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LIVE from the Camino Vía Serrana Nov-Dec 2022

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Well, that all happened fast!

As of a week ago, I was planning to head to the Canary Islands in early December to walk the three-day Camino de Gran Canaria. But a TAP cabin crew strike scheduled for the day I was to return home and TAP’s lack of flexibility on rescheduling meant that I ended up cancelling the whole thing.

Partly inspired by this thread, I decided last Tuesday to walk the Via Serrana instead. Yesterday, I took a bus to my favourite large city in Spain, Sevilla, and this morning I saw the sun’s first light hit the Giralda Tower.

FAAFE64A-E5A3-4377-A2B8-411375A2233D.jpeg

Then I took another bus south to La Línea and I spent this afternoon with views and monkeys on top of the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s the first time I’ve been to Gibraltar since the first few weeks of my travelling life in mid-2001, so it was fun and nostalgic to return half a lifetime later.

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Tomorrow I start walking this 240km, 10-day camino back to Sevilla. I don’t know much about it but I quite like it that way. People who have done it have said very good things about it, and since Andalucía has always been my favourite part of Spain, I’m excited to walk through it for the first time!
 
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Tincatinker

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
I’m looking forward to your reports @jungleboy. I’ve fancied this one for a while. Just something vaguely appealing about a full- English in Gib before starting the climb.
And before anyone seeks to remind me I’m fully aware that the food in La Linea is vastly superior and that they know how to make a proper con leche I was there in May
 
Time of past OR future Camino
So many since 2003.
Well, that all happened fast!

As of a week ago, I was planning to head to the Canary Islands in early December to walk the three-day Camino de Gran Canaria. But a TAP cabin crew strike scheduled for the day I was to return home and TAP’s lack of flexibility on rescheduling meant that I ended up cancelling the whole thing.

Partly inspired by this thread, I decided last Tuesday to walk the Via Serrana instead. Yesterday, I took a bus to my favourite large city in Spain, Sevilla, and this morning I saw the sun’s first light hit the Giralda Tower.



Then I took another bus south to La Línea and I spent this afternoon with views and monkeys on top of the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s the first time I’ve been to Gibraltar since the first few weeks of my travelling life in mid-2001, so it was fun and nostalgic to return half a lifetime later.





Tomorrow I start walking this 240km, 10-day camino back to Sevilla. I don’t know much about it but I quite like it that way. People who have done it have said very good things about it, and since Andalucía has always been my favourite part of Spain, I’m excited to walk through it for the first time!
Wow Nick. I’m so excited to have randomly discovered this new thread.
This sounds like a wonderful walk.
As I’m planning to be in Spain next April May with friends, I’m looking for a 2-week stretch.
If your intel proves this camino is doable, it would be a new one for me too. I’m sure you’ll keep great records as usual.
Buen Camino y un abrazo muy grande
 
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Walkalong

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese 2020 & 2022
Frances 2019, 2020 & 2022
Well, that all happened fast!

As of a week ago, I was planning to head to the Canary Islands in early December to walk the three-day Camino de Gran Canaria. But a TAP cabin crew strike scheduled for the day I was to return home and TAP’s lack of flexibility on rescheduling meant that I ended up cancelling the whole thing.

Partly inspired by this thread, I decided last Tuesday to walk the Via Serrana instead. Yesterday, I took a bus to my favourite large city in Spain, Sevilla, and this morning I saw the sun’s first light hit the Giralda Tower.

View attachment 137453

Then I took another bus south to La Línea and I spent this afternoon with views and monkeys on top of the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s the first time I’ve been to Gibraltar since the first few weeks of my travelling life in mid-2001, so it was fun and nostalgic to return half a lifetime later.

View attachment 137454

View attachment 137455

Tomorrow I start walking this 240km, 10-day camino back to Sevilla. I don’t know much about it but I quite like it that way. People who have done it have said very good things about it, and since Andalucía has always been my favourite part of Spain, I’m excited to walk through it for the first time!

looking forward to following your progress.
We're looking forward to following your progress and appreciate all the info you can provide. Hoping to follow your steps in February or March.
 

Freewalker

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Many and lots more to come.
OMG I didn't realize you had started the Via Serrana !! Thank you very much for responding to my Via Francesco queries. Have a fantastic walk and enjoy every second !
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Thanks to everyone for all your encouragement!

PS. I was telling my husband about this one, but was calling it the Via Serrano! 🥓. He said ‘are you sure that’s the right name?’ 😎
Thankfully for me it’s not the Vía Serrano!

In any case, the serrana takes the feminine form of the adjective because of the vía. If the vía was replaced by the masculine camino, it would be the Camino Serrano. But serrano/a in this case is an adjective meaning hilly or mountainous (as in, de la sierra), highlands or even rustic.
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017
Well, that all happened fast!

As of a week ago, I was planning to head to the Canary Islands in early December to walk the three-day Camino de Gran Canaria. But a TAP cabin crew strike scheduled for the day I was to return home and TAP’s lack of flexibility on rescheduling meant that I ended up cancelling the whole thing.

Partly inspired by this thread, I decided last Tuesday to walk the Via Serrana instead. Yesterday, I took a bus to my favourite large city in Spain, Sevilla, and this morning I saw the sun’s first light hit the Giralda Tower.

View attachment 137453

Then I took another bus south to La Línea and I spent this afternoon with views and monkeys on top of the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s the first time I’ve been to Gibraltar since the first few weeks of my travelling life in mid-2001, so it was fun and nostalgic to return half a lifetime later.

View attachment 137454

View attachment 137455

Tomorrow I start walking this 240km, 10-day camino back to Sevilla. I don’t know much about it but I quite like it that way. People who have done it have said very good things about it, and since Andalucía has always been my favourite part of Spain, I’m excited to walk through it for the first time!

