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Granada to Córdoba walking solo? (April 2022)

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
I am planning a little Camino the first half of April (just before Semana Santa) in Andalucía. The Granada - Córdoba stretch is tempting because of these two wonderful cities. And because I have never walked there before. But I am a bit reluctant about walking there on my own. I have walked quite a few quiet Camino's, but somehow I don't feel as brave anymore as I used to do. Fear of dogs, of getting lost in the middle of nowhere without water, of unwanted company from lonely men...

My escape would be part of the Via de la Plata, which I walked about 9 years ago. I loved it back then. Knowing there will be more pilgrims there and more pilgrim infrastructure, it would feel much safer. But not new.

Anything encouraging to say? Any experiences? Do's and don'ts? Anyone else planning to walk around that time?
 
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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Luka, I have never walked this Camino, but books by two fellow Australians hooked me to become a pilgrim. One is "Sinning Across Spain"(A. Piper) and the other is by Tony Kevin. Both were written about 10/15 years ago. If memory serves we have had a few posts from pilgrim who have walked this Camino. Do a little searching. Buen Camino.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Luka,

I walked the Mozárabe as far as Salamanca in 2018. I walked from Almería to Granada with a few others, though I frequently walked alone. But from Granada to Córdoba I was alone alone. I don’t think I ever saw another pilgrim, actually. I never felt threatened in any way. But I would take a GPS, because I remember that @LTfit, who also walked it alone, got very lost in olive groves soon after Granada, I think.

I have a short blog with pictures, linked in my signature below.

We started on April 13 or 14 from Almería, and my blog says I was in Granada on April 20, so several weeks later than what you are planning. The wildflowers were totally spectacular, and the friends in Almería told us it had rained continually from November through the second week in April. We were lucky that it stopped a day or two before we arrived!

I loved this stretch. There are lots of castles to explore, lots of olive groves (which some people hate but I love), plenty of decent, cheap accommodations. But the albergue situation is not good after Granada.

I do think you have to be ok with total solitude to enjoy the walk from Granada to Córdoba. And that’s something only you can decide. You’ll figure it out. Buen camino, Laurie
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata
HI Luka That's tricky. It's certainly do-able on your own and I am sure there are those on the forum - women and men - who have done that. Hopefully some with recent experience will chime in. I guess it comes down to your own comfort level.

We walked the Mozarabe in 2015 - Granada to Cordoba - where we had to stop as my husband had a foot infection. Two years later, we 'finished' by walking Cordoba to Merida. Both times, we saw very few pilgrims either along The Way or when we stopped at night. Possibly more on the Cordoba to Merida stretch. But that is some years ago and may be more popular now.

I have walked solo on the Frances and the Le Puy - but I was with my husband on the Mozarabe so difficult to compare. I remember feeling - and said to him - that I was glad I was not walking alone - not because of any particular fear but that it would, for me, have felt a bit lonely and isolated. And I have limited Spanish. If you speak Spanish reasonably well, that may alleviate that feeling.

We did get hopelessly lost one day - in olive groves - but managed to make our way to the road. That said, we weren't using a GPS of any sort.

Have you thought of the Camino Madrid as an option? We walked that path in 2018 and, while there were not a lot of pilgrims, it didn't feel as isolated as the Mozarabe. And has Madrid (day trip to Toledo before you start walking?), Segovia, Coca and some wonderful history and landscape.

Hope that helps rather than confuses. Others with more recent experience, different perspectives, may chime in.

Best wishes
Jenny
 
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OZAJ

Member
Past OR future Camino
Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres (2008) Norte (2009) Vezelay/Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2010) etc.
I walked the Mozarabe in 2008, starting from Malaga. My inspiration was Tony Kevin's book - he started from Granada.

I walked alone and saw no other pilgrims before Merida. There was only one pilgrim albergue. I believe there are more now. A good tip for accommodation is to ask the local police. There may be space in a sports hall or other public building which they can open for you. I received a lot of discounts from hostals when I told them I was a pilgrim.

I did not get lost. The route was mostly well marked. I had a slim guide produced from the Malaga Amigos, no GPS or anything like that. I didn't even have a mobile phone, smart or dumb.

It was a wonderful experience. Some basic Spanish would be VERY useful - I did 4 weeks intensive in Granada before setting off.

