is exhausting, and the heat would make it worse.

Tomorrow is another challenge but the views and sense of accomplishment are fabulous. There is a nice little albergue in Ocana if you decide that Abla is too far. Although there seems to be no bar or restaurant in Ocana, you can go into the Centro Social de la 3rd Edad (in the middle of the village) and they will serve some limited food and drink.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#25
Hi, BP, it is so great to hear from you - I’m sure I’m not the only member of the April mob who will enjoy re-visiting (at least from afar and online) this camino in the summer.

Your comment about the German young woman in Albodoluy is so interesting to me, because others told me that she was rude and unhelpful! I only met the Spanish husband, who was extremely nice. Just goes to show once again that people have different moods and different attitudes depending on the day and the circumstances and which side of the bed they got out of. And that being nice to someone is the first pre-requisite for being treated nicely in return!

Just a few more days of that crazy river bed walking. You are a real trooper to do this in the heat, BP!!! Buen camino, Laurie
Wow, I cannot imagine her being rude! That is interesting indeed. Even the day before when we spoke on the phone (I always call one day ahead) I remember thinking how nice she sounded. But hey we are all different. God knows I have had disputes with unfriendly hospitaleros in my life.....

Weather is cooler on this altitude (Alquife) but I totally understand why there is almost no pilgrim in June. I usually walk no longer than to 1pm each day and my average stage is 20 km.... No more 30+ stage for me!
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#26
I remember walking that long flat stretch to Alboloduy and thinking how hard it seemed - that rocky river bed in a head wind is exhausting, and the heat would make it worse.

Tomorrow is another challenge but the views and sense of accomplishment are fabulous. There is a nice little albergue in Ocana if you decide that Abla is too far. Although there seems to be no bar or restaurant in Ocana, you can go into the Centro Social de la 3rd Edad (in the middle of the village) and they will serve some limited food and drink.
Oh, I am actually ahead of time so I already finished that stage a few days ago. I will write about it!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#27
Reading this thread with interest as I think this camino will be on the menu next May :)
I would say that there is quite a lot of pilgrims at the beginning of May. Perhaps someone in the albergues every other day or so. This changes in the middle of May and visits becomes more scarce every week that follows. Good to know if you want to meet people or be on your own! /BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#28
A few kilometres after Alboloduy there is a steep, zig-zag climb up a mountain. Be careful and watch your footing! David
Yes and a lot of wild animals! I liked it very much!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,Portuguese 16,Finisterre Muxia 16,Ingles16,, Almeria to Muxia,Finesterre 18
#29
Hi, BP, it is so great to hear from you - I’m sure I’m not the only member of the April mob who will enjoy re-visiting (at least from afar and online) this camino in the summer.

Your comment about the German young woman in Albodoluy is so interesting to me, because others told me that she was rude and unhelpful! I only met the Spanish husband, who was extremely nice. Just goes to show once again that people have different moods and different attitudes depending on the day and the circumstances and which side of the bed they got out of. And that being nice to someone is the first pre-requisite for being treated nicely in return!

Just a few more days of that crazy river bed walking. You are a real trooper to do this in the heat, BP!!! Buen camino, Laurie
I met that lady in March and she was fantastic,,,,,as are all from the Almeria to Granada assoc.,,,,Veronica also is an Angel
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#30
Hmm I don't know if I mix up the names but I think Veronika is the one I tried to call several days now, but no answer. But there was always an extra number! I am sure she is nice too :0)
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#31
DAY 3 ALBOLODUY - ABLA June 24

As David said above, there is a steep climb a few kms after Alboloduy. Up the mountains, a bit dangerous should one put a foot where it is not supposed to be. Do not attempt this in the dark. I was surprised that this part ended when reaching the carretera, the perfil on the map made it seem much longer. Then down again and a walk in a parque natural. Good to know for summer pilgrims : this first, strenous part is done in the shadow, both going up and down the mountain, if you start from Alboloduy in the morning. So even if it is hot, you walk almost entirely in the shadow all the way to Nacimiento. I saw a lot of wild animals this early in the morning, and the views were breathtaking. Oh I almost forgot to tell you I stumbled over a filled bottle of water (not the usual re-used plastic bottles, but real hiking stuff) that almost looked as if left on the trail amongst the hills on purpose. Any forum member want to come forward?

This was the most beautiful stage so far. Even the easy walk from pueblo to pueblo all the way to Abla. The pueblos are small but well taken care of. Rural tracks with more vegetation than before.

Abla was so pretty! It reminded me of Alcalá del Júcar on the Lana, when I explored the small streets on the hill where the albergue is located. Alcalá del Júcar is bigger and situated in a more scenic environment but I still got the same feeling from Abla. It felt like Alcalá del Júcar but without the tourist invasion!! :0)

Again alone in a very clean albergue where previous pilgrims left me a lot of food in the fridge, and icecream, haha. They were there yesterday, but they are going by bike so I won't be able to thank them. Except for them, no other pilgrim since ten days in Abla...

While cooking dinner I suddenly heard singing, chanting and bells ringing beneath my kitchen window : unfortunately it was not for me. It turned out that the albergue is next to a capilla and people were there to celebrate the Virgin of Mary or of Abla or I don't know what. I went down to watch the whole ting amongst the others, it was interesting to see the ritual. The priests said that the crowd would take the Virgin for a walk the next week to this and that place and so on. And then they all chanted some more and put the Virgin back in the capilla. So that was the spiritual experience of the day. I know, I am one devout pilgrim! All this cultural overload... How much more can I take...? There is more to follow!

/BP
 
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#32
Hmm I don't know if I mix up the names but I think Veronika is the one I tried to call several days now, but no answer. But there was always an extra number! I am sure she is nice too :0)
I will PM you with Verónica’s phone number. I am SURE she would have been in touch, use WhatsApp. Hope you meet more peregrinos, but it is a lovely walk any way you slice it! I remember that ascent after Albodoluy, and my thought was the same as youre — do this early in the morning because the mountain will shade you from the sun. Just as we reached the top, the sun was starting to peek into the valley floor. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#33
DAY 4 ABLA - HUÉNEJA June 25

Easy walking to Fiñana in the morning. I don't know how, but I ended up on the carretera when leaving Abla and I suspect this wasn't the real camino. So it was asphalt all the way to Fiñana but I didn't mind. Then a walk in the dry riverbed (?) which is not my favourite terrain because of the sand and pebbles that slow me down. I met a farmer and his herd of goats with two enormous mastiff-looking kind of dogs that cirkled the animals. Of course they attacked me... to greet me! The only problem for the farmer was to keep the dogs from jumping happily up and down around me, tails waving. Now that is the kind of dogs I like to meet on the camino!

A much greener scenery than before and a lot of uphill walking to get to Huéneja, with its fountain whith wolves' heads that looked quite terrifying for a public fountain. I took some pictures, but Forum tells me the files are too large? What have I done wrong? Although I only brought my humble cellphone, it would be nice to share some pictures with you.

Huéneja : Another municipal albergue with everything I needed. They are all donativo and I tend to leave quite a large amount in the boxes, considering how impressed I have been with them so far. And just like my predecessors, I have taken the habit of leaving food that I don't need, carefully writing the date on it so the following people will know when I opened it. And as everyone has left me a spotlessly clean place I have done my best to keep it that way. This routine is new to me, as I always try to stay in hostals on my other caminos! Now I have to learn to think about OTHER people as well, ough... It is indeed a challenging camino!! :0D

Now if anyone could help me to figure out how to upload my fotos...!

I will be back!

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#34
DAY 5 HUÉNEJA - ALQUIFE June 26

Rural tracks all day long and the snowy mountains in view. That is, there are spots here and there with snow. Some of the bars have photos of them from other seasons when they are really covered with snow - it must be impressive to walk in this region in winter or spring...!

In Alquife I stayed in the albergue Lacho. Manuel picked me up in his car and we drove up the hill where the albergue is situated. It is still only a ten minutes walk from it back to the village. The views in any direction from the albergue are stunning : the remains of the mining activities in the area, the mountains, or the rest of the village of Alquife further down the hill. Manuel knows everything there is to know about the Mozárabe and the albergue has all the facilities you need. Breakfast included : Manuel brings it in the morning whenever you are leaving.

Although, the albergue itself looks like a work in progress. Now, I know that aesthetics are not the top priority for a tired pilgrim who arrives but I was amazed how cleanliness and comfort could co-exist along with scattered furniture, heaps of garden implements and dreadful paintings on the walls. I am not an interior designer, but I guess I wish I were. The messages in the guestbook raved about the quality of the facilities - and they were absolutely right - but I found one in french, by an anonymous author, that said Beau bordel. Nothing else. That means A beautiful mess... Or it can also mean Quite a mess!

There is not much going on in the village itself, but the only (?) bar is well equipped and pilgrim-friendly. Some of the people there felt sorry that I had to walk in this uninteresting area - I was amazed that they thought so. I had very much enjoyed the whole stage, the view of the mountains, the castle of Calahorra... One of the most interesting stages so far. And the albergue IS very special, I wholly recommend it for future pilgrims (I hope you didn't interpret my review of the "bordel" as being mean).

There is more to come!

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#35
I will PM you with Verónica’s phone number. I am SURE she would have been in touch, use WhatsApp. Hope you meet more peregrinos, but it is a lovely walk any way you slice it! I remember that ascent after Albodoluy, and my thought was the same as youre — do this early in the morning because the mountain will shade you from the sun. Just as we reached the top, the sun was starting to peek into the valley floor. Buen camino, Laurie
By the way, I phoned Veronica yesterday as well... No answer! Somehow she must have connected her number to Mercedes, cause Mercedes called me back. Mercedes also said that Veronika usually picks up the phone if she is not working and so on - it is so strange that I always catch her in a bad time...! Oh well.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#36
Do try to contact someone at the Association and at least get on their WhatsApp group. They were the best thing about the stages to Granada!
Well now that I have been walking for a week, I can agree that the Asociación is amazing. They seem to be keeping track of me, sometimes calling me before I am calling them (Mercedes). When they say simple things like I am with you all the way to Granada (Paco), it sure feels comforting!

I especially like the boxes for the keys with the codes - easier than searching for a bar with the keys, or going back and forth to the Ayuntamiento. Extend the boxes to other caminos as well, please! :0D

bp
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#37
DAY 6 ALQUIFE - GUADIX June 27

Manolo brought me breakfast and explained the following stage: there would be a stream that could be difficult to cross a few kms outside Alquife. He would pick me up in his car if there was too much water. When I arrived at the spot, there sure was a large stream but i took off my shoes and socks and managed to get through. The water from the mountains was ice cold and I had trouble finding places to put my feet on those rocks, also the heavy stream almost made me loose my balance a few times. Uhm, this place must be even more difficult to cross in spring?? How did you other pilgrims manage?

I had a nice (second) breakfast in Cogollos de Guádix. Then there was a walk out in the fields followed by a dry landscape with rocks and sand : I was approaching Guádix, famous for its caves. There is even accomodation in the caves, but I had chosen a more tradition place: hostal Retiro, unfortunately a bit outside the city center. But still walking distance. There is no albergue as of the Asociación in Guádix.

