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Camino Mozarabe from Almeria, March 19

markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
I’m currently walking the Camino Mozarabe and thought I’d add a few notes on some of the places we have stayed and eaten in. I started the route alone with the aim of joining a friend in Granada who is going to walk with me to Cordoba. I expected to be alone but I’m currently walking with four other peregrinos, two from Spain, one from Austria and one from France. I speak Spanish fairly fluently which has being a great help. I contacted the Camino Association before I set off and they’ve been a great help. They tell me that there has been a significant rise in the number of peregrinos staying in the hostels this year. There are four peregrinos one day ahead with me and I believe there are a further seven one day behind. The arrangement for access to the hostels is that we send a WhatsApp message to one of the organizers and she sends us the code for the hostel for that day.

Day 1
I arrived fairly late in Almeria and spent the morning touring round the city and then walked the short first stage 2 to Rioja and stayed in the donativo hostel there. It is fairly basic with two dormitories. There is a small bathroom with toilet and shower and this was quite difficult to keep dry. There is just a microwave and no plates or cutlery. We ate in the bar Los Pirineos in the Main Street. They had a good range of tapas available and we paid about 7 euros for 3 tapas each and a drink. They are open at 8 in the evening for food and 7 in the morning. There are 2 small shops/supermarkets in the town.

Day 2
Walked to Alboloduy today. Stopped in Alhabia where there are 2 decent bars and a shop. When we arrived we looked at a Casa rural that is up a steep hill and costs 36 euros for 4 but the donativo hostel is much more spacious with a good kitchen, terrace and places to wash and hang clothing. There is a resident warden who is very quiet. The bar Zamarulo, by the bridge at the entrance to the town was open at 8.15 for food in the evening, a Wednesday, though I don’t think it is open every night. There is a supermarket in the town.
 

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p_mci

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Portugués (2014) Norte, Primitivo (2015) Vía de la Plata (2017) Mozárabe (2018)
Enjoy! I walked the Mozarabe last April and loved it.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If this year is busier than last year, others who are heading to the Mozarabe should expect a mad rush in April! About 15 of us started around the same date in Almería in mid-April, and the association did a masterful job to make sure everyone had someplace to sleep. They even drove air mattresses up and down the camino to take care of bubbles in the albergues. How´s the weather? Last March was terribly rainy, we heard, but hopefully this March is different for you. Buen camino, Laurie
 

markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Thanks to you both. The weather is fine, about 18 degree by day and sunny. Apparently it hasn't rained for a couple of months.
Yes, I wonder if the camino will become a victim of its own success. The volunteers in the association are fantastic but I wonder if they will maintain their enthusiasm if there are ever more walkers
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018)
I’m currently walking the Camino Mozarabe and thought I’d add a few notes on some of the places we have stayed and eaten in. I started the route alone with the aim of joining a friend in Granada who is going to walk with me to Cordoba. I expected to be alone but I’m currently walking with four other peregrinos, two from Spain, one from Austria and one from France. I speak Spanish fairly fluently which has being a great help. I contacted the Camino Association before I set off and they’ve been a great help. They tell me that there has been a significant rise in the number of peregrinos staying in the hostels this year. There are four peregrinos one day ahead with me and I believe there are a further seven one day behind. The arrangement for access to the hostels is that we send a WhatsApp message to one of the organizers and she sends us the code for the hostel for that day.

Day 1
I arrived fairly late in Almeria and spent the morning touring round the city and then walked the short first stage 2 to Rioja and stayed in the donativo hostel there. It is fairly basic with two dormitories. There is a small bathroom with toilet and shower and this was quite difficult to keep dry. There is just a microwave and no plates or cutlery. We ate in the bar Los Pirineos in the Main Street. They had a good range of tapas available and we paid about 7 euros for 3 tapas each and a drink. They are open at 8 in the evening for food and 7 in the morning. There are 2 small shops/supermarkets in the town.

Day 2
Walked to Alboloduy today. Stopped in Alhabia where there are 2 decent bars and a shop. When we arrived we looked at a Casa rural that is up a steep hill and costs 36 euros for 4 but the donativo hostel is much more spacious with a good kitchen, terrace and places to wash and hang clothing. There is a resident warden who is very quiet. The bar Zamarulo, by the bridge at the entrance to the town was open at 8.15 for food in the evening, a Wednesday, though I don’t think it is open every night. There is a supermarket in the town.
I am preparing to walk Almeria to Granada at the end of April/beginning of May with my two daughters and am very much interested in your experience. Would you mind continuing your report, at least until Granada? That would be great!

