Being s pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago is a funny old business. Especially on this less travelled path. Each day when we arrive at our destination, we have no idea if the information we have is correct and whether we will find albergue accommodation, and if we do, what it will be like. The camino has provided very well for us so far with adequate, if ‘interesting’ accommodation. Yesterday was the exception, but today has turned up trumps.
We were a little creative with our exit from Lucena this morning as the young woman in the tourist office had told us of a route that would save us backtracking, so we joined the ‘Via Verde” a kilometre or so closer to our destination. The Via Verde is a paved track created where there was once a railway line.
That will be easy, I thought – it must be flat and it runs all the way to our destination. Well, I think George found it less of a challenge than the steep elevations we have encountered thus far, but after the initial pleasure at walking on a flat, paved path I soon found that this track didn’t suit me at all. With no change in elevation my feet were in the same position all day and I found it very wearing. And I quickly grew tired, so I called upon the magic of music, The Archers and Frank Skinner to keep my mind off the tedium and put a bit of a spring in my step.
We stopped at the half way point (13 km) at the old station building at Cabra, now a cafe, and I ordered my coffee and surreptitiously ate some of my supplies (dried apricots and nuts) while G tucked into half a bagette’s worth of toast, butter and jam. And then we set back off for more of the same. There were lots of people using the track for walking, running and cycling. A couple of old guys stopped to talk and I had my hand kissed in recognition of my task.
Today has been sunny and dry with some cloud. Some of the walk was alongside high banks which provided some shade, but for the most part there was no shade and just that interminable monotonous asphalt track. There were some pretty flowers growing alongside though, so I have some nice pictures for you today.
We arrived at our destination of Doña Mencía after ?? Km and stopped off at the first bar we came across for an ice cool fanta. The waiter then bought out a couple of tapas, each one a small filleted battered fish (minus head) on s slice of bread. George turned his nose up, so I once again enjoyed double helpings of these absolutely delicious morsels. I’m doing very well out of travelling with a fussy eater!
Our info told us that the keys were held by the Policia Local. We enquired at the townhall and were told to wait for twenty minutes for someone to turn up. We waited at least thirty minutes and went back to check and were told to wait ten minutes. But this time a phone call had been made and said policeman turned up within the allocated time and opened up his office in order to copy our passports and stamp our credencials. He then led us (him driving, us walking) to our home for the night. And it is actually a home – a tiny little house, with small reception area and bathroom on the ground floor, bedroom with two beds on first floor and an attic room with another bed. It even has a washing machine, so all my walking clothes have been piled in for s thorough wash at last and they are now on an aired in the sunshine outside the front door.
Doña Mencía is a good sized town with some nice period buildings. It seems very friendly. Caracoles (snails) seem to be the local delicacy here – everyone surrounding us is tucking in – not the sizeable ones I have eaten in France, but tiny shells sold in half pint mugs – one local tradition I shan’t be trying.
Distance according to wikiloc (my own recording) 27 km, mapmywalk 29 km. Fitbit recorded steps 35,701
Accumulated elevation uphill 179 metres
Accumulated elevation downhill 72 metres
Total distance walked 158 km
Today’s spend – coffee 1€, fanta 1.5€, winex2 2€, supermarket shop fruit, salad and replenishment of nuts 7.2€, albergue donation 5€ = 16.7€
Six days total spend 135.4€