My day started when I opend my eyes (quite late) and was greeted by this sight through my bedroom window – the first strike of the sun upon the snow covered peak of mount Maroma. I am treated to this view without even lifting my head from my pillow. It is priceless.
It was a good omen for a very special day. The start to my 2015 camino! I am planning to walk the camino Mozarabe this year, from Málaga. And as I only live around 60 km from Málaga I have opted to start from my front door. I am not planning to walk this camino in a single outing, rather relish each stage over the next few months.
So today I set off from home in the village of Canillas de Albaida to meet up with friends along the way until our band of five met with Renate, my Dutch friend who would lead us on a walk to the coast via the ‘La Corca’ area.
Renate is going to walk 200 km with me along the first leg of the Mozarabe from Málaga to Córdoba. She has time restrictions and can only walk in mid March, which is a little early for me. So I am keeping an open mind as to what I do when I reach Córdoba. If the weather promises to be fair for a couple of weeks I shall probably continue as far as Mérida where the Mozarabe intersects with the Via de la Plata (the camino route from Seville), and then return home to complete the route later in the year.
Whereas if the weather is not favourable I shall return home with Renate from Córdoba and continue later in the year from this point.
The camino Mozarabe also has starting points in Almeria and Granada which meet with the Málaga route just before reaching Córdoba and then continue in a north westerly direction to Merida.
So this was day one of the adventure for Renate and me, and we had the company of some great walking friends on this first leg.
The day started with a rather blustery wind but once we started our descent into the valley we were protected by the hillsides and soon started stripping off layers of clothing. Roly had the company of Jack Russell Toby and both were, as usual, impeccably behaved. We made a good pace and hit the coast after I had been walking for four hours and we had another hour’s walk along the coast road to Algarrobo Costa where we were met by David and a friend of my walking pal to be driven back up the mountain (although not before a couple of refreshing beers overlooking the Mediterranean.
Total distance for me was 26.3 km, a little longer for some and a little less for Renate. But we all felt suitably knackered at the end.
Next stage will be from Algarrobo to Rincon de la Victoria, and then from Rincon into Málaga.
The day had been very warm, probably reaching mid to high twenties centigrade – not bad for late January! We all thoroughly enjoyed the walk which was new to all of us except Renate.
Renate and I really felt we had started our camino, although we still have six weeks or so until set set off from Málaga. It was an excellent day. And to finish it off in a spectacular way, we had the most amazing view of the Rif mountains in North Africa, which are in the region of 180 km distant and can be seen on a clear day, and are an amazing sight at sunset. I think this was the clearest view I have ever seen. A perfect ending to a fabulous day.
Edit: due to her busy life, it turned out that Renate was not able to join me on my walk from Malaga. In reality this was a good thing, because I didn’t really want to start walking in March, and in the meantime I found a wonderful walking partner via a pilgrim forum and we set off on 8 April.