Anyway, buen camino!
 

chrisje

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés August 2014
Camino Via de la Plata (Sevilla-Salamanca) May 2015
Camino Via de la Plata (Sevilla-Zafra) April 2016
Camino Via de la Plata (Zafra-Santiago) september 2016
Last year we walked from Almeria end of sept/oct and we met 2 pelgrims in 3 weeks. Beautiful wether !
 

sahand

New Member
Arriving Malaga On Thursday March 28, taking bus to Almeria, agin bus to Alboloduy. Will arrive late at 20.30 to Alboloduy. I would like to know the best way to contact the organizers and their phone number and email addresses. Thank you
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Arriving Malaga On Thursday March 28, taking bus to Almeria, agin bus to Alboloduy. Will arrive late at 20.30 to Alboloduy. I would like to know the best way to contact the organizers and their phone number and email addresses. Thank you
Download the guide to albergues from the Almeria Association FB page (Click "Posts" in the left side menu):

Contact information for the association is on the page:
+34 619 86 01 98
caminomozarabedealmeria@gmail.com

Tracks for the stages and other information is on the website (but Facebook tends to be more up-to-date)

Contact details for all of the albergues are in the guide. As others have said, the information is flawless as far as Granada. From Granada, they depend on other associations to keep them informed, so if you find any discrepancy, report it to them.
 

markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Just back from Cordoba so will try and update.

Day 3 to Abla

29km. Beautiful walk along barranco and then lovely climb up right hand side . After I'd finished I realised that some people have commented that it can induce vertigo at points. I've no real head for heights and it didn't bother me at all though I guess if it gets wet or muddy you could feel differently. Nice path down past a goat farm. The later part of the trail was a bit of a trudge along the dry river bed with the loose shingle rather tiring. For the last 2 km or so for some reason the trail leaves the river bed at a busy intersection and follows a fairly busy road into town. Ate lunch at the Bar El Pintao as you enter town, menu 10 euros. Hostel at the far side of the village. Lovely elevated setting and in good condition with terrace, drying area and equipped kitchen if you want to cook-donativo. 12 beds but only one shower and toilet in the same room, so of busy might be more of a problem. Feeling cooler at an altitude of 900m. There had been a hospitalero staying but they left the day before we arrived.

Day 4 to Hueneja

Slow, steady almost imperceptible climb into Hueneja at 1200m. Past impressive red rock formations and then a horrible long section along a dry river bed. We tried to walk to the side at field edges as it was very uneven. The albergue is a third story flat with tiny shower space/bathroom, two small bedrooms with bunks and a small living room and no cooking facilities. It was freezing inside. None of the bars in the village was open(the locals said this was unusual) and it was cold so we asked some locals and they directed us to the petrol station 2km from the village where there was a bar restaurant Gonzalez. A very nice lady serving and we weer only charged 7.50 for 2 drinks and 6 tapas and the food was good!

Day 5 to Alquife

18km to Alquife. Open countryside with stunning views of the Sierra Nevada and passes through the lovely village of La Calahorra with it's amazing hilltop castle. Really quite a cold wind as we approached Alquife and we stopped for lunch in the bar there. Accommodation was in a private hostel Albergue Lacho charging 13 euros each. I shared a room with 2 single beds.The owner Manuel was very friendly. He picked us up and drove us up the hill to the albergue. It was big and cold with a kitchen and tea and coffee. He put the woodburning stove on in the living area which was lovely. He even offered to take us down to the bar in the evening and pick us up. We walked as it was only 800m. Breakfast was included and he gave us torrijas and coffee in the morning,
 

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markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Day 6 to Guadix

The first wet day. Moderate heavy rain and cold until about 1pm but no real wind. A nice stretch round a reservoir. It felt flat but the water running to the fields by the side of the path told us we were going steadily downhill. We stayed in the Casa Acogida a 16th century Casona. It is an old house being done up slowly by the owner. Accommodation was 15 euros. We were in an 8 bed dorm. Ther was underfloor heating and we had access to a kitchen/sitting area where you could cook but it was quite cluttered with dirty dishes lying everywhere. Tea, coffee and toast in the morning. The owner kindly let the one girl of the group go into one of the more expensive 2 bedded rooms once it was clear no more guests were coming. Guadix has a magnificent cathedral but being a Sunday was pretty dead and it took us an age to find somewhere open to eat in the evening. We found a restaurant open in the Plaza de las Palomas where the Ayuntatmiento is.