Just do it!!!
 

apoivre

Member
Past OR future Camino
Mozárabe de Almería in March 2019
I walked this stretch (well, but for the last bit) in 2019 and, frankly, I don't remember anything particularly worrying. The way out of Granada is boring but other than that, it's a fine walk. (Just don't be like me and get lost in the mountains at sundown because you decided to take a picturesque detour off the marked trail for a couple of days).
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I remember feeling - and said to him - that I was glad I was not walking alone - not because of any particular fear but that it would, for me, have felt a bit lonely and isolated.
I think this is the absolute key, much more than any concerns about personal safety. I will hazard the unsolicited opinion that anyone who walks alone without a cell phone is taking a big risk on these untraveled caminos. Knowing that emergency services are 3 numbers away (112) is a huge source of confidence.

@Jenny’s words about feeling lonely or isolated are much more fundamental for @Luka, I think. I don’t know why I have morphed into someone who truly feels in the groove when I’m walking alone, when it’s remote, and when I can just soak up whatever the Spanish landscape has to offer me as a backdrop for my thoughts. But if this isn’t you, I think you just won’t enjoy this camino, even though I think you will be safe.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
I am planning a little Camino the first half of April (just before Semana Santa) in Andalucía. The Granada - Córdoba stretch is tempting because of these two wonderful cities. And because I have never walked there before. But I am a bit reluctant about walking there on my own. I have walked quite a few quiet Camino's, but somehow I don't feel as brave anymore as I used to do. Fear of dogs, of getting lost in the middle of nowhere without water, of unwanted company from lonely men...

My escape would be part of the Via de la Plata, which I walked about 9 years ago. I loved it back then. Knowing there will be more pilgrims there and more pilgrim infrastructure, it would feel much safer. But not new.

Anything encouraging to say? Any experiences? Do's and don'ts? Anyone else planning to walk around that time?
I walked Granada - Cordoba in March 2019 and it was fantastic. The first day was testing because to Piños Puente it is pretty much tarmac all the way. Between Moclin and Alcala La Real you have walk through olive groves and the route is not well signed. Otherwise I met no unfriendly dogs and there is no difficulty with finding water. It is not a Camino well travelled but the Spaniards and Belgians that I met on the way were all real peregrinos, i.e. open, friendly and unthreatening. When my friend and I got to Cordoba we arrived at about 13:15 and so went directly to the Mezquita to get our credenciales stamped. As they used to be the queue was about 100 metres long but as we had no choice we joined it. The security guard came up to us to say that we could not go into the Mezquita with our backpacks. When we told him that we just wanted our stamps, he went to the ticket office and insisted that they open a new window and took us to be the first in the queue. It was great.
 

klimmo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Mozarabe: nov 2019
Português: oct-nov 2021
Hi, I did this in november 2019. It was my first (and only) camino and I wasn't very lucky with the weather (it was cold and rainy for most of it). I've never felt unsafe at all, but then again, I didn't meet many people either. It was a very lonely and solitary experience. Looking back my only regret is that I hadnt brought my puffer, as I mostly remember being cold and uncomfortable. I had booked ahead in small hotels (luckily), there too more often than not I was the only person. It was beautiful though, the endless olive groves, the castles, villages, and the bridge coming into old town of Cordoba.

Maybe that is a comfort for you, to book small hotels ahead, so that you know someone is waiting for you.

Buen camino
 
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markgrubb

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Del Norte 2017
Camino Mozarabe (Almeria) 2019
Camino Portuguese 2019
I walked the Camino Mozarabe from Almeria to Cordoba at the end of March 2019 and it was a good time to do it, nice temperatures during the day but quite cold in the mornings.
In Granada I met with a friend a Spanish native and he told me to watch out in Pinos Puente as it has a bad reputation for minor crime and drugs. The albergue there is extremely basic and you have to walk through the town to get there. We were conscious of being stared at as we walked through the street to the hostel. It is one of the most basic hostels I have ever stayed in. A kind of barn/garage in the grounds of a private house with no cooking facilities and a shower and toilet in an outbuilding about 20m away. We went into the town to eat and enjoyed La Cruz de Granada which has an old fashioned dining room and service on trolleys at cheap prices. Good fun. The town was not particularly nice with lots of people zipping about on mopeds until late. A solo female pilgrim had booked into a hotel by the main road and I would say this would a much better option than the hostel.
The Mozarabe is brilliantly waymarked with yellow arrows everywhere and I never had problems with navigation. You pass through some lovely mountainous territory and there are some lovely small hilltop towns.
When we started the Camino the organiser Nely met us and gave us her Whatsapp contact for the first week and was always available if needed. She gave us contact details of another organiser for the second week but we didn't need to get in touch.
It was very different from the other 3 caminos I have done but well worth the effort and the bonus of the amazing cities of Granada and Cordoba to visit.
 