Very hot day indeed, once again I was reminded of why there are so few pilgrims in summer... Luckily I arrived before 1 pm in Guádix. The camino passes through the most traditional - and by now also touristy - area of the town with the highest concentration of caves. I had heard from Mercedes and other voluntarios that Paco would be delighted to give the pilgrim a guided tour of the town. It is just that I felt a bit strange if I would call him only for this. "Hey, your friends said you would give me a guided tour of the town, so get yourself over here!!" I think it would come more naturally if I had contact with them on WhatsApp or Facebook or something, but unfortunately I can't handle such high-tech activities, I am too old for that!! (I am 37 years old, after all.)

I took a siesta and hid from the heat in the hostal. Only in the evening cold I move outside to do some sightseeing of my own. And the weather reports say that there is STILL no heat wave coming up. If this is not a heat wave, I wonder what it will feel like once it arrives...! Aaaah!!

Keep cool!

BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#38
Now I have to learn to think about OTHER people as well, ough... It is indeed a challenging camino!! :0D
I am sure you are doing juuuuust fine, BP.:cool:
There is more to come!
Yay! I am happy to find this thread - though I will likely never walk this Camino, I've really been enjoying the vicarious journey.
I can't handle such high-tech activities, I am too old for that!! (I am 37 years old, after all.)
Thank you, BP. Somehow this is very comforting. I thought it was my age. All this GPS hi-tech stuff, plus What's App and who knows what all elsemakes me feel cranky...on the Camino I feel like tossing my phone in the bottom of my pack and leaving it there. Permanently.:oops::)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#39
Just picked up on this thread, love reading about your camino @Bad Pilgrim.
After having walked the VdlP in June and Italy in July/August, I am not yet ready for another one as hot, though....:oops:
Wishing you a lovely time :)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#40
... think it would come more naturally if I had contact with them on WhatsApp or Facebook or something, but unfortunately I can't handle such high-tech activities, I am too old for that!! (I am 37 years old, after all.)
.../QUOTE]

@Bad Pilgrim you're 37 y/o??????????????
Are you kidding me?
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#41
Yes, I know I shouldn't be doing this... Every year I say to myself it is the last camino... And then : just one more year to see if this old man still has what it takes!

But with age comes wisdom, don't forget that!

BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

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Camino(s) past & future
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#42
DAY 7 GUÁDIX - LA PEZA June 28

The first 8 kms were really hard to do in the morning. I am always a slow starter and there was a kind of tropical heat already in the morning that made me huff and puff already from start. The reward was Purullena, Marchal and Graena with a sprinkle of bars in the middle of the stage. Then a large chunk of nothing until La Peza.

Purullena and her sister pueblos also have a lot of tourist industry going on, considering the caves. A museum here and an exposition there.

When I entered Marchal I thought the whole town had gone mad: elderly people were walking the streets in their bath robes in the middle of the day. They were even sitting like this in the cafés and bars. Until I saw signs about balneario - spa town. Ok. They hadn't forgotten to dress before going out. It reminded me of a horror movie I saw just before leaving, A cure for wellness, until I understood that no evil forces had twisted their minds.

The last part to La Peza was a real slog, no matter how nice the view of the mountains. The last kms are on the carretera, uphills. I knew there were just a few kms left to go, but in the heat I went slower and slower and it never seemed to end. And to crown it all, a steep descent into La Peza.

La Peza is unfortunately smaller than the previous pueblos of the day. The albergue is the old college school, next to the municipal gym. It was less impressive than the other municipal albergues, but still ok. No AC, but a fridge and a kitchen. And wifi, strangely enough, for a municipal albergue, so far. Some local workers who were coming and going all afternoon seem to use it as some sort of garage for their stuff, so it was kind of a mess on the bottom floor.

From La Peza and onwards, the pueblos have a lot of fountains with cold, refreshing mountain water. In between though, there is not much water to be seen, at least in summer. The messages left in the albergue told me to bunker up food and water, because the next stage would be 27 kms in the mountains with no town on the trail. In my younger days I would easily have done 27kms plus some more, but now, and in the heat...?

To be continued...

BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#44
DAY 8 LA PEZA - QUÉNTAR June 29

27 kms without a village until Quéntar. There was information about an alternative route that would pass a small pueblo after 15 kms but I was not in the mood of improvising; I stuck to the waymarks.

So it was a walk in the mountains all day long. I went sooo slow for the first kms, because the ascent that begins in La Peza almost killed me so early in the morning. After a few kms I slapped myself in the face and told myself to speed up a bit, or I would never get to Quéntar!

Very beautiful walk in the woods and the mountains. It reminded me of the stage to Segovia on the Madrid route. This comparison is probably blasphemy to Camino experts of both the Madrid and the Mozárabe, but it was all I could think of... With one big difference: on my way to Segovia, I ran into a lot of hikers and cyclists in the mountains. I was never alone up there. But here, I saw only one cyclist, and only when I got nearer to Quéntar I met a couple who probably was doing some hiking, coming from the pueblo nearby. It is really a great region for walking, but not much people.

Best moment of the day was natural spring after 17 kms, perfect for a break. It is only like 50 mtrs off camino. You can drink the water directly from the stream, at least I did, and there are some tables where to sit down and rest. This is the only water I saw between La Peza and Quéntar!

The descent into Quéntar is brutal. If you arrive on shaky legs and with a dry mouth, it is good to know that: 1) the arrows take you directly to the Ayuntamiento where the Hotel Quéntar is, so there is no need to search for it, and 2) Quéntar probably has the highest concentration of fountains per square meter than any village in southern Spain. I went from one fountain to another to quench my thirst as I made my way to the hotel. Did I mention it was a hot day...?

Hotel Quéntar, finally a touch of luxury...! Two brothers run the hotel and the bar Los Ángeles right next to it. I ordered a plato alpujarreño for dinner: a dish with traditional products from the region. Which is made of 100 % of different kinds of meat, haha. Vegetables are probably banned in this region. How would a vegetarian survive in Quéntar?

Next day would be a short one, to Granada!

See you!

BP
 
Last edited:
#45
DAY 7 GUÁDIX - LA PEZA June 28

The first 8 kms were really hard to do in the morning. I am always a slow starter and there was a kind of tropical heat already in the morning that made me huff and puff already from start. The reward was Purullena, Marchal and Graena with a sprinkle of bars in the middle of the stage. Then a large chunk of nothing until La Peza.

Purullena and her sister pueblos also have a lot of tourist industry going on, considering the caves. A museum here and an exposition there.

When I entered Marchal I thought the whole town had gone mad: elderly people were walking the streets in their bath robes in the middle of the day. They were even sitting like this in the cafés and bars. Until I saw signs about balneario - spa town. Ok. They hadn't forgotten to dress before going out. It reminded me of a horror movie I saw just before leaving, A cure for wellness, until I understood that no evil forces had twisted their minds.

The last part to La Peza was a real slog, no matter how nice the view of the mountains. The last kms are on the carretera, uphills. I knew there were just a few kms left to go, but in the heat I went slower and slower and it never seemed to end. And to crown it all, a steep descent into La Peza.

La Peza is unfortunately smaller than the previous pueblos of the day. The albergue is the old college school, next to the municipal gym. It was less impressive than the other municipal albergues, but still ok. No AC, but a fridge and a kitchen. And wifi, strangely enough, for a municipal albergue, so far. Some local workers who were coming and going all afternoon seem to use it as some sort of garage for their stuff, so it was kind of a mess on the bottom floor.

From La Peza and onwards, the pueblos have a lot of fountains with cold, refreshing mountain water. In between though, there is not much water to be seen, at least in summer. The messages left in the albergue told me to bunker up food and water, because the next stage would be 27 kms in the mountains with no town on the trail. In my younger days I would easily have done 27kms plus some more, but now, and in the heat...?

To be continued...

BP
Loving your posts, BP. In La Peza four of us rented a casa rural, so we had private bedrooms and baths. We also were able to feel like we were supporting the common good because the albergue was going to be full and the ASsociation members were carrying inflatable mattresses up and down the Camino. (Don't get used to this treatment, however, it ends abruptly when you hit Granada, and the Granada Association "takes over" -- their attitude is decidedly less helpful and welcoming, but the camino is still gorgeous whatever their attitude).

I don't think I have ever tasted better water than that coming out of the fountain next to the grocery store in La Peza. It was totally amazing. Carried three bottles of it with me the next day.

The owner of the grocery store in La Peza gave me a kind of sobering report on the future of towns like this. At this point, the influx of customers from the Mozarabe kind of almost offsets the decrease of business caused by declining population and exodus to the cities. Here's hoping this place survives. And a trip up to the castle is well worth it as well, though I know it's too late for you to heed my unsolicited advice!
 
#46
DAY 8 LA PEZA - QUÉNTAR June 29

27 kms without a village until Quéntar. There was information about an alternative route that would pass a small pueblo after 15 kms but I was not in the mood of improvising; I stuck to the waymarks.

So it was a walk in the mountains all day long. I went sooo slow for the first kms, because the ascent that begins in La Peza almost killed me so early in the morning. After a few kms I slapped myself in the face and told myself to speed up a bit, or I would never get to Quéntar!

Very beautiful walk in the woods and the mountains. It reminded me of the stage to Segovia on the Madrid route. This comparison is probably blasphemy to Camino experts of both the Madrid and the Mozárabe, but it was all I could think of... With one big difference: on my way to Segovia, I ran into a lot of hikers and cyclists in the mountains. I was never alone up there. But here, I saw only one cyclist, and only when I got nearer to Quéntar I met a couple who probably was doing some hiking, coming from the pueblo nearby. It is really a great region for walking, but not much people.

Best moment of the day was natural spring after 17 kms, perfect for a break. It is only like 50 mtrs off camino. You can drink the water directly from the stream, at least I did, and there are some tables where to sit down and rest. This is the only water I saw between La Peza and Quéntar!

The descent into Quéntar is brutal. If you arrive on shaky legs and with a dry mouth, it is good to know that: 1) the arrows take you directly to the Ayuntamiento where the Hotel Quéntar is, so there is no need to search for it, and 2) Quéntar probably has the highest concentration of fountains per square meter than any village in southern Spain. I went from one fountain to another to quench my thirst as I made my way to the hotel. Did I mention it was a hot day...?

Hotel Quéntar, finally a touch of luxury...! Two brothers run the hotel and the bar Los Ángeles right next to it. I ordered a plato alpujarreño for dinner: a dish with traditional products from the region. Which is made of 100 % of different kinds of meat, haha. Vegetables are probably banned in this region. How would a vegetarian survive in Quéntar?

Next day would be a short one, to Granada!

See you!

BP
One day till Granada, and omg it is a beautiful day. I was totally unprepared for the beauty, and had no idea we would go so close to another monastery in ruins. Get ready for a FUN day, BP.

Since it was so early, we ascended to the monastery, but decided against a tour. 16th century is not my favorite. And to tell the truth, I didn-t think the views were any better than the ones we got below.

Be prepared for the shock of entering Granada! I don't know what tourism is like now in summer, but when we were there in late April it was totally mobbed. But still beautiful. And the convent is a very lovely place to sleep!

