Camino Mozárabe – day 1 – Málaga to Almogía

The alarm was set for 05:45 and we were out of the house by 06:20 in order to get to Málaga to meet my walking partner, George, outside the church of Santiago at 07:30. I felt slightly unsure that he would be there, as I had sent a couple of unanswered messages during the previous week. But I felt comfortable with that possibility and I was ready to walk alone.

However, no worries, he was waiting as arranged. After greetings and introductions we went in search of an open cafe – which is seemingly a rare thing in Málaga at 07:30. But we eventually came up trumps and then returned to the church at opening time of 08:00, for me to get my first Mozárabe stamp in my credencial. I was quite surprised to find the church doors actually open at the allotted time and walked across to the office to find it unattended and to be told by the cleaning lady that it wouldn’t be open until 10:00, although I had previously been assured that I could obtain my stamp at 08:00. Oh well, not much I could do about it – and I have to say it was typical of the hit and miss way that things often happen here in Spain. Luckily George had obtained his stamp last evening and I can go back and get mine when I have finished my camino, so no big deal. But it would be a big deal to someone who had flown in from a different continent and wouldn’t be returning to Málaga.

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I bade farewell to David and Roly and George and I set off on the long trek through Málaga, out of the old quarter and into the suburbs along the Carlos Haya road. There was no signage indicating ‘the way’ but we had both studied the route and were confident in our steps. Just before we reached the motorway at sbout 9 km we came across the first camino sign and from that point onwards the signage has been absolutely excellent. We found the underpass and were suddenly in rural Spain.

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The route continued on tracks and side roads until we reached the village of Junta de Los Caminos at 12 km and went in search of refreshment that we found in an enormous bar/restaurant with pensión style accommodation.

Once we left Junta de Los Caminos we were heading into the mountains and slogging ever upwards for what seemed a very long time. It was quite a tough second half with a great deal of elevation. I was glad of my mountain hiking experience, but poor urban trekker George was suffering on his first day out and had to stop quite regularly.

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It was a dull day with grey skies and a quite bitter gusty wind, but the effort of climbing for such a sustained period kept me more than warm.

The wild flowers are once again phenomenal such a riot of colour and of course I couldn’t resist snapping away, although the strong wind didn’t help my compositions, and this selection isn’t really up to standard.

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We finally made it into Almogía at around 15:00 and called into the townhall to ask about the Albergue. The instructions told us it was a further 500 metres, but as usual this was an outright lie. It was at least another kilometre and probably further. When we arrived there was already a french guy here who had come from Córdoba (not in one day!) and was making his way to Granada, Málaga, Cadiz and Seville and then onto Santiago – and I thought I was walking a long way! He has a wheeled frame to carry his gear, which I presume he pulls along behind him. I can’t imagine that would be very easy on some of the tracks we have been walking on today.

The Albergue is alongside a school football pitch and has three bunk beds and a very nice bathroom, but no kitchen facilities. Payment is by donation which we are instructed to put in an envelope with our name written on it, which seems a bit strange. But there are electric radiators and plenty of hot water for a lovely refreshing shower, so I am happy to pay a reasonable amount.

The two guys are snoozing whilst I write this, and we are planning to walk to the cafe for a drink and bite to eat at around 19:30.

All in all, a very good first day. So different from that first day two years ago, crossing the Pyrenees. Although I don’t feel very fit at the moment I must have built up a lot of strength over the last couple of years, as I feel absolutely fine with no particular aches or stiffness (who said don’t speak too soon?) and I didn’t even remove my boots until about an hour after we arrived.

The official blurb tells me that our walk today should have been 21.7 km, but ‘mapmywalk’ told me it was over 26km and my new ‘fitbit’ toy reports 35,932 steps and 25.37 km.