Day 7 to La Peza

One of our group left a toilet bag in the Casona and the owner contacted us and kindly drove it out to the first village about 7km from Guadix. Beautiful walk from Guadix past rock formations and views to the Sierra Nevada with a fresh covering of snow. Spectacular around Marchal. Quite an undulating section but always with good views and lovely landscapes. It is a steep descent to the village and at the entrance to the village are 2 bars. The first was open until about 8.30pm and served food. Bar Oscar also served food but just at lunchtime. The donativo albergue is in school grounds and is a former part of the school. It also has meeting rooms so people were coming in and out. A big, cold building but spacious with a few showers and toilets. It also had a kitchen but no gas working and only facilities for cooking/heating was a small 2 plate electrical hob.

Day 8 to Quentar

27.5km with no facilities on the way so we had stocked up with food on the way. 3 decent ascents to tackle and a mix of mountains and woodland before you reach an old quarry and start the long descent to Quentar. We were 5 in the albergue the night before and decided to book the Casa Rio Quentar via booking.com. This was 85 euros but one of the Spanish girls inn our group spoke directly to the owner who has done a camino and we managed to get it for just 60 euros. It has 2 single rooms and a triple bedded room and wood burning stove. It was centrally located for facilities in the village. We ate at the bar Angeles attached to the Quentar Hotel. The food was really poor. It is open lunch and evening. 2 shops in the village too
 

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markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Day 9 to Granada

I wasn't expecting too much of this stage as it was the approach to a big city but the walk through the hills along a ridge and through a valley were beautiful and you arrive at Granada very close to the Alhambra. I walked up to Sacromonto but the only way of seeing it was a guided tour.
I booked a hostel through the app HostelWorld called OK Hostel. It was central and fine in a quiet street, 4 beds with ensuite bathroom and a buffet breakfast, 15 euros. 2 of our group stayed with the Hermanas Comendadoras which costs 20 euros and they loved it and said the breakfast provided was unbelievably good.
I was meeting an old language exchange partner who lives in Granada and we went out late enjoying the fabulous tapas bars the city has to offer. A big step up from the usual menu del dia.

Day 10 to Pinos Puente

A friend who lives in Spain joined me in Granada to walk to Cordoba. This and a very late night meant we chose to walk the short stage 15km to Pinos Puente rather than a long one with the steep climb at the end to Moclin. Signposting out of Granada was extremely poor and if I hadn't had Wikilok with the stage downloaded we would have got lost. This stage wins no prizes for beauty passing through endless suburbs, retail areas and abandoned industrial zones. My friend from Granada warned me about Pinos Puente saying it is notorious for drug problems and that there is a large gypsy community. We certainly felt watched though not threatened walking through it and there were a fair number of young people driving round in new, very pricey cars with music blaring. We ate at the roadside Cruz de Granada, 10 euro menu, quite good fun and old fashioned, full of locals and waiters whizzing round with trolleys. The albergue, a refugio, is very basic, a converted outbuilding in the grounds of a house with the shower and toilet 30 metres away next to a friendly tie up Alsatian

Day 11 to Moclin

After about 5-6km of tarmac, the route finally leaves the road to wind through lovely countryside and olive groves. We stopped at Olivares at the base of the sharp 3-4km climb to Moclin and the views at the top looking back to Granada and the Sierra Nevada are as the Spanish say enough to 'quitar el hipo'-take your hiccups away. We stayed at the Casa Rural, La Fundacion, 18 euros. Highly recommended. Nice twin room, bedding, showers and lots of communal space in and out. Also a good well equipped kitchen. About 200m from the central plaza that had a bar open all day for food.
 