View attachment 137456
Going off at a Tangent here, but there is a lovely train journey from La Linea to to Ronda that parallels the Serano. There are about four trains a day. I was staioned in Gib for a while and one could cycle from Gib to La Linea and take the train to Ronda (with bike) have a good lunch and cycle back Gib going downhill nearly all the way!
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Day 1 — La Línea to San Martín del Tesorillo: ~27km

A pre-dawn departure for my first day on the Vía Serrana, but that’s not saying much when sunrise is at 8:11am. I leave about half an hour before then under clear skies and, after my dalliance with Tau waymarking signs on the Via di Francesco last month, I’m back to following yellow arrows again.

The highlight of the stage comes early on, as long as you remember to turn around from time to time. After leaving La Línea, there are great views of the Rock of Gibraltar silhouetted in the early morning light — and beyond to the coastline of Africa.

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Looking forward again, it’s mostly dry, parched scrubland for 8km to San Roque, the only town during the stage and the first of what I assume will be many almost blindingly whitewashed settlements on this camino.

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After San Roque, it’s about 19km of rural walking where you see barely a soul, save the odd donkey or goat. The vegetation ranges from outrageously colourful orange flowers set against the deep blue sky, to the much more common — and poignant — dead thistles (?) that dominate the late November landscape. The walk is mostly shadeless but a pine forest or two offers the chance for a picnic lunch out of the sun.

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San Martín isn’t anything special but it’s not a bad spot to watch local life go by in a nondescript place, as the guide books would say. In the late afternoon I see two men sitting at an outdoor café in the centre of town holding the reins of their two horses who are just hanging out on the street, and I think to myself: this is going to be an interesting camino.



Some practicalities:

— San Roque, 8km from La Línea, is the only settlement of the stage, but it’s fairly large with supermarkets and all services. There are no restaurants to eat lunch later on but you can stock up here rather than carrying food from La Línea.

— Leaving San Roque, there is a historic fountain on the camino (Fuente María España) to refill water. I saw two locals bring lots of empty bottles for refilling, so its reputation precedes it. I didn’t see anywhere else to fill up for the rest of the stage so make sure you do it here.

— At 18km, I reached a locked gate and I had to climb it. I am pretty tall (about 6’1 / 185cm) so it wasn’t hard for me but it could be difficult for someone a fair bit shorter.

— I’m staying at Hostal Sabana in San Martín for €40 for a room with private bathroom (and bathtub!). There are some small grocery stores but no supermarket that I saw.
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Buen Camino @jungleboy !

Now that our grandsons and their parents live in Málaga, I am interested in all Caminos in Andalucía. I'll be following your footsteps with great interest!

At 18km, I reached a locked gate and I had to climb it. I am pretty tall (about 6’1 / 185cm) so it wasn’t hard for me but it could be difficult for someone a fair bit shorter.
I can see myself giving my darling a leg up to get over the gate...
 
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amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Going off at a Tangent here, but there is a lovely train journey from La Linea to to Ronda that parallels the Serano. There are about four trains a day. I was staioned in Gib for a while and one could cycle from Gib to La Linea and take the train to Ronda (with bike) have a good lunch and cycle back Gib going downhill nearly all the way!
indeed, the railway from Algeciras to Ronda is stunningly beautiful, and even more so if you continue the trip to Málaga along the old, slow railway line and cross the incredible gorge in Caminito del Rey. Together with Leon-Oviedo and Vigo-Ponferrada (the old line, not the fast one), to me they are the most beautiful railway stretches in Spain!
 

Bernice M

Veteran
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
Is not the slow Algeciras train the one that goes via Ronda to Granada? I caught it from San Roque to Ronda, but I'm sure it was bound for Granada.
 

Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
@jungleboy So much to love about this camino - in that fabulous part of the world. I wasn't aware of it until now- so muchas gracias.

I often think how wonderful it must be to be located - as you and Wendy are - in a place where it's (relatively) easy to conjure up an impromptu camino - as opposed to, for example, travelling 15,000 kms or more. We too will be in that position within just a few months - can't wait.

I'll be interested in your comments on the weather - a pre-Christmas camino is so appealing and Andalusia seems like just the spot.

Buen camino!
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Is not the slow Algeciras train the one that goes via Ronda to Granada? I caught it from San Roque to Ronda, but I'm sure it was bound for Granada.
indeed, it is that same train, but you can change trains in Bobadilla, near Antequera, and then "round up" the mountain train trip with a descent to Málaga.
 
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amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
@jungleboy So much to love about this camino - in that fabulous part of the world. I wasn't aware of it until now- so muchas gracias.

I often think how wonderful it must be to be located - as you and Wendy are - in a place where it's (relatively) easy to conjure up an impromptu camino - as opposed to, for example, travelling 15,000 kms or more. We too will be in that position within just a few months - can't wait.

I'll be interested in your comments on the weather - a pre-Christmas camino is so appealing and Andalusia seems like just the spot.

Buen camino!
I always plan my caminos depending on the season: mid November to end of March is the perfect time to come to Andalusia, and if you start in the South at mid April you feel like you are riding/surfing a wave that brings you to Santiago in an eternal spring around you, you seem to be bringing the spring with you.
On the contrary, if you, say, start in mid september in Almeria, you will be in scorching heat when you leave, and will arrive in cold, winterly Santiago in November (3 seasons, 1 camino).
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
I'll be interested in your comments on the weather - a pre-Christmas camino is so appealing and Andalusia seems like just the spot.
So far, so good! Yesterday max of 19C with not a cloud in the sky. Today was max 18C, blue skies in the morning but clouding over now. When I leave in the mornings it is ‘fresh’, as Dom might say - 7 degrees today. So I wear two light layers to start with but by mid-late morning it’s t-shirt weather.

The forecast for the next few days looks less promising but I have learned not to trust forecasts! This year I have been extremely lucky to walk 70 days on camino without needing to put on my poncho once while on the trail. May that continue!
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Day 2 - San Martín del Tesorillo to Jimena de la Frontera: ~18km

The initial part of today’s stage is through a wind turbine park, which takes me back to my first trip to Spain in 2001, when I saw wind turbines for the first time.

But not this close. To walk right next to them today, to see how they tower above you and to hear the woosh of the blades slicing through the air — well, it’s quite impressive. Now that many European countries are facing energy shortfalls this winter, I wonder how many people’s first impression of wind turbines is still that they are a blot on the landscape?