Past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I think this is the absolute key, much more than any concerns about personal safety. I will hazard the unsolicited opinion that anyone who walks alone without a cell phone is taking a big risk on these untraveled caminos. Knowing that emergency services are 3 numbers away (112) is a huge source of confidence.

@Jenny’s words about feeling lonely or isolated are much more fundamental for @Luka, I think. I don’t know why I have morphed into someone who truly feels in the groove when I’m walking alone, when it’s remote, and when I can just soak up whatever the Spanish landscape has to offer me as a backdrop for my thoughts. But if this isn’t you, I think you just won’t enjoy this camino, even though I think you will be safe.
your reasons are why I not just like the vdlp but why I feel at home both in it and on it.

samarkand.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
When I walked the Mozarabe, it was with the famous "mob" in 2018, so I had company most evenings and knew there were others on the trail. However, I would not be particularly fearful of walking Granada to Cordoba by myself. As for loneliness, it is only about a week long, so I don't see that as an issue, either.
 

Carles

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Last: Lebaniego Castellano. Next: Mozárabe
Hi, Luka. Te recomiendo que utilices la guía-web del Camino Mozárabe de gronze.com. Entra en la página de cada etapa, además de alojamientos. encontrarás las solapas de Al Loro (los puntos más importantes a tener en cuenta) y Recorrido (descripción de la ruta en detalle), incluso hay una solapa con fotos de cada jornada. La guía está completa y editada entre Granada y Córdoba, el resto de tramos (Almería, Jaén) se podrán consultar a mediados de 2022. Te recomiendo evitar los albergues de Pinos Puente y de Castro del Río, en mi opinión son muy básicos. No te preocupes, pues hay otros alojamientos y son baratos. Al llegar a Pinos Puente, si lo deseas, puedes volver en autobús a Granada, dormir en tu alojamiento y tomar de nuevo otro autobús a la mañana siguiente para retomar el camino. Te gustará, ya verás.

Hi, Luka. I recommend that you use the web-guide of the Mozarabic Way at gronze.com. Enter the page of each stage, in addition to accommodation. You will find the flaps of Al Loro (the most important points to take into account) and Tour (description of the route in detail), there is even a flap with photos of each day. The guide is complete and published between Granada and Córdoba, the rest of the sections (Almería, Jaén) will be available in mid-2022. I recommend you avoid the Pinos Puente and Castro del Río hostels, in my opinion they are very basic. Do not worry, because there are other accommodations and they are cheap. Upon arrival in Pinos Puente, if you wish, you can return by bus to Granada, sleep at your accommodation and take another bus the next morning to get back on track. You'll like it, you'll see.

[Edited to add English translation (per Google). Except for the new Spanish Conversational Thread, all posts should be included in English.]
 
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Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Thanks for all your informative and elaborate replies!

@peregrina2000 I read your blog and now I am of course even more looking forward to this Camino! Thanks for the heads up about getting lost. I will have a look if I can find the stages in Wikiloc.

@Jenny@zen Yes, I do speak Spanish reasonably well. I also have experience with lonely routes. For example in northern France. But I bailed out on the Camino de Invierno in 2015 because I was so frightened about the dogs I encountered that I didn't enjoy walking anymore.

I will save the Camino de Madrid for another time. The thing is that I will already be in Andalucía then. I am going to show my parents around in Granada and Sevilla. So that would make either one of these cities a logical starting point.

@Carles, voy a echar un ojo a Gronze, gracias! Pensaba que la guía todavía estaba pendiente de elaborar, pero el tramo de Granada a Córdoba parece bastante completo.