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The pace given above was not my pace, which was somewhat faster, but that of the person who uploaded this track to wikiloc.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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53 Responses to Camino Mozárabe – day 1 – Málaga to Almogía

  1. Elizabeth Haggart says:

    Hi Maggie: I was delighted to find your blog about this year’s Camino on the day you started! I was on the Frances last year during your Trek up the Portugues and have enjoyed and appreciated both accounts for their information and advice. Being in canada it is a bit harder to get to Spain frequently, but I plan to walk the Portugues, hopefully from Lisbon next year. Meantime I will live vicariously through you and follow your 2015 to Santiago. Buen Camino!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Janice Tyler says:

    And so it begins!….A shame about the disappointment at the beginning of not getting your stamp but there is so much to look forward to. David must have felt a bit lonely going home with just Roly but we are all here to keep him company. I look forward to the next instalment! Well done for your first day xx

    Like

  3. Lindsay says:

    Go maggie go! Sounds like day one was excellent-beautiful photos again, well done! Lindsay xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. zohar says:

    Still admirring you. Thanks for your post and lovely pictures. Keep on smilling, I’ll follow you daily

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cathy platin says:

    Hi Maggie,
    I’m following you from Bend,Oregon in the US. You are very inspiring and I look forward to following your journey. Thanks so much for posting; always wanted to do the Camino but the body now won’t allow, so you can do it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tony Rice says:

    Good muscle memory Maggie. You go girl!😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Frances says:

    Well done Maggie. Beautiful flower photos. Hopefully George will be feeling ready to go tomorrow.
    Frances xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. David Wolfe says:

    It did seem very odd to see you walking of in the opposite direction and going back to the car not knowing when I will see you again a very strange experience
    Day1complete well done I never doubted your fitness for a moment have a good nights rest.
    All is well here, a great post as usual

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Leona says:

    Thank you for such a descriptive post. Following you as motivation for this fall when I return to Spain and finish my camino from Leon. You’re truly a wonderful motivator!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My oh my, just look at the elevation on the second half! No wonder George found it tough. Amazing flower pictures again – there’s a white one that looks like a crumpled single square of toilet paper with a yellow flower in the middle, just lovely! Have a well deserved rest and happy trekking on day 2, same to George.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. And so it starts. Well done for the first day. I enjoy all your photos of the flowers, church, hills and valleys. A pretty floral route there. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. annieh61 says:

    What an excellent start on tough terrain Maggie. Check you out with all your techie gizmos girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. lynharrison4wind says:

    Great bedtime reading once more. Good to discover your core strength is intact from the previous two years, though having seen the pristine garden before you left I think all the gardening has much to do with it! Hope you slept well in the bunk bed and the rain eases off before dawn. We’ll be following you every step. Love from the both of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Cheri says:

    Maggie I’ve followed you thru your blog for over a year reading all about your 1st camino. I think you must write like you converse and I love reading about all your daily walks and travels. Thank you for taking the time and spending the energy to post. I start from SJPdP on June 10 and am very interested in your waterbottle with bite straw. Where did you find it and how is it attached to your pack strap? I wish you a very buen camino.

    Liked by 1 person

    • magwood says:

      Hi Cheri, many thanks for your interest and support. I am going to put together a ‘questions’ post and will respond to your enquiry there so that others will see it. I am finding the system to be excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Grania says:

    Excited to see you are on the move again Maggie …I shall really enjoy your nightly blogs, I have missed them .
    Our son Eddie sets off on the Portuguese Camino next month x x

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Maureen Gillespie says:

    Maggie I’m delighted you’re on the road again, purely for my own reading pleasure. It’s great to have your blog back in my life again. And this time accompanied by a fitbit 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • magwood says:

      Maureen, how lovely to hear from you. I can’t believe that two years ago I didn’t even know you. Think of you often. When are you coming back? xxx

      Like

  17. Keith Rocks says:

    Great first day. Well done Maggie. Nice pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Susan Quenneville says:

    Wonderful Maggie!! As Leona said, you are a true motivator!! Will be following you daily as you make your trek across that beautiful countryside!! Enjoy every step! May God bless your journey and George’s😊

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Irish Sue says:

    Good luck Maggie, we will be with you in spirit every step of the way.
    Irish Sue xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Maggie Gardner says:

    Well done on completing your first tough day. So looking forward to following you every step of the way. Maggie xx

    Liked by 1 person

  21. cindy jones says:

    Great first day and wonderful photographs as always. I can feel another “talk coming on” with all those fantastic flower shots!!! Have fun and take care, Cindy