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The rest of the stage is short and sunny, if unremarkable. It’s slightly greener than yesterday, with more shrubs and almost no dead thistles. By noon, I’ve already arrived at my destination.

Jimena de la Frontera is the first historic town of this camino, and it’s to visit places like this that I’m here in the first place. The whitewashed town shimmers on a hillside, topped by a medieval castle that rises high above the tiled rooftops and almost blends into the arid landscape that surrounds it. As I stop at a restaurant in town, the first song playing is ‘Walk of Life’ by Dire Straits, which makes me smile.

I eat a tajine for lunch and then explore the Islamic elements of the castle, with goats roaming around the grounds. If I squint, this could almost be Morocco.

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Some practicalities:

— There’s nowhere to stop to eat or drink anything during the stage, but you should be finished by lunchtime anyway.

— A few kilometres before Jimena, the camino leaves the road and takes a dirt path to the left. This is quicker (and is off the asphalt road), but it’s a bit of an adventure as the path is narrow, there are a lot of spiky bushes that you can’t avoid and you may have to duck under a wire fence once or twice. If that doesn’t sound fun, stick to the road.

— The Camino doesn’t actually go through Jimena de La Frontera, but instead through Estación de Jimena (also called Los Ángeles), where the train stops. It’s about 25 minutes’ walk up the hill to Jimena.

— Finding accommodation was difficult for me. In Los Ángeles, there are two listed places but one (Hostal Los Arcos, where @alansykes stayed) doesn’t exist anymore and is now a youth centre. The other (Don Luis) was full because of some TV production. In Jimena itself, Casa Henrietta was full for the same reason and Posada de la Casa Grande is closed until Friday. In the end I was saved by the camp ground and I have my own bungalow for €45. It’s beyond the far end of town but there’s another way out tomorrow morning so I can rejoin the camino fairly quickly.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Some practicalities:

— There’s nowhere to stop to eat or drink anything during the stage, but you should be finished by lunchtime anyway.
Thanks for the descriptions and the up-to-date details on the practicalities! That's so useful. I hope your luck with the weather holds for the great stage between El Colmenar and Cañada del Real Tesoro (the station for Cortes de la Frontera). Just above the station, on the trail up to town, is Casa de Piedra, a house carved out of a huge boulder. We passed it just as an old man who lived there as a child was going the other way. He took us in and showed us the marvelous rooms and carvings. It's open to all to wander through.
 
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Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2020
Well Nico, just seeing this for the first time. Don't know how I missed it! Looks like a lovely walk. I've been to Gibraltar, Ronda and Sevilla, just never from a Camino perspective. Have a wonderful time, and I am assuming Wendy is holding the fort down??
Well, the fort is holding itself down, as @jungleboy and I have been like ships passing in the night recently. We had about 24 hours together between when I arrived home from Cairo and when he left for this latest adventure. I'm now home alone but leaving on Sunday for another work trip, this time to Montreal.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Day 3 - Jimena de la Frontera to El Colmenar: ~19km

Rain. 🌧️

It rained through the night and it’s pouring when I wake up this morning. I’m more anxious about walking in the rain than I should be, but that’s because up to now I have somehow walked 70 days on camino in 2023 without needing to wear my poncho once while on the trail. Including in Galicia.

I wait until sunrise, and then a bit longer, and soon the rain eases off and becomes just a drizzle — almost light enough to not require a poncho, but not quite. I put it on and set off, and the rain is pretty light to begin with and gets lighter before stopping for good in the late morning, so it‘s not that bad after all. The camino is a mixture of asphalt roads and dirt paths, and the former is better because the latter involves mud, and mud-caking.

It’s foggy even when the rain stops, so there’s not much visibility. After San Pablo de Buceite, the trail passes avocado plantations and then climbs into the hills for what I suspect would be, on a clear day, the best scenery on the Vía Serrana since the Rock of Gibraltar disappeared from view. Even without views, and despite the mud, it’s nice walking. As I approach El Colmenar, the visibility is better and I can see some of the rock face of the Cañón de las Buitreras — which awaits tomorrow — in the distance.

The forecast called for more rain tomorrow, but it changes seemingly by the hour and now it looks like it might even be sunny. So I’ll take a day like today and even one or two more if the trade-off is a sunny day through the canyon.

Fingers crossed! 🤞



No photos today but this is nightfall over a tower on the main square of Jimena de la Frontera yesterday:

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Some practicalities:

— San Pablo de Buceite has a decent supermarket for a pretty small town (it has both hummus and guacamole!).

— Hospedaria Las Buitreras in El Colmenar is the nicest place I’ve stayed in so far and cost less than the bungalow (€43)!

— There is one (or possibly two) small grocery store in El Colmenar which is just adequate enough to resupply for the canyon. But it might be worth getting some extra things at the supermarket in San Pablo earlier in the day.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Your reports always bring a big smile to my face. The trail detail on Mapy.cz makes it easy to follow your steps each day. I'm really, really hoping you get great weather for the stage through the canyon tomorrow, not only for the wonderful views but also for sure-footedness on the steep climb. It's quite a remarkable day and makes you appreciate the feats of engineering that resulted in the rail line being able to traverse the canyon.

As you pass by Benaoján a few days from now, you'll be able to appreciate the power of the river when it floods. It completely took out the bridge to the station area a few years ago, and the train line was closed for repairs for many months.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Well Nico, just seeing this for the first time. Don't know how I missed it! Looks like a lovely walk. I've been to Gibraltar, Ronda and Sevilla, just never from a Camino perspective. Have a wonderful time, and I am assuming Wendy is holding the fort down??
Nico 😊

I’ve never been to Ronda so I’m looking forward to arriving in two days!
 

Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
Just to say about Ronda - if you have time, I highly recommend walking down in to the gorge. While the views from above are fabulous, looking up from below is something else. I won’t ‘spoil’ by posting any photos but our time spent down in the gorge was a real highlight of our time in Ronda

After you cross the bridge (just after the Parador on your right), there are ways to go down into the gorge to the right (walking down a path) and to the left (down a circular stone staircase). A different experience on each side and recommend both. Sorry that’s light on detail, but both should be easy to find.

We also enjoyed an apero on the terrace of the Parador. ❤️
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Just to say about Ronda - if you have time, I highly recommend walking down in to the gorge. .... Sorry that’s light on detail, but both should be easy to find.
That's a great recommendation, Pelerina. To help find the starting point, here's our Wikiloc track:
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Thank you both! I’ve added the track to my maps. It’s rather squiggly though ;)
Very squiggly!!! :oops: The gps does a lot of searching for a signal under the bridge and close to the cliff. Once you find the starting point, the rest of the route is obvious and you can ignore the gps track.
 

Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
Nick, If you find the track is too squiggly - I would just say I can't imagine you would need it anyway. We have never used GPS tracks on any walk - though Domi carries a compass.* Not for any special reason - I know many people use GPS tracks on caminos and elsewhere - we just haven't needed them - so far! Yes, we do occasionally go 'off piste' but that has sometimes led to a bonus adventure and we've always managed to get back to the path … eventually 😎

There must have been signs directing us to the path down to the gorge, and the fabulous stone stairs on the other. I don't recall any difficulty finding our way. So ... it must have been straightforward 😁

Also, we saw hardly anyone down there - even when the streets and 'lookout vantage points' above were quite busy. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back there. ❤️

*we've only used the compass once, after what seemed like hours walking in circles in an olive grove on the Mozarabe.😩
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Day 4: El Colmenar to Jimera de Líber: ~26km.

Gently sloping, forested hills are quickly transformed into sheer, dramatic cliffs. Early morning beams of sunlight pierce the crags only to vanish into the vast expanse of the valley floor far below. Birds of prey soar high above, ominously circling at first, then making majestic sorties from the mountaintop. Defying the sunshine and blue sky, fog rolls through the narrowest stretch of the gorge, infusing magic and mystique into the landscape. The thunderous rapids of a fast-flowing river provide the only soundtrack. It’s utterly spectacular, and no one else is here.

It’s the Canyon of the Vulture Nests.

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This is one of those truly spectacular camino stages that don’t come around very often and I love every minute of it.

After the canyon, the mountain scenery is still very impressive but it does pale in comparison a bit, and there’s only so much beauty the eyes can take in one day.

BA910489-EC46-4C72-8CF3-F33E23597A64.jpeg



Some practicalities:

— I would have liked to have visited the Casa da Piedra near Cortes de la Frontera that @islandwalker recommended, but if you’re continuing to Jimera de Líber and not staying in Cortes, it’s not on the way. And this was a long enough day as it was without a detour. Next time!

— La Parra in Cañada del Real Tesoro is a short detour off the camino, so it’s a good lunch spot if you’re continuing to Jimera. They have veg options.

— I thought this day would be about 23km but if you go to Jimera proper and not just the station town, that adds a few extra kilometres. Combined with my ‘paso de fotógrafo’ (slow pace because of photo-taking) and one-hour lunch break, this was a 10.5-hour day door-to-door.

— In Jimera, I’m staying at Hotel Inz Almaraz, which is very nice, reasonably priced (€38/single) and has a restaurant.
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Questions from the slow walkers and distance challenged: 🙂
— I would have liked to have visited the Casa da Piedra near Cortes de la Frontera that @islandwalker recommended, but if you’re continuing to Jimera de Líber and not staying in Cortes, it’s not on the way. And this was a long enough day as it was without a detour. Next time!
Can this stage be planned as El Colmenar to Cortes de la Frontera, and then Cortes de la Frontera to Jimera de Líbar? The latter is off Camino, isn't it?
La Parra in Cañada del Real Tesoro is a short detour off the camino, so it’s a good lunch spot if you’re continuing to Jimera. They have veg options.
If my reading the map is correct, an alternative to cut this stage in two would be to stay in Cañada del Real Tesoro. As most of the accommodation there is made of casas rurales, I'm assuming that 2 nights might be required, and that the nightly rate might be high.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Questions from the slow walkers and distance challenged: 🙂

Can this stage be planned as El Colmenar to Cortes de la Frontera, and then Cortes de la Frontera to Jimera de Líbar? The latter is off Camino, isn't it?
Yes and yes!

This is the 14-day and 10-day itinerary from Johnnie Walker guide, which has Cortes as the end-of stage. I don’t have that much time so I needed to do it in 10 days, which is why I pushed on further today.

AAA20A28-32E7-44C8-9967-A37ADA704C98.jpeg
If my reading the map is correct, an alternative to cut this stage in two would be to stay in Cañada del Real Tesoro.
Also true, Cañada is pretty close to Cortes. But I didn’t look up accommodation in either place.
 

Madrood

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Serrana/VdlP or Geneva+
this was a 10.5-hour day door-to-door.

What kind of accommodation did you manage to find in Jimena?

Enjoying the write up so far! You probably don't have time for the detour, but I'd regret not mentioning Acinipo. It's a the ruin of a Roman theater between Ronda and Olvera. Google estimates it at about an hour each way if you went perpendicularly from the camino, not sure what a route adjustment would look like.

1670030452623.png
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
What kind of accommodation did you manage to find in Jimena?
Right, I forget to mention it — I’ll add it in. I’m at Hotel Inz Almaraz, which is very nice, reasonably priced (€38/single) and has a restaurant.

78ECD553-C1AA-4FEA-85E1-D9C306C65D62.jpeg

Enjoying the write up so far! You probably don't have time for the detour, but I'd regret not mentioning Acinipo. It's a the ruin of a Roman theater between Ronda and Olvera. Google estimates it at about an hour each way if you went perpendicularly from the camino, not sure what a route adjustment would look like.
Oooh, don’t tempt a former Roman tour guide with talk of Roman theater detours! That might be a bridge too far as it’s a 27.5km stage as it is, but I’ll have a think about it. Thanks!
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
We have never used GPS tracks on any walk
GPS tracks have been a complete game-changer for me — especially on some of these remote routes, although the waymarking on the Vía Serrana is pretty good. I used the Johnnie Walker 2018 guide to map out my stages, so I’m glad it’s out there, but 90% of the actual guide is directional instructions which are just obsolete if you have tracks and/or if the arrows are good. I don’t spend (or want to spend) the whole walk looking at a map on my phone but it’s so easy just to check at a junction or if you think you might be off-piste etc.