Thanks also for the warnings about the state of/lack of albergues. I already noticed that in the guide of the Amigos. I am now considering staying in hostals/hotels, so I could leave my sleepingbag at home.
 
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Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
Luka,
I am planning to walk the Mozarabe from Almeria solo. I will be at least 68 by the time I get to it. My reason for not doing it now and being imprecise about timing is that I can leave New Zealand, but at present can't get back into the country without difficulty.

I am using the 130 page guide of the Association of Friends of the Mozarabe Way, www.caminomozarabedesantiago.es for planning.

I walked Arles-SDC largely alone and after Toulouse through the Pyrenees to Puente la Reina entirely alone, also part of the Ruta de la Lana alone. Only once did I feel entirely unsafe - a young man stopped in his car on a gravel road and spoke to me in French, which I don't speak. I realised soon after that he was telling me of a boar hunt in the area, as I passed a bunch of elderly men sitting at 200m intervals on camp chairs, wearing hi-viz jackets and each with a rifle across their laps. Some of them were asleep. The dogs were doing the work of flushing out the boar.

I carried a GPS tracker on the Lana, which my brother monitored, with my path showing on Google Earth. He'd email and say things like, 'I see you took a wrong turn in Villena, but worked it out fairly quickly', or 'You spent a long time behind that barn, was it lunch?' The device was a SPOT GEN3. There might be newer versions now. I knew that if I got into difficulty that communications were possible, and I could also use an emergency function for real emergencies.

For Wikilocs, take the paid version, as it allows downloading of the route.

Interestingly, the only people who queried me for walking alone at 60-plus were elderly people.

Keep us all posted with your walk.
B
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Wow @Bernice M, another woman not scared of a solitary adventure! So your brother literally always knew where you were? I have a GPS-tracker for my cats that I could use for that purpose, but I wonder if I really want to be tracked like that. However I can imagine it feels rather safe.

And yes, I found that guide. It is great! And yes, I have the paid version of Wikiloc. For years already.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata
Hi Luka. Just another thought. You mentioned it would be a short Camino and that you wanted to visit Granda and Cordoba so that stretch was appealing.

My memory of the Mozarabe - and I could be mistaken - is that the stretch from Cordoba to Merida felt less isolated than Granada to Cordoba, we saw a few more people and there were some lovely new Albergues. The locals very welcoming of pilgrims.

So one option could be to visit Granada, take a train to Cordoba and walk from there to Merida - as you have walked the VdeP already, you’ll know that a second visit to Merida is no hardship 😎

Oops, sorry I had not caught up with the most recent replies - sounds like you are feeling reassured that Granda to Cordoba will be fine for you. And if you speak Spanish I think that makes a difference. Buen Camino
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
@Jenny@zen thanks for the tip! I haven't decided anything yet and Córdoba - Mérida is definitely one of the other options to explore.
 
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
Wow @Bernice M, another woman not scared of a solitary adventure! So your brother literally always knew where you were? I have a GPS-tracker for my cats that I could use for that purpose, but I wonder if I really want to be tracked like that. However I can imagine it feels rather safe.

And yes, I found that guide. It is great! And yes, I have the paid version of Wikiloc. For years already.
Yes, my brother knew where I was, although he didn't watch all the time. The limitations were heavy cloud cover - device is satellite based - and my forgetting to turn it on occasionally.
 
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Camino Portuguese 2012
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Hi ... am sure it has been all said and so can just confirm it is a lovely walk . We (3) walked 2018 and didn't see many others tho staying in small hotels, AirBnB etc didn't help for socialising. Those we met were great. It is worth getting the bus or taxi out of Granada to Pinos Puente as makes the first day to Moclin a 15km walk with big climb at the end. We did Granada to Merida with regular days off to enjoy the bigger cities etc. Happy to send our route as still have the excel spread sheet with accom details etc.
We had no problems with loose dogs. There were some locked inside yards (securitry) but none out.
Oh to get the chance to walk again instead of being held hostage here in New Zealand by a government not letting anyone back in.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Ah yes, I already thought about bussing Granada to Pinos Puente and then walking to Moclín. Makes sense. Thanks for the offer of the excel sheet! I will let you know if that would come in handy. And good to know you had no encounters with loose dogs!
 

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