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markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Day 12 to Alcala la Real

A steep descent from Moclin and then a pleasant days walking through olive groves and by asparagus fields through undulating country. We had real difficulty getting accommodation here. ther was a gymnastics tournament on and the recommended places in the guide were all full. we eventually found and hotel room for 60 euros for 2 in the Hotel Torrepalma. had really nice food in the tapas Bar Jaybe recommended by our recepetionist. The old town was quite impressive with a big network of streets and it is worth the climb up to see the castle and the old churches nearby

Day 13 to Alcaudete

It rained heavily all morning and the soil was like glue on the tracks sticking to the boots and making it very heavy going indeed and quite slow progress. It stopped just as we reached Alcaudete. We had tried to get inn touch with Peter who has the house de acogida. Unfortunately the number in the guide was wrong. i messaged the local association in Spanish but did not receive a reply until much later with the change of phone number. So we stayed in Hidalgo, 20 euros each, OK, with pricey food. Another lovely town with hilltop castle and stunning views up top to the hills and out over vast olive groves

Day 14 to Baena

Another pleasant walk alongside a river and yet more olive groves, sunny throughout and the tracks drying out. The landscape was definitely getting greener with lots of wild flowers. The municipal hostel is right at the top of the town by the castle. We had to contact a number and speak in Spanish to the caretaker to get access to the hostel. He was pretty gruff and taciturn. The hostel cost 10 euros and there is one spacious room with 10 beds, a bathroom and an area on a veranda for hanging clothes. No cooking facilities at all. We had to descend right down into town to find somewhere to eat and there were few places open
 

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markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Day 15 to Castro del Rio

A pleasant sunny day on a downhill stage with the countryside getting much greener. We arrived at the outskirts and stopped at the first bar at the edge of town. it sold snails as a speciality-didn't care much for them though the tomato sauce was tasty.
We arrived at the municipal hostel and tried phoning the contact numbers but they weren't working. So we went down to the police station and here things got a bit surreal. I speak good Spanish and the conversation went something like this.
Where are you from?
Scotland
Scotland, you don't say!!!
Eh, yes....
Do you know any policeman in Scotland
Eh, yes
Well if I give you the keys you've got to promise me one thing
Ehm, OK
When you get back you've got to ask your policeman friend for a patch
A patch?!
Yes, a patch, you've got to ask him for a patch
And at that he pointed to the wall and he told me about the collection of over 1000 patches/badges that they have from police uniforms from all over the world. So before handing over the keys he gave me an envelope with his details and address!
The hostel was on 2 floors and we'd been told that the shower only had cold water. we managed to fix that. There was no charge for the hostel and no box to leave a donation. 2 Belgian pilgrims were also there. One we had met in the previous 2 days but he really hadn't wanted to walk and another who had been doing the CM from Malaga and had joined our route at Baena-he was much more outgoing. We went out together to eat and on returning at about 10 there was a big,growling dog tied to the door. We were about to return to the police station when a young Spaniard opened the door(he had been in the shower). He slept on the floor in the hall with the dog. Not much fun going to the loo in the night and hearing growling coming from the dark!
 
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markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Day 16 to Santa Cruz

We got up first and left about 7.45 past the sleeping Spaniard and the growling dog. After breakfast in a bar we set off and had gone about 5km when we heard a car coming along the track behind us. We stepped to the side, a police car stopped and the 2 police got out. They asked for ID and then asked us to turn out our pockets. they then insisted on searching us and our bags(poor them going through my clothes after 15 days hiking). They spoke in Spanish all the time and were firm but polite. When they found nothing they gave their apologies. We asked why they had searched us and they said that someone at the hostel had reported their mobile phone stolen so they came after us. It was good to be able to speak clearly in Spanish as they had next to no English. A bit of a surprise. The rest of the walk was uneventful. Santa Cruz is a small village by a busy road with a choice of 2 hostals opposite each other. We stayed in La Galga Casa Jose-20 euros, clean modern room with good shower and a good bar restaurant underneath. We certainly needed a beer after that day. the 2 Belgians arrived. They both had their mobiles and had not come across the police. 3 days later, another pilgrim we knew bumped into the young Spaniard and it was he who had called the police
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
I just found and am really enjoying your thread, Mark. Some awesome - truly! - photos.
I hope you unravel the missing phone story a bit more... do tell us if you do.
 

markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Day 17 to Cordoba/Day 18 Cordoba