Glad you are surviving the heat. I don't think I could do it. And thanks so much for posting, I love reading about your Mozarabe! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#47
though I know it's too late for you to heed my unsolicited advice!
Yes I am doing a bit of time travelling here... I am now three days behind with my reports! So I am actually in Alcalá la Real today. :0)
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#49
In La Peza four of us rented a casa rural, so we had private bedrooms and baths. We also were able to feel like we were supporting the common good because the albergue was going to be full and the ASsociation members were carrying inflatable mattresses up and down the Camino.
Oh, there are many rooms in the albergue: were they all pilgrims to occupy them? I think you did the right thing to choose the Casa Rural. As I wrote, the albergue was more like a storage room and quite a dull place... By the way, are there no more albergues after Granada!? Since then I have started to rely on hostales and casas rurales...

BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#50
Be prepared for the shock of entering Granada! I don't know what tourism is like now in summer, but when we were there in late April it was totally mobbed.
He he, I will get to Granada when my time machine gets there... :0) But I can tell you: Yes it was crowded around lunch time when I arrived. Then I had a nap... And when I went out a second time in the afternoon, the streets were dead empty...! Perhaps because it was saturday afternoon, I don't know. :0o
 
#51
Oh, there are many rooms in the albergue: were they all pilgrims to occupy them? I think you did the right thing to choose the Casa Rural. As I wrote, the albergue was more like a storage room and quite a dull place... By the way, are there no more albergues after Granada!? Since then I have started to rely on hostales and casas rurales...

BP
Just to make sure, BP -- you do you have the ASsociation's guide, don't you? It lists places all the way to Merida, and there are albergues after Granada, for sure. (Not that I stayed in many of them, though. ;)) Link to the June version of the guide (it's updated at least once a month)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/117YJXBsekDSnhYwWKNR3MzQFhORECRSe/view
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#52
Just to make sure, BP -- you do you have the ASsociation's guide, don't you? It lists places all the way to Merida, and there are albergues after Granada, for sure. (Not that I stayed in many of them, though. ;)) Link to the June version of the guide (it's updated at least once a month)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/117YJXBsekDSnhYwWKNR3MzQFhORECRSe/view
Ooh, now I see them, ok... I thought they disappeared after Granada but I wasn't looking close enough. I think I will try to stay in them to see if the standard keeps up...

BP
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#53
"Which is made of 100 % of different kinds of meat, haha. Vegetables are probably banned in this region."

Sounds like a perfect Camino when one has married the butchers son!! ;-)
 
#54
Ooh, now I see them, ok... I thought they disappeared after Granada but I wasn't looking close enough. I think I will try to stay in them to see if the standard keeps up...

BP
The other thing that we definitely found was that even if there weren't albergues, the associations had negotiated with the owners of private places to give pilgrims a really good deal. So don't book with booking, just contact them directly and see about pilgrim prices.

For instance, while the albergue up in the castle walls in Baeza gets so so to bad reviews, the *** hotel that you see on your right when you come into town gives pilgrims very very nice rooms for 25 euro. But their booking price is in the 40s, I was told.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata 2013
Camino de Levante 2015-2016
#55
Hi everyone,

I am back on the Camino, this time on the Mozárabe from Almería! Well, in two days, at least. I am not saying "Live from the Camino", because I don't know how much live it is going to be. I may just pop in on the Forum to leave a few words from time to time...

I don't know what to add to the description of this route. There are good guidebooks/pages, and several prilgrims have already walked the Mozárabe in 2018. For example C Clearly, Magwood and Laurie, if I am not mistaken. So I won't have many things to add or any information to correct. I will post mostly my impressions of this Camino and hopefully one or two photos...

Tag along! :OD

Byyyye

BP
Dear BP,
It must be pretty warm there in the Alboloduy/Nacimiento area.
I walked the Mozárabe this spring. Beautiful camino and good places to stay.
Only "freezing cold" at that time!!!
When in Alquife say hello
to Lacho of the Albergue Lacho.
Buen camino!
André Belgium
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#56
Dear BP,
It must be pretty warm there in the Alboloduy/Nacimiento area.
I walked the Mozárabe this spring. Beautiful camino and good places to stay.
Only "freezing cold" at that time!!!
When in Alquife say hello
to Lacho of the Albergue Lacho.
Buen camino!
André Belgium
Yes, I stayed in Lacho a few days ago. The hospitalero was so helpful! I am a few days late with my posts, sorry... I am in Alcaudete now. I think I have seen your name in the registers in the albergue (?).

BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#57
The other thing that we definitely found was that even if there weren't albergues, the associations had negotiated with the owners of private places to give pilgrims a really good deal. So don't book with booking, just contact them directly and see about pilgrim prices.

For instance, while the albergue up in the castle walls in Baeza gets so so to bad reviews, the *** hotel that you see on your right when you come into town gives pilgrims very very nice rooms for 25 euro. But their booking price is in the 40s, I was told.
Oh no, I just read your post more in detail Laurie. I have already phoned the albergue in Baena, according to my routine, to tell them about my arrival tomorrow. But you say they have gotten bad reviews? Any more details about what? Because now I am tempted to try that hotel you are talking about...!
 
#58
Oh no, I just read your post more in detail Laurie. I have already phoned the albergue in Baena, according to my routine, to tell them about my arrival tomorrow. But you say they have gotten bad reviews? Any more details about what? Because now I am tempted to try that hotel you are talking about...!
I’m sure it is fine. People I know who stayed there said the owner is pretty indifferent and the facility is not terrific, but who needs terrific? It is not really an albergue, it’s open to all for tourism, but has an albergue room. I know it costs 10 euros and has one shower. Its booking.com rating is not bad at all. https://www.booking.com/hotel/es/albergue-ruta-del-califato.es.html

I had planned to sleep there, but when I walked into the hotel reception and learned that the individual room was 25 euros I changed my mind. I did walk up to the castle later to poke around (the albergue is up there but I didn’t see it). It is a REALLY weird castle. Locals told me that some well connected individual in the 1960s essentially stole lots of the stones from the castle to make his own little getaway. The restoration makes no pretense of being a reconstruction, it is clearly modern, and the townspeople said it was done intentionally to bring attention to this politician who had stolen the stones. There is a nice square near the castle, though, for a shady cafe table to watch the going-on.

Let me know what you do! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#59
Thanks for answering so fast - I will make better choices with your information! Will see what happens tomorrow. I am off to bed now... I have almost no time to do the rest of my posts about the stages...! Too bad!

bp
 
#60
Thanks for answering so fast - I will make better choices with your information! Will see what happens tomorrow. I am off to bed now... I have almost no time to do the rest of my posts about the stages...! Too bad!

bp
Hi, BP,
Looking back over my notes for the next few days. I walked Baeza to Santa Cruz, almost 43, but you can stop in Castro del Río at 19 km. Jpflavin went to the albergue in Castro and said it was filthy, so he went to Hostal a ka la Sole (yes that’s the name) for 20 euros, he whatsapped me. But I think Maggie and her crew were in the albergue about a week later, so maybe it was cleaned up.

There is supposedly a quicker more direct route into Córdoba from Castro del Río but I don’t know anyone who ever found it. I went Baena to Santa Cruz and then 26 km into Córdoba. Hope you will get some quiet time in the mezquita, it is one of the world’s most amazing buildings.

Santa Cruz has two hostales on the road into town, but I think they are both owned by the same place. They are fine, basic, clean, decent menú del día. Santa Cruz doesn´t have much of anything going on, so arriving at 3 in the afternoon was just fine with me!
Carry on, amigo!
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#61
Hi, BP,
Looking back over my notes for the next few days. I walked Baeza to Santa Cruz, almost 43, but you can stop in Castro del Río at 19 km. Jpflavin went to the albergue in Castro and said it was filthy, so he went to Hostal a ka la Sole (yes that’s the name) for 20 euros, he whatsapped me. But I think Maggie and her crew were in the albergue about a week later, so maybe it was cleaned up.

There is supposedly a quicker more direct route into Córdoba from Castro del Río but I don’t know anyone who ever found it. I went Baena to Santa Cruz and then 26 km into Córdoba. Hope you will get some quiet time in the mezquita, it is one of the world’s most amazing buildings.

Santa Cruz has two hostales on the road into town, but I think they are both owned by the same place. They are fine, basic, clean, decent menú del día. Santa Cruz doesn´t have much of anything going on, so arriving at 3 in the afternoon was just fine with me!
Carry on, amigo!
Thanks, I cannot do a 40 kms stage and I will do anything I can to avoid the 30 ones!!
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#62
DAY 9 QUÉNTAR - GRANADA June 30

I left Hotel Quéntar on light feet, looking forward to a short stage of less than 20 kms! I had found a hostal in Granada, La Duquesa, which is indeed the cheapest hostal in town so I wondered what I had gotten myself into... Well on this stage I met more of hikers and cyclists, probably coming from either Granada or Quéntar to enjoy the region. There was a steeeep ascent a few kms after Quéntar, otherwise it was easy walking on the mountain crest, with nice views 360°.

The Camino enters Granada from above, descending though some quaint barrios with cuevas, houses drowning in flowers and colors... El barrio de Sacromonte which is followed by Paseo de los tristes (the Sad Walk). Well how can one be sad living there, it looked quite festive to me. Here one can also get some nice view of the Alhambra that emerges on the hill on the opposite side of the road.

Talking about fiestas, Granada had just celebrated Gay Pride so there were rainbow flags everywhere in town. At least in the morning. The city was packed with people but I didn't mind the crowds. But apparently I missed the big party because already in the afternoon, the streets were dead empty! According to the local newspaper, the Pride thing had been a success and there had been shows and music and performances like never before. Well they sure packed their stuff and got out of town in a hurry cause the city looked like it was evacuated in the afternoon.

As for the Hostal, there was only shared bathroom (not clean), no AC, no TV, no wifi in the room, no nothing... When I entered my room, I thought the bed bugs would instantly come sprouting from the walls. And I thought I would suffocate in there without AC. But strangely enough, the room kept cool, and the bed was sooo comfortable! And not a single bed bug in view!! I had the best siesta in my life in that room. You know the ancient pilgrim's saying: "Don't judge the hostal because it has no AC"! True indeed.

Well I didn't sleep all day long. I did visit the city center, amongst other things to look for the way out the next day, of which I understood absolutely nothing.

By the cathedral, some ladies tried to give away flowers and herbs to the tourists. I clutched my wallet and my cellphone to my chest and preferred to keep a distance to them. It was unclear to me if this was an act of charity or if one was supposed to pay something after the service. The smiling ladies stopped the tourists, placed the lavender leaves in their hands and talked extremely lengthily about the blessing of the Holy Mother of Teresa and all her glory and the power of the mind and how beautiful this particular tourist was... The tourists, who seemed to understand about 5 % of the Spanish vocabulary, looked a bit confused. Ok perhaps these ladies were super-real nuns doing their thing, I am sure someone on the Forum can tell me who they were...

And as for... The mandatory visit to the Alhambra... Ehmm... Let me get back to you about that..........

Coming up next: The Stage from Hell!! :0o Stay tuned!!

BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#63
DAY 10 STAGE FROM HELL July 1

I had failed to find the way out of Granada the day before, but I was luckier in the morning. Go to Plaza de Europa and then to the next roundabout where the walk to Maracena begins. Maracena is pretty much a suburb to Granada but a pueblo in its own right. Already here, I noticed that the waymarks began to deteriorate. No big deal, I just had to be extra cautious when walking through Maracena, and then Atarfe a few kms later. Breakfast in Atarfe: all good so far. Right after leaving the center of Atarfe, though, there is a dreadful industrial area that transforms into a single road, on asphalt, that runs forever and ever next to the railway. So all the way from Granada to Pinos Puente it is 19 kms on tarmac. I actually don't mind this kind of terrain, it never makes my feet hurt. But after nearly 20 kms, and a large part of it in a straight line... It was a bit monotonous. When sipping on a café con leche in a bar in Pinos Puente, I thought: I hope there is more of a country walk to Moclín, because I am quite tired of the tarmac now.

Beware of what you wish.

I had decided to go to Moclín the same day, which would make about 35 kms in all. I was well aware of that, and of the steep climb up to Moclín at the end of the stage. But from Pinos Puente to Moclín there would be "only" 13 kms. I thought I would be in Moclín in the blink of an eye. There would also be another pueblo, Olivares, after nine kms.

I left Pinos Puente on the carretera, more asphalt, ok. Then the track veered off to a country road, just as I had hoped. For some km I walked next to an irrigation canal, on my left. Then hell broke loose.

First, the arrows led me into some heavy bushes, a path that was totally overgrown. By now there was the canal to my left, and a small river to my right (but it was getting wider and wider). With this amount of water, the vegetation must grow easily in summer. Perhaps you can get through in April or May : I tell you, the grass was higher than my head. I couldn't see where to put my feet and for some time I walked on just by intuition. The carretera was barred from access because of the river that was running on my right side.

Sure, it only lasted for a few hundred meters, then there was a bridge that could have taken me over the river to the carretera - I wish I had taken the opportunity. But you want to follow the arrows, right...?

After walking in the jungle, the arrows took me to a field with olive groves. I had to slide around in the sand, there was nowhere else to put my feet. By now it was midday heat and I began to panic as I didn't know how long I would have to "walk" in the sand.

Then I had to cross the stream on my right. This further slowed me down. Remove shoes, remove socks. Walking ON STONES with your bare feet. Waiting for your feet to dry before puttning on shoes and socks. (After the walk in the jungle, my socks and shoes looked like hedgehogs so I had to spend an eternity to remove each and everyone of the sticks in them).

At least this brought me nearer the road on my right side. The Camino eventually crossed the road. But you STILL want to follow the arrows, right? So now I changed to the countryside on the right side of the carretera. The arrows took me straight up a hill, that became steeper and steeper until I couldn't go any further. The path wanted me to climb some kind of hill but it would be a suicide mission for anyone, especially with a backpack. I searched for some alternative way to continue and I still had to literally CLIMB to get up that hill. Half-way up I thought my heart would snap, and I never felt that on any Camino. This was not Walking uphills, this was CLIMBING. And I dare you to tell me that those arrows do not point in that direction...! Ok, at the point when I was in the midst of the climbing, when I said my heart would snap, there was no arrow. But there were several ones guiding me up that hill.

When I got to the summit - by crawling on hands and knees and where falling backwards would have broken my neck - and on to a new road amongst the olive groves, there was a bumper sticker, half torn away, on a sign. I drew the conclusion I should turn left. I could see a town a few kms away, to which the road descended. It is just that neither the climb, nor this long descent, figured on my map. I was therefore sure that this town couldn't be Olivares. I decided to go there anyway because after the climbing in the heat I was beaten. Running around up there searching for Olivares would have killed me. I just had to reach some sort of village, anyone would do.

To my great surprise, the yellow arrows appeared as I walked downhill. From where??? Apparently I had followed the Camino. Which surprised me, because half of the Mozarabe pilgrims would be dead by now if they had followed the same way as me. At the same time I was increasingly irritated over the fact that those changes in elevation, to put it mildly, didn't figure on the map???

In Olivares, I dragged myself into the first bar to order something to drink. In the bar there were ten to twelve men screaming at each other. There was no TV or music that made them do this: they were screaming instead of talking. I couldn't stand it so I ran away and luckily found a deserted bar in the center of the village, where I could get some rest.

I was only a few kms away from Moclín so I had to finish the stage. Now the afternoon was approaching and it got even hotter. When leaving Olivares the road splits in two. I inspected the spot but didn't see any arrows. So I took to the left. I walked 100% uphills (again) for at least half an hour, until I saw a town on the other side of the mountain. It made me suspicious as I felt I was walking in the direction that I came from. So I walked down again to the split and when looking closely I saw an arrow. I should have gone right. So this added another extra hour upphill-downhill to the stage. I thought that my five-year-old niece could have done a better jobb painting the arrows on this stage. (That was the least evil thing I said to myself this day. I prefer not to tell you the rest, or the moderators on the Forum will have a very busy day.)

The same was true for the mountain part on the way to Moclín. When there are four different paths crossing in all directions in front of you - who paints an arrow that just points somewhere up in the sky? I spent even more time up there looking for which path was the right one. Once I got to a wider road it was pretty obvious where to go, ok. But when a sign said Moclín 1.8 kms, it might as well have said 18 kms, I didn't care anymore. By now it was 4. 30 pm and I had been walking since 6 am.

Luckily I knew where the owner of the Casa Rural kept the key so I could walk right into the Casa when I arrived. What a relief. An enormous house with all the facilities. But all I could think of was to lay down and rest, to prevent the effects of a heat stroke. At least Moclín was some kind of reward as I really liked the pueblo, the bar and the casa rural... The owner came over later and gave me some info about Moclín and of the stage next day. The town is small so I met him again in the bar and we could keep on chatting about the camino. I watched some of the football in the bar, ate a heavy dinner and slept like a log until next morning...

To be continued

BP
 
Last edited:
#64
DAY 10 STAGE FROM HELL July 1

I had failed to find the way out of Granada the day before, but I was luckier in the morning. Go to Plaza de Europa and then to the next roundabout where the walk to Maracena begins. Maracena is pretty much a suburb to Granada but a pueblo in its own right. Already here, I noticed that the waymarks began to deteriorate. No big deal, I just had to be extra cautious when walking through Maracena, and then Atarfe a few kms later. Breakfast in Atarfe: all good so far. Right after leaving the center of Atarfe, though, there is a dreadful industrial area that transforms into a single road, on asphalt, that runs forever and ever next to the railway. So all the way from Granada to Pinos Puente it is 19 kms on tarmac. I actually don't mind this kind of terrain, it never makes my feet hurt. But after nearly 20 kms, and a large part of it in a straight line... It was a bit monotonous. When sipping on a café con leche in a bar in Pinos Puente, I thought: I hope there is more of a country walk to Moclín, because I am quite tired of the tarmac now.

Beware of what you wish.

I had decided to go to Moclín the same day, which would make about 35 kms in all. I was well aware of that, and of the steep climb up to Moclín at the end of the stage. But from Pinos Puente to Moclín there would be "only" 13 kms. I thought I would be in Moclín in the blink of an eye. There would also be another pueblo, Olivares, after nine kms.

I left Pinos Puente on the carretera, more asphalt, ok. Then the track veered off to a country road, just as I had hoped. For some km I walked next to an irrigation canal, on my left. Then hell broke loose.

First, the arrows led me into some heavy bushes, a path that was totally overgrown. By now there was the canal to my left, and a small river to my right (but it was getting wider and wider). With this amount of water, the vegetation must grow easily in summer. Perhaps you can get through in April or May : I tell you, the grass was higher than my head. I couldn't see where to put my feet and for some time I walked on just by intuition. The carretera was barred from access because of the river that was running on my right side.

Sure, it only lasted for a few hundred meters, then there was a bridge that could have taken me over the river to the carretera - I wish I had taken the opportunity. But you want to follow the arrows, right...?

After walking in the jungle, the arrows took me to a field with olive groves. I had to slide around in the sand, there was nowhere else to put my feet. By now it was midday heat and I began to panic as I didn't know how long I would have to "walk" in the sand.

Then I had to cross the stream on my right. This further slowed me down. Remove shoes, remove socks. Walking ON STONES with your bare feet. Waiting for your feet to dry before puttning on shoes and socks. (After the walk in the jungle, my socks and shoes looked like hedgehogs so I had to spend an eternity to remove each and everyone of the sticks in them).

At least this brought me nearer the road on my right side. The Camino eventually crossed the road. But you STILL want to follow the arrows, right? So now I changed to the countryside on the left side of the carretera. The arrows took me straight up a hill, that became steeper and steeper until I couldn't go any further. The path wanted me to climb some kind of hill but it would be a suicide mission for anyone, especially with a backpack. I searched for some alternative way to continue and I still had to literally CLIMB to get up that hill. Half-way up I thought my heart would snap, and I never felt that on any Camino. This was not Walking uphills, this was CLIMBING. And I dare you to tell me that those arrows do not point in that direction...! Ok, at the point when I was in the midst of the climbing, when I said my heart would snap, there was no arrow. But there were several ones guiding me up that hill.

When I got to the summit - by crawling on hands and knees and where falling backwards would have broken my neck - and on to a new road amongst the olive groves, there was a bumper sticker, half torn away, on a sign. I drew the conclusion I should turn left. I could see a town a few kms away, to which the road descended. It is just that neither the climb, nor this long descent, figured on my map. I was therefore sure that this town couldn't be Olivares. I decided to go there anyway because after the climbing in the heat I was beaten. Running around up there searching for Olivares would have killed me. I just had to reach some sort of village, anyone would do.

To my great surprise, the yellow arrows appeared as I walked downhill. From where??? Apparently I had followed the Camino. Which surprised me, because half of the Mozarabe pilgrims would be dead by now if they had followed the same way as me. At the same time I was increasingly irritated over the fact that those changes in elevation, to put it mildly, didn't figure on the map???

In Olivares, I dragged myself into the first bar to order something to drink. In the bar there were ten to twelve men screaming at each other. There was no TV or music that made them do this: they were screaming instead of talking. I couldn't stand it so I ran away and luckily found a deserted bar in the center of the village, where I could get some rest.

I was only a few kms away from Moclín so I had to finish the stage. Now the afternoon was approaching and it got even hotter. When leaving Olivares the road splits in two. I inspected the spot but didn't see any arrows. So I took to the left. I walked 100% uphills (again) for at least half an hour, until I saw a town on the other side of the mountain. It made me suspicious as I felt I was walking in the direction that I came from. So I walked down again to the split and when looking closely I saw an arrow. I should have gone right. So this added another extra hour upphill-downhill to the stage. I thought that my five-year-old niece could have done a better jobb painting the arrows on this stage. (That was the least evil thing I said to myself this day. I prefer not to tell you the rest, or the moderators on the Forum will have a very busy day.)