Speaking about the guide, here’s what it says about the canyon:

With very steep ascents, equally steep descents, and some narrow/on the edge paths in parts, this stage is extremely demanding, even for experienced walkers. If it is possible to walk today without carrying a heavy rucksack, that would be best.
This might scare off some people, but I think ‘extremely demanding’ (with extremely underlined) is over the top. Yes, there are ups and downs, but I didn’t find it difficult, and I don’t even have walking poles. The hardest part was having to duck through the tunnel before the bridge at the end of the canyon!
 
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Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
That’s interesting re the GPS. We just follow the way marking and occasionally refer to a hard copy or electronic guidebook if the arrows run out or it’s confusing. Rarely have our phones turned on when walking. We don’t think of ourselves as ‘luddites’ - others may disagree - but perhaps we’ve been lucky with waymarking on the paths we’ve walked. 😎.

Anyhoo … apologies for the diversion. Back to the path.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Day 5: Jimera de Líber to Ronda: ~19km (+8km more in Ronda)

It’s foggy when I leave Jimera in the dark this morning but I don’t mind, as I know a nice day is out there somewhere, and the trail is a joy to walk on. It’s a path cut into the mountainside, wide and mud-free. I come across a herd of sheep on the path, and they take one look at me and scatter, dashing up the mountain.

By the time I reach Estación de Benaoján, the fog starts to lift, the sky turns blue and the surrounding landscape is revealed for the first time: olive trees and golden wheat fields framed by mountains, or, in other words, the Andalucían countryside that I’m here for. The next section of the walk is hilly but beautiful, and the first, distant glimpse of Ronda — a city built on cliffs — is breathtaking.

ED68F670-C648-48F6-BB02-A60564AC3B3E.jpeg

It’s the first time I’ve been to Ronda and the city is extraordinary: medieval gates and walls, whitewashed buildings, soaring church towers, Islamic remains and, most famously, a dramatic gorge that somehow runs right through the centre of the city. There are blue skies above when I arrive and, later, spectacular storm light as dark grey clouds roll in.

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Overall, this is the best day on the Vía Serrana so far. The trails are great for walking, the scenery is gorgeous (despite not reaching the heights of yesterday’s canyon) and Ronda is a special place to end the stage.

Ronda also marks the halfway point of this camino. After the fabulous last couple of days, what else does the Vía Serrana have in store for me?



Some practicalities:

— The camino bypasses not only Benaoján itself but also Estación de Benaoján (the common village-near-the-actual-village-and-on-the-train-line), and I had no reason to go to either. But it’s an overnight option for short-stage walkers per the JW guide, and there’s some ‘cat cave’ not far from the camino, but I decided to skip it and press on.

— In Ronda I’m staying at Hotel Morales (€30, simple but fine). It’s in the northern part of the centre (i.e. the furthest part from where you enter the town), but check-in is helpfully from 1pm and can be automated.
 
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Madrood

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Serrana/VdlP or Geneva+
there’s some ‘cat cave’ not far from the camino

Cueva del Gato is about 1.5 km away from where the camino bends eastward after the Benaojan train station. It's quite popular on google; apparently you're not allowed climb into the cave but people do it anyways.

1670084367007.png

Ronda looks to be a real treat; do you have the time to explore it?

what else does the Vía Serrana have in store for me?

No spoilers, but the next stage seems to have a pretty enough destination. It also passes right by an 18th century monastery ('Santuario de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios') a couple of km before town that might be worth a look.
 
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A selection of Camino Jewellery

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Cueva del Gato is about 1.5 km away from where the camino bends eastward after the Benaojan train station. It's quite popular on google; apparently you're not allowed climb into the cave but people do it anyways.

View attachment 137684
Wow, that looks nice. Next time! I was anxious to arrive in Ronda early today so I decided against detours.

Ronda looks to be a real treat; do you have the time to explore it?
A few hours — enough to get an idea of the place but not enough to fully explore it (especially as a tired pilgrim!). If I had a day to spare I would have taken a rest day here but I don’t. I’ll have to come back sometime with Wendy!
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Looks great! You mention a 10 day version which you are doing and a 14 day alternative (JW) but what about a shorter version with longer stages. Any suggestions? How would it be to join your stage 2 and 3 then 4 and 5 do as not to miss Ronda? (I'm used to walking stages of 30-45 km even on the Primitivo or Salvador).
Distance-wise combining days 2&3 would be OK for you (about 37km). It would be a bit of a shame to miss Jimena de La Frontera (my day 2 overnight stop), as it’s the only historic place I’ve really been through until Ronda. But other than that it sounds like you could do it easily enough.

My distances post-Ronda are:
  1. 27.68km
  2. 24.63km
  3. 29.52km
  4. 19.32km
  5. 34-35km
So perhaps less opportunity to make up time there.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Distance-wise combining days 2&3 would be OK for you (about 37km). It would be a bit of a shame to miss Jimena de La Frontera (my day 2 overnight stop), as it’s the only historic place I’ve really been through until Ronda. But other than that it sounds like you could do it easily enough.

My distances post-Ronda are:
  1. 27.68km
  2. 24.63km
  3. 29.52km
  4. 19.32km
  5. 34-35km
So perhaps less opportunity to make up time there.
Thanks for responding! It's not so much about time but rather distance as I'm a fast walker and prefer not to arrive at my destination before noon. Good to hear though that Jimena de la Frontera is a worthwhile stop.

