Camino Mozárabe – day 3 – Villanueva de la Concepción to Antequera 18.8 km

Firstly, thank you very much for all the lovely comments I have received. I have seen them all but haven’t been able to respond yet. I will try to answer any questions over the next few days. It all depends on the wifi situation. We left the albergue at a leisurely 08:00. George popped his head out of the door first and reported that it was raining, so on went my pack-cover-come-shoulder-Cape. George was a bit more thorough and donned wet-weather trousers. The walk out of Villanueva was sooo steep and I felt an ache in the back of my thighs from yesterday’s weight-lifting efforts. It was a tough climb out of the town, onto a country road and ever more upward. image I think the Mozárabe amigos must have been running low on yellow paint because the arrows today are few and far between, with some difficult choices to be made at junctions. However we didn’t seem to get lost. Not getting lost was quite an achievement today because visibility was much reduced due to a heavy mist which reduced our view to 30-50 metres. Once we left the road and started to walk on tracks I was glad to see that the soil was sandy and gritty so not a problem with mud. Unfortunately it returned to being a bit clayey and we did pick up a fair bit of mud, but nothing like yesterday. Today actually involved climbing over El Torcal. Anyone who has been to this magnificent rock formation will have deep sympathy and amazing admiration for us. It was hard, and then it got harder. And we didn’t even have a view to alleviate the pain. But with many brief breath-catching breaks, we made it to the top, at which point the cloud lifted a little and we could actually see further than the next fence post. The middle part of the walk was on a narrow track of grass and wild flowers and was quite wet in places. There was a very chill wind and I put my gloves on for a while. I was only wearing a short sleeved t-shirt and the arms from my fleece under my rain jacket and was a bit worried about getting too cold. For the most part I would rather be cool than too hot, which is why I don’t wear too many layers, but in the bitter wind it would be easy to get chilled. I put my hood up to keep my head warm and that was sufficient to keep me just on the cool side of comfortable. image We actually walked through the pass of El Torcal that is known as La Escaleruela, an extremely challenging trek, and although it was a difficult descent, I was very glad to be going in that direction. I have walked on some steep paths, but this one was just ridiculously steep and uncomfortable underfoot. image But the good news was that the sun had made an appearance as we looked down onto antequera in the distance and once again the landscape was rolling fields of grain and gentle hillsides of olive groves. Take a look at the photos here showing the ‘Indian head’ rock. image I have by-passed Antequera several times, but only visited once nearly twenty years ago. I had totally the wrong impression of this large vibrant town full of beautiful ancient buildings with an impressive castle standing guard from the hill-top (yes, of course there is a hill-top). It is a lovely place and well worth a visit – in fact there seemed to be lots of visiting tourists enjoying the environment. We had originally planned to walk through to a town called Cartaojal, a further 11 km, but when George suggested we stop in Antequera I was very happy to agree and spend a few hours in such a nice environment with bars that have wifi. I have been using my ‘mifi’ unit for internet access, but having checked my Yoigo account today it seems that this will be an expensive way to log on. The albergue here is attached the the church of Santiago. There are two sets of bunks, and a lovely sunny courtyard across which is a set of rooms that includes a bathroom. If I find another shower on this camino that is so enjoyable I will think myself very lucky. Endless hot water – wonderful!

Albergue courtyard and statue of Santiago in the church next door

Albergue courtyard and statue of Santiago in the church next door

We checked out the castle and wandered around town for a while before George returned to the albergue for a siesta and I found somewhere to drink a tinto de verano whilst posting yesterday’s blog. I tried something new today – a tapa dish called porra – made of tomatoes, red peppers and I would imagine a lot of bread and oil. It was served with a small amount of strong tuna and was quite delicious. image Distance according to – wikiloc 17.3 km, mapmywalk 20.3 km, fitbit 18.7 km and 26,452 steps. So an average of 18.8 kilometres – a bit of an easy day. Total distance walked 65 km, number of steps 92,950 Once again, the image below shows the pace of the person who recorded it. image George bought drinks on arrival at Antequera. I paid for drink and tapas later on (a bit expensive) 9.50€, drink at bar whilst I posted yeaterday’s post 1.50€, replenished nut supply and bought fruit 2.25€, dinner 10€, donation to albergue 7€. Coffee whilst posting this post 1.5€. Total 31.75€ Three days total spend 74.95€