The same was true for the mountain part on the way to Moclín. When there are four different paths crossing in all directions in front of you - who paints an arrow that just points somewhere up in the sky? I spent even more time up there looking for which path was the right one. Once I got to a wider road it was pretty obvious where to go, ok. But when a sign said Moclín 1.8 kms, it might as well have said 18 kms, I didn't care anymore. By now it was 4. 30 pm and I had been walking since 6 am.

Luckily I knew where the owner of the Casa Rural kept the key so I could walk right into the Casa when I arrived. What a relief. An enormous house with all the facilities. But all I could think of was to lay down and rest, to prevent the effects of a heat stroke. At least Moclín was some kind of reward as I really liked the pueblo, the bar and the casa rural... The owner came over later and gave me some info about Moclín and of the stage next day. The town is small so I met him again in the bar and we could keep on chatting about the camino. I watched some of the football in the bar, ate a heavy dinner and slept like a log until next morning...

To be continued

BP
Obviously something went wrong on that day to Moclin, BP. It sounds to me like you took the route that @jpflavin1 described to me. I don't know how you guys got on that route with the river crossing. I was just following arrows all the way, and this is what I wrote:

From Pinos Puente, ten km or so of untraveled but asphalt road through nothing but olive groves. There is a point at which the arrows take you off road but the paved road will stay low and take you into Olivares. I went off road and went up through olives and then back down to Olivares. The bar on the other side of the river was open but I was not particularly welcome, it seems. After that there are 3+ kms straight up to Moclin. Beautiful views all the way.

I cannot for the life of me figure out how you guys got to that river crossing, following the camino, I crossed it in Olivares, right at the spot where the unfriendly (at least to me) bar is located. It was probably the toughest stage, from Granada to Moclín, at least IMO. I didn't arrive in Moclín till about 4 pm, but luckily the castle opened up in the afternoon. The fact that you arrived at 4:30 suggests you didn't lose too many kms in detours. I left Granada at about 6:30, had a long break in Pinos Puente, and then another in Olivares.

I've looked through wikiloc.com and see that there are LOTS of differences in tracks on the stage from Pinos Puente to Moclín. I am pretty sure this is the route I took, because you can see the spot at which it loops up rather than hang left on the road (the GR-3413) right into Moclín. https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/camino-mozarabe-2-pinos-puente-moclin-6919742

This is a track that took the left turn onto the road into Olivares, which mean a few kms fewer than me and also avoiding what was an ascent up through olive groves and then down in to Moclín. https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trai...santiago-mozarabe-pinos-puente-moclin-5799782

But you must have done something totally different. I can't find any wikiloc tracs that cross the river before Olivares, but surely there must be some if both you and Joe thought you were on the Camino when you did it.

This would be a good stage for future Mozárabe peregrinos to pay attention to!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#65
Ok, I see it. I went further down the N432 - to a roundabout... And there were arrows... And it is not an alternative for cyclists, I can assure... So from the very first start, I did not follow what wikiloc shows. I think it was the staff in the bar in Pinos puente that pointed me that way. In every junction there were arrows. I think NO pilgrim would want to follow that way, they should hide the arrows in my opinion!!!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#66
Obviously something went wrong on that day to Moclin, BP. It sounds to me like you took the route that @jpflavin1 described to me. I don't know how you guys got on that route with the river crossing. I was just following arrows all the way, and this is what I wrote:

From Pinos Puente, ten km or so of untraveled but asphalt road through nothing but olive groves. There is a point at which the arrows take you off road but the paved road will stay low and take you into Olivares. I went off road and went up through olives and then back down to Olivares. The bar on the other side of the river was open but I was not particularly welcome, it seems. After that there are 3+ kms straight up to Moclin. Beautiful views all the way.

I cannot for the life of me figure out how you guys got to that river crossing, following the camino, I crossed it in Olivares, right at the spot where the unfriendly (at least to me) bar is located. It was probably the toughest stage, from Granada to Moclín, at least IMO. I didn't arrive in Moclín till about 4 pm, but luckily the castle opened up in the afternoon. The fact that you arrived at 4:30 suggests you didn't lose too many kms in detours. I left Granada at about 6:30, had a long break in Pinos Puente, and then another in Olivares.

I've looked through wikiloc.com and see that there are LOTS of differences in tracks on the stage from Pinos Puente to Moclín. I am pretty sure this is the route I took, because you can see the spot at which it loops up rather than hang left on the road (the GR-3413) right into Moclín. https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/camino-mozarabe-2-pinos-puente-moclin-6919742

This is a track that took the left turn onto the road into Olivares, which mean a few kms fewer than me and also avoiding what was an ascent up through olive groves and then down in to Moclín. https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trai...santiago-mozarabe-pinos-puente-moclin-5799782

But you must have done something totally different. I can't find any wikiloc tracs that cross the river before Olivares, but surely there must be some if both you and Joe thought you were on the Camino when you did it.

This would be a good stage for future Mozárabe peregrinos to pay attention to!
By the way, can I read about Jpflavin's stage somewhere? I searched on his name on the Forum but I didn't find anything about this...

BP
 
#67
Ok, I see it. I went further down the N432 - to a roundabout... And there were arrows... And it is not an alternative for cyclists, I can assure... So from the very first start, I did not follow what wikiloc shows. I think it was the staff in the bar in Pinos puente that pointed me that way. In every junction there were arrows. I think NO pilgrim would want to follow that way, they should hide the arrows in my opinion!!!
Ok, future Mozárabe pilgrims, know that the proper departure from Pinos Puente is not on the N-432, but rather up to the top of town and out past some agricultural installations and, I think, grain elevators.

BP, Joe had told me that via WhatsApp. He had to jump a couple of days ahead, and so he was sending back very helpful information in real time. He will probably be back on the forum at some point and I will make sure to ask him.
 
#68
By the way, can I read about Jpflavin's stage somewhere? I searched on his name on the Forum but I didn't find anything about this...

BP
Here's his whatsapp message. It sounds exactly like what you did:

After Pinos Puente, we walked the rural route through fields barely a pathway. We then had to cross a knee high stream about half way to Olivares.
We were to the left of the road
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#69
Yes that sounds familiar. It has to be even harder crossing that stream in spring! I wish that alternative to be forgotten once and for all.......
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#70
STAGE 11 MOCLÍN - ALCALÁ LA REAL July 2

After a good night's sleep I was ready to face the stage to Alcalá la Real, a stage of 25 kms, more or less. The first km went downhill from Moclín, to a carretera where I could see no arrow.

There certainly was a rock at the opposite side of the road with a yellow blob on it, which could be interpreted as an arrow, if one used all the efforts of the human imagination. After having studied this postmodern work of art for a good while, I decided it could be taken for an arrow. Ok. I followed it to the left for about a hundred meters... Up and down a small dry riverbed, walking on the edge of an olive grove, and then the path disappeared into the woods (or whatever). That is: the Camino looked as if it was inviting me to repeat the Stage of Death from the day before. No way. I was sure I would have to climb a mountain, swim through a river and be chased by wolves in there. I also thought the map said I should not turn left at all: everytime I crossed a carretera I should turn right. So finally I took the carretera to the right... Big mistake. This added at least one hour of walking in the morning.

When I finally joined the Camino, at Parrales de Santamaria, it was time for the next misfortune. After following the national road for a few hundred meters, the camino turns left, uphill, among olive groves, apparently to save the pilgrims from a wide curve of the road. Well of course I ended up in the olive groves and I don't know how... I had to use my internet roaming device thing because I was really in the middle of nowhere. My cellphone warned me with messages like Are you crazy?? This will cost you a h*ll lotta money! And I was like I don't CARE, just tell me where I am!! I had to draw a straight line from where I was to get to the Cooperativa San Antonio, or to a road that seemed to take me there. The olives were growing on a hill so I basically had to repeat the climbing from the day before and then push through some thick grass and bushes to get to a road. There was no path whatsoever and I could barely get through without my clothes being ripped apart. It was a relief to finally emerge on a road. But I had to use the roaming GPS thing for a good while before I saw a yellow arrow again.

After this I told myself to NEVER leave the asphalt again. But when the Camino left the highway to reach Ermita Nueva, I thought there might be a bar there... And there was, but it looked as if it had been closed since 1986 or something. Well there was a fountain, so I had a break there and wondered if I would ever get to Alcalá la Real alive, as I would get lost several times a day!

The rest of the stage was easier. But a few kms outsider Alcalá, the arrows disappeared. The map told me to cross the highway, jump over a dirty, muddy ditch... And the path dissolved into a field. Oh no, never. I stayed on the road to Alcalá, no matter how much the truckdrivers would honk at me to get me out of the way. Strangely enough, the last hundred meters before Alcalá the arrows appeared again. Was I on the right track all along? By now I was growing increasingly irritated with the waymarking, ever since leaving Granada... But anyway, I was in Alcalá la Real.

I stayed in the hostal Tierra de Frontera. They make their own beer! I am not that fond of beer, but connoisseurs surely want to visit this place. They had the kitchen going already when I arrived. Large tanks were boiling and steaming as in a nuclear plant... Before I understood that it was a brewery, I thought they were preparing the world's largest dinner in those tanks! A really quiet place, just a five minutes walk from the center of Alcalá. I think it could get lively though, if one would coincide with groups of hikers or ciclists who would occupy the rooms... and go through the beer supply all night long...!

Coming up next : Alcaudete!

BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#71
STAGE 11 MOCLÍN - ALCALÁ LA REAL July 2

After a good night's sleep I was ready to face the stage to Alcalá la Real, a stage of 25 kms, more or less. The first km went downhill from Moclín, to a carretera where I could see no arrow.

There certainly was a rock at the opposite side of the road with a yellow blob on it, which could be interpreted as an arrow, if one used all the efforts of the human imagination. After having studied this postmodern work of art for a good while, I decided it could be taken for an arrow. Ok. I followed it to the left for about a hundred meters... Up and down a small dry riverbed, walking on the edge of an olive grove, and then the path disappeared into the woods (or whatever). That is: the Camino looked as if it was inviting me to repeat the Stage of Death from the day before. No way. I was sure I would have to climb a mountain, swim through a river and be chased by wolves in there. I also thought the map said I should not turn left at all: everytime I crossed a carretera I should turn right. So finally I took the carretera to the right... Big mistake. This added at least one hour of walking in the morning.

When I finally joined the Camino, at Parrales de Santamaria, it was time for the next misfortune. After following the national road for a few hundred meters, the camino turns left, uphill, among olive groves, apparently to save the pilgrims from a wide curve of the road. Well of course I ended up in the olive groves and I don't know how... I had to use my internet roaming device thing because I was really in the middle of nowhere. My cellphone warned me with messages like Are you crazy?? This will cost you a h*ll lotta money! And I was like I don't CARE, just tell me where I am!! I had to draw a straight line from where I was to get to the Cooperativa San Antonio, or to a road that seemed to take me there. The olives were growing on a hill so I basically had to repeat the climbing from the day before and then push through some thick grass and bushes to get to a road. There was no path whatsoever and I could barely get through without my clothes being ripped apart. It was a relief to finally emerge on a road. But I had to use the roaming GPS thing for a good while before I saw a yellow arrow again.