Still thinking about starting in Málaga but your thread has steered me off course 😂
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Re Zaframagon - stopping at the Information Center and Observatory sounds like a wonderful experience:
"A highly sensitive digital camera, with a rotation of 360º allows us to know in real time how griffon vultures fly, feed their young and reach their nests. The camera is camouflaged between the rocks in an area difficult to get to on the other side of the Guadalporcún canyon, only 200 metres away from where the vultures nest on the steepest slope of the Peñón."
 
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amancio

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Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Day 4: El Colmenar to Jimera de Líber: ~26km.

Gently sloping, forested hills are quickly transformed into sheer, dramatic cliffs. Early morning beams of sunlight pierce the crags only to vanish into the vast expanse of the valley floor far below. Birds of prey soar high above, ominously circling at first, then making majestic sorties from the mountaintop. Defying the sunshine and blue sky, fog rolls through the narrowest stretch of the gorge, infusing magic and mystique into the landscape. The thunderous rapids of a fast-flowing river provide the only soundtrack. It’s utterly spectacular, and no one else is here.

It’s the Canyon of the Vulture Nests.

View attachment 137637

View attachment 137641

View attachment 137640



This is one of those truly spectacular camino stages that don’t come around very often and I love every minute of it.

After the canyon, the mountain scenery is still very impressive but it does pale in comparison a bit, and there’s only so much beauty the eyes can take in one day.

View attachment 137636



Some practicalities:

— I would have liked to have visited the Casa da Piedra near Cortes de la Frontera that @islandwalker recommended, but if you’re continuing to Jimera de Líber and not staying in Cortes, it’s not on the way. And this was a long enough day as it was without a detour. Next time!

— La Parra in Cañada del Real Tesoro is a short detour off the camino, so it’s a good lunch spot if you’re continuing to Jimera. They have veg options.

— I thought this day would be about 23km but if you go to Jimera proper and not just the station town, that adds a few extra kilometres. Combined with my ‘paso de fotógrafo’ (slow pace because of photo-taking) and one-hour lunch break, this was a 10.5-hour day door-to-door.

— In Jimera, I’m staying at Hotel Inz Almaraz, which is very nice, reasonably priced (€38/single) and has a restaurant.
wow, 10.5 hours is a LONG day in these extremely short days of the season, did you make it on time with enough daylight?
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
wow, 10.5 hours is a LONG day in these extremely short days of the season, did you make it on time with enough daylight?
Just! There are about 9 3/4 hours of daylight here at the moment. That day (and most days) I leave about 45 minutes before sunrise, so I arrived right at sunset.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Day 6 — Ronda to Olvera: ~33km (including detour)

I would have gladly stayed an extra day in Ronda but I don’t have time and instead leave under cover of darkness this morning. The weather is either hazy (according to my weather app) or raining (according to what it actually is when I step outside). But it’s very light rain and in any case it stops in a few minutes, giving way to the morning fog which has become common in the last few days.

After some asphalt road walking to begin the stage, the camino soon evolves into pleasant dirt paths through the countryside and the sun peeks out every now and then. I see olive groves on a mass scale for the first time on this camino — those distinct green leaves set against a stormy grey sky — and an occasional late autumn vineyard in yellows and reds.

EC792C1D-37B4-4834-96BA-3D332334317E.jpeg

Towards lunchtime I make a detour to the archeological site at Acinipo, which adds about 5-6km to my day. Fortunately, it’s worth it for the 1st-century BC Roman Theatre, which retains an impressive stage backing in addition to seating carved out of the rock. Because of their engineering capacity and eventual mastery of concrete, the Romans didn’t need to build their theatres into hills the way the Greeks did, but they did in this case and seeing it is the highlight of the stage.

ECAA2A9D-B45A-470C-B646-B2878CB19110.jpeg

Soon after leaving the theatre I get my first tantalising glimpse of Olvera - whitewashed, dramatically set on a hillside, surrounded by olive groves … and 15km away. Reaching it is a slog, often on paved roads and under an overcast sky, and I arrive with only half an hour of daylight left. When I enter the town, light drizzle is falling again, the bookends of my day.



Some practicalities:

— Thanks to @Madrood for alerting me to the Roman theatre as I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. It did indeed take me almost an hour to get there from the camino. Leaving the theatre I didn’t retrace all my steps but walked on a road (the MA-8406) until it rejoined the camino, which was quicker.

— This was a long day. Setenil is the shorter option and if I would probably recommend staying there if detouring to the theatre. But again it’s one of those villages in these parts that the camino doesn’t actually go through, so it is itself a detour.

— In Olvera I’m staying at Olvera B&B (€35, not as nice as the last two places), which is near the castle but at the far end of town, off the camino route. Tomorrow morning I might make up my own route via the castle to pick up the camino rather than going back through town.
 
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Get your today and start planning.

Madrood

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Serrana/VdlP or Geneva+
Glad you enjoyed it! One can see on a satellite view lots of stone piles which apparently mark the locations of houses. The geography is interesting too; to my untrained eyes it looks like the site stands out like a callous, sitting slightly above where the natural contour of the hill. Around the back side it's jagged, like the earth was cleared to make a small natural wall.

1670182209161.png

Tomorrow morning I might make up my own route via the castle to pick up the camino rather than going back through town.

The northern road (CA-9102) has a spur about 2-3km outside of town which intersects with the camino. It's cut into the hillside though and doesn't have much of a hard shoulder in places.

On satellite view I can see a possibly concrete track that follows the top of a ridge, about halfway between the road and the camino, meeting up with former just before the crossroads.

Edit: You might also have luck with the path which leaves town further to the east; gets to the camino much quicker, and without having to go up and down a hill.

1670182364774.png

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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Glad you enjoyed it! One can see on a satellite view lots of stone piles which apparently mark the locations of houses. The geography is interesting too; to my untrained eyes it looks like the site stands out like a callous, sitting slightly above where the natural contour of the hill. Around the back side it's jagged, like the earth was cleared to make a small natural wall.

View attachment 137760
Yes, there were lots of piles/mounds. And also two other sites as marked on your image: a domus and baths, although these were nothing special. It’s really all about the theatre.