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
This entry was posted in Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino Mozarabe and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Camino Mozárabe – day 3 – Villanueva de la Concepción to Antequera 18.8 km

  1. Tony Rice says:

    Thanks Maggie, because of you I’m getting to see and hear about places I never new existed. You are a walking talking National Geographic. 😀👏🏼 Keep on trekking

    Happy Trails 🏃🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Katherine Paterson says:

    Looks amazing Maggie, it´s been foggy here most of the day too but sunny this evening. Love the photos. Give those poor feet a good massage, they deserve it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. janpow123 says:

    Great posting as usual, and thank you for sharing. I was given the recipe for porra by a Spanish friend. My effort wasn’t too appetizing, but then, I am not Spanish and obviously don’t have the touch! There are so many of us that are so envious of you, your trek, and your enthusiasm. Well done, looking forward to your next posting xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OzAnnie says:

    Glad you had company out there. It looks lovely but lonely. How did your urban trekker companion cope with the leg muscle work-out ?
    Quick way to get track fit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. AJ says:

    I remember El Torcal well, and Antequera too. Again there was no albergue, so I stayed in Hostal Numero Uno which was very good. I ate in the resto attached to the hostal and had my first taste of Spanish morcilla served as a tapa with chickpeas and tomato.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Maria says:

    I love your Camino blog. Have read the other Camino blogs( French and Portuguese). It is like walking with you for those of us that cannot do the Camino. ( me because of age, arthritis and 4 replacement operations). Please keep it up, I look forward to it. Take care. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Susan Quenneville says:

    i can’t get over the steepness of the ascents and descents! They look quite scary on the graph!! Well done! Glad you got to enjoy a well-deserved hot shower😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tinkie53 says:

    Hi Maggie, I’m enjoying your blog as well. I’m leaving Southern California USA for my first Camino Frances. Walking May 1st. I also will be blogging at I’m still learning wordpress. Your sight setup is ultimately were I’d like to see mine in the future! Thanks for sharing your journeys
    Burn Camino, Shirley

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well written and enjoyable read. Thankyou

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mary lynch says:

    Well done Maggie on another hard day. I’m enjoying the blog very much, you are an inspiration. would love to do it soon but so far all I’ve got to is wishing. Will have to start planning before I get too old. Buen Camino.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carel says:

    Good news about the sun appearing after so much mud and rain. Let’s hope it will stay with you.


  12. Hedy McAleer says:

    A great trip, am quite envious……..if only I were 30 years younger.!!!!!Good luck with the remaining miles….Hedy

    Liked by 1 person

  13. martinandbethjackson says:

    Its gonna be a breeze when walking on the plains. Good luck. Another walker.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lins22 says:

    Mifi – too late now but if you break halfway, get a Three SIM card sent out from UK and use their £15/month Feel@Home unlimited data package as they just added Spain to the countries served. Much better value than anything any mobile operator in Spain has come up with yet. Happy walking! Just did the Caminito El Rey on Thurs after reading your blog last year. Excellent if much less effort than your marathons! Thanks for the inspiration to walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Karin Timmermans says:

    Soo proud and deep respect!!!! Go girl


  16. Ciaran Diamond says:

    The pass over el Torcal was a nightmare. Because of the mist I didn’t realise I was walking on it until the mist lifted and I realised I was standing on the edge of a precipitous fall


    • magwood says:

      That sounds dodgy Ciaran. I guess there is often mist in the area. It was very thick when we set off at the beginning of the day but luckily it had cleared just in time for the descent.


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