After this I told myself to NEVER leave the asphalt again. But when the Camino left the highway to reach Ermita Nueva, I thought there might be a bar there... And there was, but it looked as if it had been closed since 1986 or something. Well there was a fountain, so I had a break there and wondered if I would ever get to Alcalá la Real alive, as I would get lost several times a day!

The rest of the stage was easier. But a few kms outsider Alcalá, the arrows disappeared. The map told me to cross the highway, jump over a dirty, muddy ditch... And the path dissolved into a field. Oh no, never. I stayed on the road to Alcalá, no matter how much the truckdrivers would honk at me to get me out of the way. Strangely enough, the last hundred meters before Alcalá the arrows appeared again. Was I on the right track all along? By now I was growing increasingly irritated with the waymarking, ever since leaving Granada... But anyway, I was in Alcalá la Real.

I stayed in the hostal Tierra de Frontera. They make their own beer! I am not that fond of beer, but connoisseurs surely want to visit this place. They had the kitchen going already when I arrived. Large tanks were boiling and steaming as in a nuclear plant... Before I understood that it was a brewery, I thought they were preparing the world's largest dinner in those tanks! A really quiet place, just a five minutes walk from the center of Alcalá. I think it could get lively though, if one would coincide with groups of hikers or ciclists who would occupy the rooms... and go through the beer supply all night long...!

Coming up next : Alcaudete!

BP
From my armchair, well done to you!
 
#72
STAGE 11 MOCLÍN - ALCALÁ LA REAL July 2

After a good night's sleep I was ready to face the stage to Alcalá la Real, a stage of 25 kms, more or less. The first km went downhill from Moclín, to a carretera where I could see no arrow.

There certainly was a rock at the opposite side of the road with a yellow blob on it, which could be interpreted as an arrow, if one used all the efforts of the human imagination. After having studied this postmodern work of art for a good while, I decided it could be taken for an arrow. Ok. I followed it to the left for about a hundred meters... Up and down a small dry riverbed, walking on the edge of an olive grove, and then the path disappeared into the woods (or whatever). That is: the Camino looked as if it was inviting me to repeat the Stage of Death from the day before. No way. I was sure I would have to climb a mountain, swim through a river and be chased by wolves in there. I also thought the map said I should not turn left at all: everytime I crossed a carretera I should turn right. So finally I took the carretera to the right... Big mistake. This added at least one hour of walking in the morning.

When I finally joined the Camino, at Parrales de Santamaria, it was time for the next misfortune. After following the national road for a few hundred meters, the camino turns left, uphill, among olive groves, apparently to save the pilgrims from a wide curve of the road. Well of course I ended up in the olive groves and I don't know how... I had to use my internet roaming device thing because I was really in the middle of nowhere. My cellphone warned me with messages like Are you crazy?? This will cost you a h*ll lotta money! And I was like I don't CARE, just tell me where I am!! I had to draw a straight line from where I was to get to the Cooperativa San Antonio, or to a road that seemed to take me there. The olives were growing on a hill so I basically had to repeat the climbing from the day before and then push through some thick grass and bushes to get to a road. There was no path whatsoever and I could barely get through without my clothes being ripped apart. It was a relief to finally emerge on a road. But I had to use the roaming GPS thing for a good while before I saw a yellow arrow again.

After this I told myself to NEVER leave the asphalt again. But when the Camino left the highway to reach Ermita Nueva, I thought there might be a bar there... And there was, but it looked as if it had been closed since 1986 or something. Well there was a fountain, so I had a break there and wondered if I would ever get to Alcalá la Real alive, as I would get lost several times a day!

The rest of the stage was easier. But a few kms outsider Alcalá, the arrows disappeared. The map told me to cross the highway, jump over a dirty, muddy ditch... And the path dissolved into a field. Oh no, never. I stayed on the road to Alcalá, no matter how much the truckdrivers would honk at me to get me out of the way. Strangely enough, the last hundred meters before Alcalá the arrows appeared again. Was I on the right track all along? By now I was growing increasingly irritated with the waymarking, ever since leaving Granada... But anyway, I was in Alcalá la Real.

I stayed in the hostal Tierra de Frontera. They make their own beer! I am not that fond of beer, but connoisseurs surely want to visit this place. They had the kitchen going already when I arrived. Large tanks were boiling and steaming as in a nuclear plant... Before I understood that it was a brewery, I thought they were preparing the world's largest dinner in those tanks! A really quiet place, just a five minutes walk from the center of Alcalá. I think it could get lively though, if one would coincide with groups of hikers or ciclists who would occupy the rooms... and go through the beer supply all night long...!

Coming up next : Alcaudete!

BP
Ok, BP, you have now convinced me that a GPS on this route makes all the difference. You are having way too many “stages from hell”. At least more than I would enjoy! I know you are days beyond this now, but every potential Mozárabe pilgrim should know it doesn’t have to be so hard. You just have to wimp out and get a GPS and those stages through the olive groves will be heavenly!
 

Bad Pilgrim

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Camino(s) past & future
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#73
STAGE 12 ALCALÁ LA REAL - ALCAUDETE July 3

Only problem today was to leave Tierra de Frontera, the brewery-gone-albergue. The owner had told me to leave the keys in the letterbox... I went in circles for a good while in the morning since I couldn't find the box...! Ok, so I left the keys in the door of my room. Then I wandered downhill, only to see that the gates were closed... So, walk back uphills, get the keys from the door, walk down to the gates again... And then no key seemed to match. I couldn't get out of there! It was like a fortress. I was thinking about climbing the gates, it would not be impossible, but cumbersome. Without much hope, after at least fifteen minutes of worrying, I went through the different keys one last time just to be sure... And the gates flew open. It was just a matter of working one of the locks. Those people are really protective of their beer... Cause the whole place was like a gated community. But good though! I don't have anything bad to say about the albergue itself. It was the first place since I started walking where I could put my clothes in a washing machine, thank god.......

Between Alcalá and Alcaudete, no water, no food... Except for some wild, delicious cherries growing just outside Alcalá. Now, people yell about La Peza - Quéntar as being a long stage without supplies along the way, but there are actually more of that kind on the Mozárabe, albeit not as physically challenging as La Peza - Quéntar.

I reached Alcaudete quite early so I did some additional walking in the city center, some sightseeing, and relaxing, before I headed towards my hostal Spa Rueda. A regular hostal I guess. I didn't venture to visit the castle, but I went for a long walk in the afternoon, deliberately loosing my way amongst the small streets around the city center. I really liked that place! I felt very relaxed in Alcaudete and I don't know why. It wasn't that hot in the afternoon so strangely enough I could move outside and discover the town instead of hiding from the heat inside as is usually the case.

I had a long conversation with one of the owners of the hostal who said that this summer would be less hot than previous years. Last year was horrible, she said, and she was convinced that it is the reason there have been so few pilgrims in June and July: the word has spread, from last year, that it is not worth a try. And she has been right about the weather: writing this (I am in Hinojosa del Duque now), it may be hot, but still no heatwave. And I can freely go for a walk in the afternoon, say around 4 pm, without too much suffering...!

I hope it stays that way...!

/BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
#74
Wow! I have just found this thread again and read the lot since I posted ages ago! What an informative thread! So much so between your detailed posts and Laurie’s detailed omments, that I will copy the link into my Mozarabe planning folder to study when preparing for the Mozarabe next year.

Being somewhat older than you I particularly appreciate the fact that you try to keep your stages well below 30 km.

Thank you for making the effort of posting so much detail and you, Laurie, for your helpful comments!

Buen camino, Bad Pilgrim!

Ina
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#75
Thanks Ina, I have really tried to keep the stages around 20 kms. I have followed the stages in the guidebook, they are all 20-25 kms, with a few exceptions. I have just done one of 36 kms, but it is possible to make it shorter! And I have one of 39 kms coming up in a few days, but it is possible to divide it in two! So don't let the distances scare you!

Laurie's experience is invaluable, I know! I will write about Baena tomorrow, where she gave me some suggestions.

I am glad to hear you are planning to walk the Mozárabe next year. Although I would not advice you to go in summer... Ok I just wrote that it wasn't as hot as expected, BUT still, it is difficult to walk - and to sleep... All I do is hunt down hostales that have AC...!!

See you!

BP
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
#76
Well, I walked the Camino de Torres last year which joins the interior Portugues - two weeks at temperatures of 37 C - and I survived. Have never been in an albergue/hostal/hotel with AC.

I intend to walk the Mozarabe in May. Am quite good at using taxis to pick me up half way one stage and take me back the following day to where they picked me up.

I followed Laurie and Maggie on their walks, now following you, and am getting quite excited....

As you say, see you, or rather read you!

Ina
 

jpflavin1

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#77
DAY 10 STAGE FROM HELL July 1

I had failed to find the way out of Granada the day before, but I was luckier in the morning. Go to Plaza de Europa and then to the next roundabout where the walk to Maracena begins. Maracena is pretty much a suburb to Granada but a pueblo in its own right. Already here, I noticed that the waymarks began to deteriorate. No big deal, I just had to be extra cautious when walking through Maracena, and then Atarfe a few kms later. Breakfast in Atarfe: all good so far. Right after leaving the center of Atarfe, though, there is a dreadful industrial area that transforms into a single road, on asphalt, that runs forever and ever next to the railway. So all the way from Granada to Pinos Puente it is 19 kms on tarmac. I actually don't mind this kind of terrain, it never makes my feet hurt. But after nearly 20 kms, and a large part of it in a straight line... It was a bit monotonous. When sipping on a café con leche in a bar in Pinos Puente, I thought: I hope there is more of a country walk to Moclín, because I am quite tired of the tarmac now.

Beware of what you wish.

I had decided to go to Moclín the same day, which would make about 35 kms in all. I was well aware of that, and of the steep climb up to Moclín at the end of the stage. But from Pinos Puente to Moclín there would be "only" 13 kms. I thought I would be in Moclín in the blink of an eye. There would also be another pueblo, Olivares, after nine kms.

I left Pinos Puente on the carretera, more asphalt, ok. Then the track veered off to a country road, just as I had hoped. For some km I walked next to an irrigation canal, on my left. Then hell broke loose.

First, the arrows led me into some heavy bushes, a path that was totally overgrown. By now there was the canal to my left, and a small river to my right (but it was getting wider and wider). With this amount of water, the vegetation must grow easily in summer. Perhaps you can get through in April or May : I tell you, the grass was higher than my head. I couldn't see where to put my feet and for some time I walked on just by intuition. The carretera was barred from access because of the river that was running on my right side.

Sure, it only lasted for a few hundred meters, then there was a bridge that could have taken me over the river to the carretera - I wish I had taken the opportunity. But you want to follow the arrows, right...?

After walking in the jungle, the arrows took me to a field with olive groves. I had to slide around in the sand, there was nowhere else to put my feet. By now it was midday heat and I began to panic as I didn't know how long I would have to "walk" in the sand.

Then I had to cross the stream on my right. This further slowed me down. Remove shoes, remove socks. Walking ON STONES with your bare feet. Waiting for your feet to dry before puttning on shoes and socks. (After the walk in the jungle, my socks and shoes looked like hedgehogs so I had to spend an eternity to remove each and everyone of the sticks in them).

