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Where Did I Go Wrong (Cordoba - Merida)?

Supposed to be Merida, but I managed to join the Via de la Plata at Zafra and I'm not exactly sure where I went wrong.

I was definatley on track at Peñarroya. Spent the night in the albergue (a 8PM - 8AM lock-in). Couldn't find any markers to a sandero in the morning, so roughly followed the road to Fuente Obejuna where I spent the night in the church. Local people I spoke to seemed familar with occasional passing pilgrims and suggested a free bed was available in a local hostal.

I then made my way to Azuaga already convinced I was going in the wrong direction, but being told there was an albergue for pilgrims there. On arrival, I was told that there was an albergue, but it was now closed and had been turned into a museum about human migration. I was directed to Llerena. From there I followed roads and paths to Zafra.

I'm currently trying to turn all my blog posts and memories into some sort of guide. And, I will go back to Cordoba at some time to speak with the local society of friends of the camino, but, in the meantime, does anyone know which is the 'official' route from Cordoba to Merida?
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That's interesting.

I was way off! However, I knowingly strayed off route to visit a castle at Belmez that I spotted on the horizon. For some reason it beckoned. When I asked for directions back to the Mozarabe sandero almost everyone I asked who had an answer directed me to Peñarroya (Peñarosa according to locals). There I asked at Policia Local where the pilgrims accomodation was and was directed to a bar. At the bar they told me to return to Policia Local and ask to phone to confirm I was a pilgrim. I then had to return to the bar to be directed to the albergue. Proper 'old skool' albergue. Huge building with crosses and Jesus pics everywhere. On presentation of credential a voucher for a free meal at a local bar was presented and a bed offered for the night. Two large dorm's full of beds. Undoubtedly a night shelter for homeless 'travellers' also. Everyone who asks is entitled to One nights bed and meal (subject to 'managements descrection).

And, then there was the closed albergue in Azuaga (now a museum) and the pilgrim's accomodation I never found in Llerena. Yet, people I speak to who followed your suggested route to Merida say pilgrim's accomodation was all but non-existent.

Perhaps I was inadvertently following an old path?

I may take a bus from Granada to Cordoba and try and follow the route you list to see if things are any more clear. I actually failed to find the path out of Cordoba, but picked it up later. Fully admit I wasn't tuned into the yellow arrows at that time and didn't bother with any guide. Working purely on word of mouth and my own intuition. Incidently, since returning to Granada I have noticed yellow arrows and shells all over town that I had been previously oblivious to!

Anyway, weather permitting I'll be starting my next trek to Santiago from Alicante this coming Monday. My feet are itching like crazy. Just need new boots (and a new set of blisters!).

Thanks for the info.


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