The northern road (CA-9102) has a spur about 2-3km outside of town which intersects with the camino. It's cut into the hillside though and doesn't have much of a hard shoulder in places.
On maps.me I see a path leading off the CA-9102 and rejoining the camino much earlier.

F938BA0A-BCEE-4E97-952A-1D12683676F2.jpeg

Another thing to consider is that I’m basically out of food supplies and couldn’t restock today because supermarkets were closed (Sunday). So I might have to go back into town anyway; Dia opens at 8am.
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
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2023?
Another thing to consider is that I’m basically out of food supplies and couldn’t restock today because supermarkets were closed (Sunday). So I might have to go back into town anyway; Dia opens at 8am.
Out of curiosity Nick, what sort of food supplies do you carry? What are your staples?
I remember what I bought depended on the supermarket chain; some were big on 'ready to go' items (Lidl my favourite) & others or smaller/independent grocery stores required a bit more creativity...
👣🌏
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Out of curiosity Nick, what sort of food supplies do you carry? What are your staples?
I remember what I bought depended on the supermarket chain; some were big on 'ready to go' items (Lidl my favourite) & others or smaller/independent grocery stores required a bit more creativity...
👣🌏
Yes, I like Lidl too for tabouleh-type ready meals but I haven’t seen a Lidl on this camino yet. Since I don’t eat animal products my options are a bit more limited, especially in the smaller stores, but it usually works out fine.

For breakfast/snacks I like oat bars and/or biscuits (Vitalday has several good choices that are usually easy to find).

For lunch sandwiches I try to buy brown bread rolls / baguette with some combination of a spread (eg hummus or Violife creamy), easy-to-find fillings (eg tomatoes and avocado) and harder-to-find fillings (eg smoked tofu or vuna).
 
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A selection of Camino Jewellery

Tassie Kaz

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2023?
Yes, I like Lidl too for tabouleh-type ready meals but I haven’t seen a Lidl on this camino yet. Since I don’t eat animal products my options are a bit more limited, especially in the smaller stores, but it usually works out fine.

For breakfast/snacks I like oat bars and/or biscuits (Vitalday has several good choices that are usually easy to find).

For lunch sandwiches I try to buy brown bread rolls / baguette with some combination of a spread (eg hummus or Violife creamy), easy-to-find fillings (eg tomatoes and avocado) and harder-to-find fillings (eg smoked tofu or vuna).
Thanks Nick. I go for similar items but different brands here of course. I'd never heard of a plant-based tuna substitute before though. I assume the brands are the same in Portugal so you know exactly what to go for?
Eating, whether on the go, self-catering or even at restaurants/cafes becomes somewhat more challenging for me too due to food allergies.
I've just returned from Bali & off-shore islands where I had a stark reminder to be ever vigilant even if the food item seems innocent.
Always makes for interesting travelling...diving in to local cuisine is never an option for me!
👣🌏
Edited to remove my wandering off-piste! 😇
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Those allergies sound tricky! Glad the Bali peanut episode was resolved and didn’t turn into a more dangerous version of Bali Belly.

I assume the brands are the same in Portugal so you know exactly what to go for?
Yes they usually are. Sometimes the packaging is even the same with both languages on it. My favourite example of this is with these oven-baked potato chips/crisps. What word do you see?

E137DCD7-0DA6-44F5-940A-6339EC4587E8.jpeg

It’s horno in Spanish and forno in Portuguese (both meaning oven), with the first letter written ambiguously so you see what you want to see! FWIW, a sound shift away from the f to the h at the beginning of words in medieval Spanish is why the words are different here, and there are many examples of this where Spanish has moved to an h and Portuguese has retained the f (eg hijo/filho, hermosa/formosa, hablar/falar etc).
 
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Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Time of past OR future Camino
2023?
Those allergies sound tricky! Glad the Bali peanut episode was resolved and didn’t turn into a more dangerous version of Bali Belly.


Yes they usually are. Sometimes the packaging is even the same with both languages on it. My favourite example of this is with these oven-baked potato chips/crisps. What word do you see?

View attachment 137778

It’s horno in Spanish and forno in Portuguese (both meaning oven), with the first letter written ambiguously so you see what you want to see! FWIW, a sound shift away from the f to the h at the beginning of words in medieval Spanish is why the words are different here, and there are many examples of this (eg hijo/filho, hermosa/formosa, hablar/falar etc).
Always learn heaps from you Nick...Oh-font-of-all-knowledge!
Great find with the chippies...a clever marketing team on that one. Incidentally, I saw 'forno' first.

Thanks for your thoughts..although a dose of Bali Belly was the least of my concerns! All good, know the warning signs & got to it in time.

Look forward to any other food & language treasures you find. Your writing & photos as always an absolute stand-out.
👣🌏
Edited (again)..as I digressed (again)!
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Thanks for your thoughts with my allergy incident. A dose of Bali Belly was this least of my concerns! As the reaction had already paralysed my voice box (meaning I couldn't communicate in any language...), a swelling, closing windpipe was my immediate concern. All good, know the warning signs & got to it in time.
Gosh, that sounds very scary! So glad you were able to limit the damage.

And thank you so much to @Tassie Kaz and @Camino Chrissy for your kind words. They are especially appreciated on a difficult day like today.
 
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Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Day 7 - Olvera to Coripe: ~24km

Five minutes after setting out in the dark this morning, I receive a teary phone call from home with news of a serious medical diagnosis in my family. A few minutes later, shaken and trying to process what I’ve heard, I turn around to see the sky lit up and I take this photo, because what else can I do? Besides, one sunrise represents the promise of many more to come.

B1E0BFDD-7CFB-4CF9-94A5-D36CFF60B629.jpeg

I walk with a heavy heart and more tears but the camino is therapeutic, even though it’s gloomy and drizzly and I don’t care much for olive groves or griffin vultures today.

The one thing that does resonate with me is that the entire stage unfolds on a 19th-century railway line that’s cut into the mountains. The track was never completely finished but most of the infrastructure for it was built and it remains to this day.