Changes of landscape again as we approached Cordoba. Lots of green wheat fields full of corn buntings and yellow wagtails. Cordoba comes into view but the curvy track seems to tantalise us and sweeps to the left and the right and the last few km take an age. It is a good 2km into the centre once you reach the edge of town. We again booked through Hostelworld and had a bunk in a 4 bunk ensuite room in Funky Cordoba for 13 euros. Fairly basic but OK with a roof top terrace and small kitchen. Cordoba is just marvellous and the Mezquita and gardens of the Alcaza really beautiful.
My friend went home and Toni, the pergrina from Cordoba invite me and another to stay a night with her in her home in Cordoba. A wonderful host and a great way to finish an excellent Camino
 

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markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Overview

This was my third camino and the most enjoyable. When I did the Camino Frances I was recovering from years of injury and was anxious I wouldn't finish. When I did the Camino del Norte I was time constrained and averaged 20 miles a day over the 26 days. This time I was determined to walk short stages and enjoy the nature and places I was staying in and this really worked.

I was fortunate with the weather-3 days of rain and 15 of sun. I was a little surprised at the big temperature range, often 0-4 degrees at night and 15-20 in daytime. The hostels inside were very cold especially in the first week and it was warmer outside. The week after I finished it turned much colder with snow on the higher stages. A French pilgrim i was walking with continued after Cordoba and stopped 3 days later because of the rain and mud.

The Associacion Jacobea who look after the first 9 stages to Granada were incredibly welcoming and helpful and I take my hat off to their volunteers especially Nely.

Th stages out of Almeria and Granada were pretty ugly but otherwise it is a lovely Camino with a huge range of landscapes-desert, dry river bed, mountains, forest, altiplano, olive groves and wheat fields along with the 2 big cities. It is well signposted though I was glad to have the stages downloaded on Wikilok.

I was resigned to walking to Granada alone but was fortunate to meet 4 lovely fellow peregrinos. Our common language was Spanish. I think it would have been quite hard at times to communicate especially in the first 9 days without some of the language-not impossible, it just made life easier. I loved the solitude and peace on the trails but it was good to have some company from my fellow peregrinos.

Only 300 people did the Camino last year. 90 walked it in March 19 and it seems to be getting busy now with easter approaching-10 left yesterday. So I would thoroughly recommend this lovely Camino but maybe best to do it soon before it becomes too popular
 

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Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Thanks for sharing your Camino!

Will you return to continue your walk from Cordoba? From Cordoba to Merida is another beautiful stretch of the Camino Mozarabe with good albergues and a dynamic association (Badajoz Jacobea) who will welcome you.
 
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markgrubb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Hospitalero Miraz 2017
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Thanks for sharing your Camino!

Will you return to continue your walk from Cordoba? From Cordoba to Merida is another beautiful stretch of the Camino Mozarabe with good albergues and a dynamic association (Badajoz Jacobea) who will welcome you.
Hi Raggy,
Yes, I certainly plan to come back and eventually complete the walk fro Mediterranean to Atlantic Ocean. I've heard good things about the Badajoz Jacobea
 

Nickyf

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2018)
Camino Mozarabe? (May 2019)
Thanks for sharing your Camino!

Will you return to continue your walk from Cordoba? From Cordoba to Merida is another beautiful stretch of the Camino Mozarabe with good albergues and a dynamic association (Badajoz Jacobea) who will welcome you.
Hi Raggy

I see you have walked the Mozarabe. I did part of camino Frances as a solo female walker last year and really enjoyed it. I would love to do part of the Mozarabe this year - I have a soft sport for Andalusia! BUT I have a couple of questions/concerns:
1. SAFETY - Would Mozarabe be safe for a woman on her own? I know there are far less walkers on Mozarabe compared to Frances. While i really enjoy the 'solo' state. I'd like to feel physically and mentally safe and secure.

2. SIGNPOSTING - is there good enough signposting in place? Frances is super, with no need for map reading, way finding, etc. I understand there will be much less signposting, but how less? Does it mean I'll need to read a map or have my maps open on my phone regularly? And I do get a bit nervous about 'getting lost'!

3.LANGUAGE - I speak very little Spanish(unfortunately!). Again, this was not an issue at all, on Frances, will it be on Mozarabe?

Thank you so much, I appreciate these are many questions. Of course i could do another part of Frances this time, but I do gravitate towards Andalusia, and do want to find out, if i could do it! :)
 

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