At least this brought me nearer the road on my right side. The Camino eventually crossed the road. But you STILL want to follow the arrows, right? So now I changed to the countryside on the right side of the carretera. The arrows took me straight up a hill, that became steeper and steeper until I couldn't go any further. The path wanted me to climb some kind of hill but it would be a suicide mission for anyone, especially with a backpack. I searched for some alternative way to continue and I still had to literally CLIMB to get up that hill. Half-way up I thought my heart would snap, and I never felt that on any Camino. This was not Walking uphills, this was CLIMBING. And I dare you to tell me that those arrows do not point in that direction...! Ok, at the point when I was in the midst of the climbing, when I said my heart would snap, there was no arrow. But there were several ones guiding me up that hill.

When I got to the summit - by crawling on hands and knees and where falling backwards would have broken my neck - and on to a new road amongst the olive groves, there was a bumper sticker, half torn away, on a sign. I drew the conclusion I should turn left. I could see a town a few kms away, to which the road descended. It is just that neither the climb, nor this long descent, figured on my map. I was therefore sure that this town couldn't be Olivares. I decided to go there anyway because after the climbing in the heat I was beaten. Running around up there searching for Olivares would have killed me. I just had to reach some sort of village, anyone would do.

To my great surprise, the yellow arrows appeared as I walked downhill. From where??? Apparently I had followed the Camino. Which surprised me, because half of the Mozarabe pilgrims would be dead by now if they had followed the same way as me. At the same time I was increasingly irritated over the fact that those changes in elevation, to put it mildly, didn't figure on the map???

In Olivares, I dragged myself into the first bar to order something to drink. In the bar there were ten to twelve men screaming at each other. There was no TV or music that made them do this: they were screaming instead of talking. I couldn't stand it so I ran away and luckily found a deserted bar in the center of the village, where I could get some rest.

I was only a few kms away from Moclín so I had to finish the stage. Now the afternoon was approaching and it got even hotter. When leaving Olivares the road splits in two. I inspected the spot but didn't see any arrows. So I took to the left. I walked 100% uphills (again) for at least half an hour, until I saw a town on the other side of the mountain. It made me suspicious as I felt I was walking in the direction that I came from. So I walked down again to the split and when looking closely I saw an arrow. I should have gone right. So this added another extra hour upphill-downhill to the stage. I thought that my five-year-old niece could have done a better jobb painting the arrows on this stage. (That was the least evil thing I said to myself this day. I prefer not to tell you the rest, or the moderators on the Forum will have a very busy day.)

The same was true for the mountain part on the way to Moclín. When there are four different paths crossing in all directions in front of you - who paints an arrow that just points somewhere up in the sky? I spent even more time up there looking for which path was the right one. Once I got to a wider road it was pretty obvious where to go, ok. But when a sign said Moclín 1.8 kms, it might as well have said 18 kms, I didn't care anymore. By now it was 4. 30 pm and I had been walking since 6 am.

Luckily I knew where the owner of the Casa Rural kept the key so I could walk right into the Casa when I arrived. What a relief. An enormous house with all the facilities. But all I could think of was to lay down and rest, to prevent the effects of a heat stroke. At least Moclín was some kind of reward as I really liked the pueblo, the bar and the casa rural... The owner came over later and gave me some info about Moclín and of the stage next day. The town is small so I met him again in the bar and we could keep on chatting about the camino. I watched some of the football in the bar, ate a heavy dinner and slept like a log until next morning...

To be continued

BP

BP:

As I left Pinos Puente there were two options. One was the main road (to the right and up) and the other was a dirt path straight ahead. Both had arrows. I followed the dirt path and soon was walking through grassy knee high fields (where the path was barely discernible), along a canal. After a control point on the canal I walked through some more grassy fields which turned to small Olive groves. Continued walking up and down small hills while paralleling the stream to the right. After a while, I came to a farm equipment trail which led to the stream. I walked around for a short while looking for a crossing point but could not find one. The stream was about 15 meters wide and moving quickly. Not knowing the depth or bottom I decided to cross with shoes on for traction. I crossed fairly easily but it was thigh high.

From that point, I went up the hill and across the road. Following the arrows I seemed to be paralleling the road but getting higher up. I decided to climb down to the road. After a short while, the arrows appeared agin and I wandered through Olive groves until finally arriving in Olivares. Stopped at the first bar and enjoyed an ice tea in the outside area.

It was a very hot day and the seemingly never-ending 4k climb to Moclin ended about 90 minutes later.
IMO, the toughest day on the Mozarabe.

Joe
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#79
BP:

As I left Pinos Puente there were two options. One was the main road (to the right and up) and the other was a dirt path straight ahead. Both had arrows. I followed the dirt path and soon was walking through grassy knee high fields (where the path was barely discernible), along a canal. After a control point on the canal I walked through some more grassy fields which turned to small Olive groves. Continued walking up and down small hills while paralleling the stream to the right. After a while, I came to a farm equipment trail which led to the stream. I walked around for a short while looking for a crossing point but could not find one. The stream was about 15 meters wide and moving quickly. Not knowing the depth or bottom I decided to cross with shoes on for traction. I crossed fairly easily but it was thigh high.

From that point, I went up the hill and across the road. Following the arrows I seemed to be paralleling the road but getting higher up. I decided to climb down to the road. After a short while, the arrows appeared agin and I wandered through Olive groves until finally arriving in Olivares. Stopped at the first bar and enjoyed an ice tea in the outside area.

It was a very hot day and the seemingly never-ending 4k climb to Moclin ended about 90 minutes later.
IMO, the toughest day on the Mozarabe.

Joe
Ok, I think we both went the same way! Except that you decided to climb down to the road, as you say. That was a wise thing to do! And as for the stream, I can imagine it being wider when you were there. I had to walk through it as well, and it was still wide, but the water only reached my ankles. Yes the last kms uphills to Moclín were really though. As you just read, I went the wrong way down in Olivares, to start with, and I wasn't happy about the waymarks to Moclín either, but I guess that is just me...
 
#80
Ok, I think we both went the same way! Except that you decided to climb down to the road, as you say. That was a wise thing to do! And as for the stream, I can imagine it being wider when you were there. I had to walk through it as well, and it was still wide, but the water only reached my ankles. Yes the last kms uphills to Moclín were really though. As you just read, I went the wrong way down in Olivares, to start with, and I wasn't happy about the waymarks to Moclín either, but I guess that is just me...
Well I don’t want to brag to my two good buddies, but my walk from Granada to Moclin was really manageable and on clear trail the whole time. :) I say this for people going in the future and not to rub it in. I would highly recommend the route I followed, which is posted in #64 on this thread.
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#81
ALCAUDETE - BAENA July 4

Another 25-ish stage among the olive groves... Punctuated by the lake Salobral, to which the path amongst the olive groves descended. A beautiful view! Already at a distance, I could make out groups of birds or single ones of different kinds and colors, all of them having a splash under the morning sun. I wish I could have joined them! But Mundicamino.com had advised me to walk silently around the lake in order not to disturb the animals... Well I did my best. This was the only time I got a bit lost during the day: when you arrive at the lake, you should walk to the right so that you have the lake at your left side when you are rounding it.

Baena: nice town, reminiscent of Alcaudete that I had just left. Laurie had told me about a hotel on the way into town, but... It must be closed? It was on my right side, a large sign saying Hotel, but nothing there. There was a small patio, locked up and empty. I backtracked a few meters to see if I had missed the entrance - no sign of it. What do you think, Laurie? Unfortunately I can't give you its name: the large sign only said Hotel.

So I walked up the hills, getting nearer the new-old castle (in ruins, next to some restaurated parts) to the 10-euros albergue. I guess it is what you can expect for 10 euros: bunk beds, a shower... And nothing else. As usual, I was the only one there. But I knew that Baena is the merging point of other variants of the Mozárabe: there could be people showing up later during the day.

I didn't have my usual nap, since the walk that day hadn't been so hard... And because my very basic albergue didn't exactly invite me to take a siesta. I spent time in the town instead!

The albergue is situated up on the hill, so once I got down in the town's center, I remained there, instead of running up and down that hill... I spent quite a while writing on this Forum, for example, and tried to catch up on the stage to come. When I got back in the evening, still no company. I went to bed early.

I was half awaked by rumbling noises and the voices of people entering the hall... At 23:30 pm, in the dark! The hospitalero showed someone in, and they were quite boisterous. But as soon as they realized I was in one of the bunk beds, they lowered their voices, at least. It was a hospitalero, and a lone pilgrim, who put down his stuff, then shut the door and went out in the hall again to keep talking to the hospitalero. And... I went back to sleep, so I didn't even had time to say Hello to him!! Bad pilgrim... And he sure was quiet, because he didn't wake me up or anything when he went through his stuff in the dormitory before going to sleep... At least I didn't hear anything. Oh well, I thought I could introduce myself to this gentleman the following morning instead, so I would be a Polite pilgrim just for once. But... Once again, my plans were thwarted! How...? That is all explained in the next chapter...

Don't miss it!

BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,Portuguese 16,Finisterre Muxia 16,Ingles16,, Almeria to Muxia,Finesterre 18
#83
Well I don’t want to brag to my two good buddies, but my walk from Granada to Moclin was really manageable and on clear trail the whole time. :) I say this for people going in the future and not to rub it in. I would highly recommend the route I followed, which is posted in #64 on this thread.
Yes ,i agree,,seemed much easier for me too in april
 
#84
ALCAUDETE - BAENA July 4

Baena: nice town, reminiscent of Alcaudete that I had just left. Laurie had told me about a hotel on the way into town, but... It must be closed? It was on my right side, a large sign saying Hotel, but nothing there.

There was a small patio, locked up and empty. I backtracked a few meters to see if I had missed the entrance - no sign of it. What do you think, Laurie? Unfortunately I can't give you its name: the large sign only said Hotel.
BP
Oh no, BP. I am on my phone now so I can’t put in some sad faces. You were at the back door entrance of the Hotel. That’s where deliveries and bicycles go in. The front door is right around the corner, and the hotel faces that very lovely park. So sorry you missed it; at 25€ for a nice private room with great bath, it is quite a bargain. Name is Hotel Casa Grande.
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#85
Oh no, BP. I am on my phone now so I can’t put in some sad faces. You were at the back door entrance of the Hotel. That’s where deliveries and bicycles go in. The front door is right around the corner, and the hotel faces that very lovely park. So sorry you missed it; at 25€ for a nice private room with great bath, it is quite a bargain. Name is Hotel Casa Grande.
Dang! But don't worry: I wasn't determined to stay there, I thought I would just look out for it to see what it was like, then perhaps stay. :0)
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#87
Where are you now, anyway? Why don't you jump up to today and fill in the other days when you get home? Much more fun to read when it's live, that's my unsolicited opinion anyway. :p
Yes I understand. But I would never keep it up to date, anyway... As you can see I only write every other day, so I would still fall behind...!

I am in Castuero now. The hotel Los Naranjos is splendid! I have reserved a casa Rural in Magacela for tomorrow, 15 euros. These last stages before Mérida... I have to leave the stages that the Association suggests and make up the etapas myself, so I can shorten them. But I am approaching my goal!