The point is: on the very day when I’m trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s remarkable and reassuring that the camino takes me through 20 actual tunnels — and that there’s light at the end of all of them.

20A040DA-2AE4-4ED0-8487-9D5B70B6EFFD.jpeg
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Day 7 - Olvera to Coripe: ~24km

Five minutes after setting out in the dark this morning, I receive a teary phone call from home with news of a serious medical diagnosis in my family. A few minutes later, shaken and trying to process what I’ve heard, I turn around to see the sky lit up and I take this photo, because what else can I do? Besides, one sunrise represents the promise of many more to come.

View attachment 137785

I walk with a heavy heart and more tears but the camino is therapeutic, even though it’s gloomy and drizzly and I don’t care much for olive groves or griffin vultures today.

The one thing that does resonate with me is that the entire stage unfolds on a 19th-century railway line that’s cut into the mountains. The track was never completely finished but most of the infrastructure for it was built and it remains to this day.

The point is: on the very day when I’m trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s remarkable and reassuring that the camino takes me through 20 actual tunnels — and that there’s light at the end of all of them.

View attachment 137786
Take care Nick… Big hug from Santiago!
 
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Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Nick, I was so sad to read of this difficult news you have received from "home". Your photos are so appropriate in representing your thoughts and writing today. Although I do not ask for details of what has happened, I wonder where your home is? Somehow I do not imagine your extended family are from Portugal, although I know Lisbon is "your" home at this stage of life.
I hope things will look up for you and your loved ones very soon! 🙏
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Thank you for all the nice messages of support. I am alone here in a sleepy village so virtual hugs are much appreciated!

I wonder where your home is? Somehow I do not imagine your extended family are from Portugal, although I know Lisbon is "your" home at this stage of life.
I am Australian so most of my family is in Sydney, where I grew up. My mother’s parents were immigrants from the Netherlands (via Indonesia) while my father’s family can trace their lineage back to the convicts who arrived in Australia from England in the late 18th century.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
We know how you feel, @jungleboy , having had the same situation earlier this year on the Mozárabe.
I think the possibility of an unfortunate situation back home while we are walking for weeks in a far away country lurks in the backs of many of our minds. It has for me, especially if a family member has been ill for quite awhile, although unforseen devastating things can happen, too.
 
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Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Time of past OR future Camino
2023?
Echoing the sentiments of others...we're all behind you Nick & hope the support we can offer, along with the signs (not literal ones) in your surroundings help carry you along.
On a lighter note...
I didn't know but I just knew you had Aussie in you! 🦘🐨🇦🇺
&
tunnels..love them. They became one of my favourite things to photograph on the Way of 88 Temples in Japan. They also provide handy shade & shelter from rain.

Hang in there & sempre avanti 🤗
👣🌏
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Time of past OR future Camino
2023?
Kaz, I’m sure Nick will (rightly) take this as a compliment 😎.
Well, I hope so! It was more an observation... @jungleboy has that certain way about him including his spirit, personality, sense of humour, etc that we recognise amongst our own.
Having said that, he is truly a citizen of the world...& long may he roam. 🤗
Sorry Nick, we're talking about you not to you! 😉
👣🌏
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Day 8 - Coripe to El Coronil: ~28km

There hasn’t been much sunshine — literal or figurative — in the last two days. On the heels of yesterday’s family news, today I find out about the passing of the father of one of my best childhood friends.

All there is for me to do is walk, but there’s no sunshine there, either. It rains on and off in the morning, and it’s foggy and muddy. After Montellano, the mountains are replaced by plains and the camino is on a busy road, both of which render the Vía Serrana unrecognisable. I feel that the best of this camino is behind me now, and that I’m not in the right frame of mind to enjoy whatever’s left.

And then it happens. The sun finally comes out for the first time since Sunday morning, and it warms my bones and my heart. Then, a 14th-century Arab castle appears out of nowhere just off the road, and I hasten to it while the sun’s still out.

I climb the crumbling towers, take in the sunshine from atop the ramparts, and, for the briefest of moments, I don’t have a care in the world.

093A68EF-05C3-4FEF-BF7A-EB12A4728A18.jpeg



Some practicalities:

— Montellano is 16km into the stage, so it can be the end of a short stage or a lunch stop for a longer stage.

— At El Coronil, I’m staying at Hostal Don Juan for €40. It’s better than the last two places but not as nice as Jimera or El Colmenar.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Happy to hear there is a ray or two of sunshine for you today! May it continue! You are almost there...
Thank you! I’m a bit unsure how to proceed for the last two days. The last day Utrera-Seville is 34-35km with a lot of rain forecast, so I’m dreading that a bit and I’ve thought about skipping it altogether and just taking the train tomorrow afternoon instead.

If I do walk it all, tomorrow is only 19km to Utrera so ideally I’d like to walk a bit further but there doesn’t seem to be any accommodation that would allow for a more even split.

I guess I’ll walk to Utrera tomorrow, eat lunch there and then decide what to do.
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2020
Thank you! I’m a bit unsure how to proceed for the last two days. The last day Utrera-Seville is 34-35km with a lot of rain forecast, so I’m dreading that a bit and I’ve thought about skipping it altogether and just taking the train tomorrow afternoon instead.

If I do walk it all, tomorrow is only 19km to Utrera so ideally I’d like to walk a bit further but there doesn’t seem to be any accommodation that would allow for a more even split.

I guess I’ll walk to Utrera tomorrow, eat lunch there and then decide what to do.
Ultrera sounds a lot like Ultreia!
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
Oh Nick I feel your pain. 😫. that video brings back memories of Chemin d’Arles where the Way sometimes takes you through private farmlands. One particular day we had to walk through recently ploughed fields, made into thick mud after many days of rain. I thought I’d tied my shoes tightly enough - but alas no. As I tried to lift up my heavy mud laden foot, the whole shoe came off. If I hadn’t had my poles I’d have fallen over. Getting my foot back into the shoe was quite a feat. Don’t know how I would have done it if I were on my own - as you are - without Domi to hold me upright!

Here’s to more sunshine, and less mud for you 😎
 
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