    Liked by 1 person

  22. AJ says:

    Bringing back memories of my first Camino. There was no albergue in Almogia and I stayed in Hostal la Loma at a cost of 20 euros. I had my first ever menu del dia here and was both shocked and delighted that a litre of wine was included in the price!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Albertinho says:

    Buen camino Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Mysticl says:

    Loved reading this blog! Just wanted to add my 2 cents here about MapMyWalk … my husband and I use it regularly on our training hikes and even though we both use iphones and we both start and end the App at the same time the data collected often does not match in the SLIGHTEST … it is not uncommon for one or the other to be different by as much as +/- 20% for distance and elevation. We attribute this to the way the App looks for and process the signal from the cell towers for GPS tracking … wifi on the trail is almost non existant on our trails but it’s possible that one or the other connects briefly to it as we pass possible hotspots which might also affect the signal. Either way unless you are walking in the open with a clear line of sight to whatever tower your phone is connecting to it’s possible the algorithm used by the App is calculating distance using faulty data when you do happen to briewfly disconnect as it has to take a point before it lost signal and then extrapolate to the point that you regained the signal. Moral of the story .. go ahead and use the App (we intend to) but if the distances aren’t close to the published distance between points, I’d go with the guide and not the App. Although it’s possible that your path could have something to do with that … especially if you wander a bit on and off the trail 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • magwood says:

      Wow, thanks for such detailed info. I kind of wanted the mapmywalk walk info to be correct because it always gives a greater distance, but in reality I wasn’t really sure it would be reliable. However it is reliably different to wikiloc, ie always a similar percentage of difference and always higher. Any other info you have, please share.

      Like

  25. Math says:

    Hi, enjoyed your blog. From BC Canada & my husband & I are planning to come to Spain sept 2015 & walk. Will look forward to your future writings. Buen camino!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. louis says:

    well done we plan to do this walk in september. are there any sizns from the church in malaga
    enjoy. louis

    Liked by 1 person

    • magwood says:

      Hi Louis. I don’t remember any signs until we reached the area just before crossing under the motorway and then there are plenty of arrows. The route from the church to this point is quite straight forward and you can find a GPS route online. If you have trouble finding directions, let me know and I will try to send you a link when I am back home.

      Like

  27. outdoorfirmo says:

    Hi Maggie,

    I’ve reading your blog with great interest. Keep up the good work.

    I cycled the via de la Plata last year, but this year I’m riding part of the TransAndalus and TransMurciana. Neither are Camino de Santiago routes, however, I need to get from Malaga to Antequerra. I already have a route planned, but there is the other alternative of following the Camino Mozarabe (and I really crave to see those yellow arrows!).

    Its inevitable that whatever route taken from Malaga to Antequera is going to comprise of massive elevation, but I wonder, in your opinion do you think this Camino is mostly rideable?

    Thanks again!

    Like

  28. Pingback: Trepidatious Traveller | The Camino Provides

  29. Jp Kennedy says:

    Maggie
    Can you please tell me where you got your credencial from, obviously not the church. Did your walking partner get his from the Church. We arriving in Malaga June 5th but not heading off until next day so hopefully we can get our credential that afternoon
    Thanks
    JO

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Hi Jo. I did finally get the first stamp in my credencial at the church after my return. The last time I was in Málaga (just before Christmas) the church was still closed for renovation. I have no idea when it will reopen. I think you can also get your credencial from the Cathedral, which is very central. I got mine from the Amigos in Málaga, but at the time their office was only open for a few hours on a Tuesday evening, which wouldn’t work for many people. I can’t remember where George got his from. Take a look at this link to a camino forum for recent information.
      You can also order a credencial to be sent by post from the camino forum linked above, or from various different associations around the world.
      I hope you enjoy this camino – it is difficult to have a favourite, as all caminos are very different. But the Mozarabe from Málaga was very special.
      Buen Camino!

      Like

      • Jo Kennedy says:

        Thanks Maggie, appreciate the info. I have done the CF twice and the Portuguese as well, and I have looked forward to this one immensely. It has been so helpful having your blog to look at. I think our accommodation in Malaga is quite near the Cathedral, so that should work out well. We are from New Zealand so hope to get Credencial and stamp organised the day before we start walking.
        Once again, many thanks for your help
        Jo

        Like

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