I have had second thoughts about continuing to the Invierno after Mérida. I don't know if I am done walking, or if I should grab a bus and go to Ponferrada.......

BP
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#88
Oh no, BP. I am on my phone now so I can’t put in some sad faces. You were at the back door entrance of the Hotel. That’s where deliveries and bicycles go in. The front door is right around the corner, and the hotel faces that very lovely park. So sorry you missed it; at 25€ for a nice private room with great bath, it is quite a bargain. Name is Hotel Casa Grande.
Hahahahahaha, I just can't help not to laugh at this and BP's bad luck. I guess it goes with the moniker ;)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#89
Yes I understand. But I would never keep it up to date, anyway... As you can see I only write every other day, so I would still fall behind...!

I am in Castuero now. The hotel Los Naranjos is splendid! I have reserved a casa Rural in Magacela for tomorrow, 15 euros. These last stages before Mérida... I have to leave the stages that the Association suggests and make up the etapas myself, so I can shorten them. But I am approaching my goal!

I have had second thoughts about continuing to the Invierno after Mérida. I don't know if I am done walking, or if I should grab a bus and go to Ponferrada.......

BP
Oh, you DO want to walk Invierno, BP!!! :D
 
#90
Yes I understand. But I would never keep it up to date, anyway... As you can see I only write every other day, so I would still fall behind...!

I am in Castuero now. The hotel Los Naranjos is splendid! I have reserved a casa Rural in Magacela for tomorrow, 15 euros. These last stages before Mérida... I have to leave the stages that the Association suggests and make up the etapas myself, so I can shorten them. But I am approaching my goal!

I have had second thoughts about continuing to the Invierno after Mérida. I don't know if I am done walking, or if I should grab a bus and go to Ponferrada.......

BP
Well, far be it from me to give you an opinion on whether you are done walking. BUT if you decide to continue .... the Invierno is really beautiful. You can do short stages, soak up all the culture and history you have room for, enjoy gorgeous scenery, and drink lots of fabulous local wine.

My unsolicited advice: If you do decide to walk the Invierno, make your Day 1 either Borrenes (pension) or Villavieja (albergue). Then stroll on in to As Medulas the next day and spend some time visiting the interpretation centers, walking up to the gorgeous lookout point at Orellan, and pay a euro to go walking through the Roman channels built to blow up the insides of the mountains so they would disgorge their gold.
But back to the Mozarabe -- I have a vague memory that Maggie stayed in the casa rural in Magacela, and I think I remember that it is not in the old upper town. Read her blog here -- https://magwood.me/2018/05/06/camino-mozarabe-stage-23-castuera-to-magacela-35-km/

But that's a 35 km day, so you could always stop in Campanario if you want shorter. If you do, the Pension Malay was probably the worst place I have stayed, and I think the train station albergue is quite nice.

Hang in there, BP!!
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#91
Hahahahahaha, I just can't help not to laugh at this and BP's bad luck. I guess it goes with the moniker ;)
It is Karma... My past bad deeds and acts!! :0(
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#94
Well, far be it from me to give you an opinion on whether you are done walking. BUT if you decide to continue .... the Invierno is really beautiful. You can do short stages, soak up all the culture and history you have room for, enjoy gorgeous scenery, and drink lots of fabulous local wine.

My unsolicited advice: If you do decide to walk the Invierno, make your Day 1 either Borrenes (pension) or Villavieja (albergue). Then stroll on in to As Medulas the next day and spend some time visiting the interpretation centers, walking up to the gorgeous lookout point at Orellan, and pay a euro to go walking through the Roman channels built to blow up the insides of the mountains so they would disgorge their gold.
But back to the Mozarabe -- I have a vague memory that Maggie stayed in the casa rural in Magacela, and I think I remember that it is not in the old upper town. Read her blog here -- https://magwood.me/2018/05/06/camino-mozarabe-stage-23-castuera-to-magacela-35-km/

But that's a 35 km day, so you could always stop in Campanario if you want shorter. If you do, the Pension Malay was probably the worst place I have stayed, and I think the train station albergue is quite nice.

Hang in there, BP!!
Yees exactly my plan: I will see what to do when I reach Campanario! I am still not used to those 35k stages...
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#95
Why second thoughts at only 37 y/o??? ;)
You are right K1: I have so many years left for sinful living and bad behavior...! X0D
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#96
Well, far be it from me to give you an opinion on whether you are done walking. BUT if you decide to continue .... the Invierno is really beautiful. You can do short stages, soak up all the culture and history you have room for, enjoy gorgeous scenery, and drink lots of fabulous local wine.

My unsolicited advice: If you do decide to walk the Invierno, make your Day 1 either Borrenes (pension) or Villavieja (albergue). Then stroll on in to As Medulas the next day and spend some time visiting the interpretation centers, walking up to the gorgeous lookout point at Orellan, and pay a euro to go walking through the Roman channels built to blow up the insides of the mountains so they would disgorge their gold.
But back to the Mozarabe -- I have a vague memory that Maggie stayed in the casa rural in Magacela, and I think I remember that it is not in the old upper town. Read her blog here -- https://magwood.me/2018/05/06/camino-mozarabe-stage-23-castuera-to-magacela-35-km/

But that's a 35 km day, so you could always stop in Campanario if you want shorter. If you do, the Pension Malay was probably the worst place I have stayed, and I think the train station albergue is quite nice.

Hang in there, BP!!
... I have read Magwood's account of the stage now: I will stay at the same place if I ever get to Magacela. I am forever thankful for her blog, I read it whenever I am uncertain about a stage, particularly the distances.

And I appreciate the photos of a landscape in full bloom... Which I don't see much of now...!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#97
All I can say reading this last exchange is :D:D:D.
Never mind the past karma, BP. You can't change it anyway. Keep making good karma and you'll be fine in the end. And the Invierno by way of purification sounds just the ticket.;)
Buen Camino, wherever you go. I'm really enjoying the live updates, thank you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
#98
I followed Magwood and her long stages. If you lengthen yours now, I will have to work out my own shorter ones for 2019. Oh! oh! Never mind! I enjoy your posts and they provide important info for my planning. So, buen camino!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#99
BAENA - CASTRO DEL RÍO July 5

When I left the albergue next morning, the other pilgrim was still asleep. No wonder, as he must have gone to bed around midnight! I assumed he came on a bike, as cyclists sometimes arrive late. But there was no bike inside or outside the albergue. Mystery Pilgrim...! I concluded that he was walking after all, but that he must do some crazy long stages to arrive so late...! I was also sure that I wouldn't meet him again. He was probably in his early 20's and looked fit enough to do stages longer than my own deplorable 20 kms/day. As he was sleeping like a log, I didn't exactly wake him up to say farewell.

I wanted to have breakfast at the modern and spacious café I had found the day before in the town's center: its tagline being El primero del día, The first one of the day. To be open, I assumed. The thing is that it was closed when I arrived in the morning, with virtually EVERY other smaller café around it being opened before...! Beware of how you promote your business. They should call it The LAST one of the day... !

There were only 20 kms to Río del Castro. There would be another albergue like the one in Baena but I had already booked a room in the hostal A Ka La Sole, just because I heard it mentioned among some earlier Mozárabers (Mozárabs?) on this Forum.

I don't recall much of the scenery... I suppose it was mostly olive groves. And there was no other town between Baena and Río del Castro.

The arrows take you straight to the albergue which is on the old square with the church, so it is easy to find if you want to stay there. I was sure Mystery Pilgrim from yesterday wouldn't stay there either: he would surely keep walking all day long. A Ka La Sole is at the far end of town, so it is a walk of about ten minutes if you want to get back to the town's center again. But the hostal was ok. Being far away from the busy center means it is also very quiet, which I appreciate.

Unfortunately the people at the hostal were pretty, uhm, cold. During my whole stay, they wouldn't say anything to me except the most necessary. Here are the keys, here is the room, see you later, bye... The owners was the usual constellation, I think, with a married couple running the hostal and the bar, together with their son. Only the wife would give me one or two smiles while bringing me the dinner, otherwise I didn't get much attention. Oh I don't care, it just struck me as odd, compared to the other places where I have stayed.

I had a peaceful afternoon in Rio del Castro, knowing that I would do another short stage the following day to Santa Cruz. Mundicamino.com wanted me to do a crazy stage of 40 kms to reach Córdoba the next day already: No way, José! By staying in Santa Cruz I would divide that stage in two. No more 40 kms, please! I am not Mystery Pilgrim - just Bad Pilgrim.

/BP
 
BAENA - CASTRO DEL RÍO July 5

When I left the albergue next morning, the other pilgrim was still asleep. No wonder, as he must have gone to bed around midnight! I assumed he came on a bike, as cyclists sometimes arrive late. But there was no bike inside or outside the albergue. Mystery Pilgrim...! I concluded that he was walking after all, but that he must do some crazy long stages to arrive so late...! I was also sure that I wouldn't meet him again. He was probably in his early 20's and looked fit enough to do stages longer than my own deplorable 20 kms/day. As he was sleeping like a log, I didn't exactly wake him up to say farewell.

I wanted to have breakfast at the modern and spacious café I had found the day before in the town's center: its tagline being El primero del día, The first one of the day. To be open, I assumed. The thing is that it was closed when I arrived in the morning, with virtually EVERY other smaller café around it being opened before...! Beware of how you promote your business. They should call it The LAST one of the day... !

There were only 20 kms to Río del Castro. There would be another albergue like the one in Baena but I had already booked a room in the hostal A Ka La Sole, just because I heard it mentioned among some earlier Mozárabers (Mozárabs?) on this Forum.

I don't recall much of the scenery... I suppose it was mostly olive groves. And there was no other town between Baena and Río del Castro.

The arrows take you straight to the albergue which is on the old square with the church, so it is easy to find if you want to stay there. I was sure Mystery Pilgrim from yesterday wouldn't stay there either: he would surely keep walking all day long. A Ka La Sole is at the far end of town, so it is a walk of about ten minutes if you want to get back to the town's center again. But the hostal was ok. Being far away from the busy center means it is also very quiet, which I appreciate.

Unfortunately the people at the hostal were pretty, uhm, cold. During my whole stay, they wouldn't say anything to me except the most necessary. Here are the keys, here is the room, see you later, bye... The owners was the usual constellation, I think, with a married couple running the hostal and the bar, together with their son. Only the wife would give me one or two smiles while bringing me the dinner, otherwise I didn't get much attention. Oh I don't care, it just struck me as odd, compared to the other places where I have stayed.

I had a peaceful afternoon in Rio del Castro, knowing that I would do another short stage the following day to Santa Cruz. Mundicamino.com wanted me to do a crazy stage of 40 kms to reach Córdoba the next day already: No way, José! By staying in Santa Cruz I would divide that stage in two. No more 40 kms, please! I am not Mystery Pilgrim - just Bad Pilgrim.

/BP
Thanks for the update, BP, glad to see there have been no stages from hell for a while now. Any more thoughts on whether you are going to walk the Invierno or stop in Mérida?

Leaving Baena, I remember lots and lots of olive groves. I left early since I was doing a long stage to Santa Cruz, and it was fun to see the countryside wake up one tractor at a time.
 

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