Camino Mozárabe – day 16 – Castuera to Campanario 21 km

Well, I hope the mayor of Castuera gets re-elected next month (if indeed there are local elections as in Andalucia). The town has a real ‘cared for’ look about it and they certainly ‘cared for’ we pilgrims exceptionally well.

Today started briefly on the road, but we were soon directed onto wide sandy tracks, where we remained for most of the day. The scenery was similar in parts to recent days, but with a bit more scrubland thrown in, and many of the holm oak meadows had been ploughed ready for a new cereal crop.

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The land hereabouts is full of large granite boulders which must play havoc with the farmers’ ploughing and harvesting regime. Much work has obviously been done in the past to clear the land as here and there are piles of rocks and large stones that have been collected. We took our first break sitting on some of these stones whilst watching three tractors tilling the land. I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for stones, and eyed this pile of flat granite rocks with great interest. They would be perfect in my garden to build the last of my terrace walls – large and flat, just perfect. But I decide I am carrying enough already and reluctantly left all the stones unturned! If you want to see what I do with all the stones I collect, take a look here.

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All along the route today there have been granite markers on either side of the track, on which are engraved the letters ‘VP’. Too soon to have anything to do with ‘Via de la Plata’. George thinks they may denote the route of ancient drovers’ paths. Anyone have an idea what they represent? Some of them are within the cereal crops, already below the level of corn – I can’t imagine how the farmers cope at harvest time when they can’t be seen.

We passed a granite quarry where huge chunks of stone were waiting to be cut up for kitchen work tops and floor tiles, but the place was absolutely deserted.

Just one water feature for us today with well placed stepping-stones, so no wading required.

I was excited to see the first fox gloves of this trip and a new flower I haven’t seen before – the most perfect blue.

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A stork took off in flight quite close as we walked and although I was a bit slow to get out my camera and I could only literally ‘point and shoot’ as I couldn’t see the screen because of the glare – I actually caught a couple of snaps in the far distance. Magnificent to see these birds fly – very sadly (walking towards Córdoba) we saw one victim of a road incident that was not yet dead but would inevitably be so in time – I hope it wasn’t too long for the poor thing.

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Passing a few properties in a remote area today I noticed a horse on a patch of waste ground with plenty of grass for it to eat. I guessed the poor thing was distressed because it was making repeated movements (like an animal in a zoo) which I haven’t seen a horse doimg before. It was tied just above the hoof of a front leg by a length of rope to a stake in the ground (which is quite normal in Spain) and when I went close I could see that, although a huge barrel of fresh water had been provided, the horse couldn’t reach it to drink. George came over and between us we managed to move it over a bit, and as we walked away we could see the horse lower its head and take a drink. So we’ve done our good deed for the day.

The whole of today’s walk was on smooth drivable track, albeit at the very end of the day alongside a road that led into the town of Campanario. What a difference from yesterday’s welcome. The lady in the townhall told us there was no municipal albergue, but a hostal at the edge of town, a private albergue much further outside the town or the floor of the sports hall. A phone call to the first hostal resulted in a cost of 20€ per person, with a pilgrim discount of 2€, and there was no response to my call to the albergue. I was unhappy to pay so much so I phoned the number for the sports hall, and although I obviously made myself understood the guy at the other end rattled on so fast that I couldn’t make head nor tail of what he said. So we are reluctantly staying in the somewhat seedy (although in fairness very clean) rooms of the hostal Malay which I have the sneaky suspicion are above a ‘lady club’. Hopefully, whatever business is going on down below (!) won’t disturb our sleep tonight.

I have to admit to feeling quite deflated after such a lovely stopover yesterday. However I have discovered that the town provides free wifi in a couple of places, so I have been sitting in a park writing this – a large area that is absolutely deserted apart from me. So in theory I can save myself the cost of a couple of glasses of wine that I would normally spend whilst using the wifi in a bar, to contribute towards the cost of the room. I am actively hoping to keep the number of euros spent below the number of kilometres walked, but with a couple of short days it is becoming a close run thing. However I should be able to reverse the trend when we join the Via de la Plata in just a few days and we can find more municipal albergues.

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Distance according to wikiloc (my own recording) 21 km
Accumulated elevation uphill 122 metres
Accumulated elevation downhill 185 metres
Total distance walked 417.40 km, average 26.1 km per day

Today’s spend – hostal 18€, arrival fanta 1.50€, shopping for supper and supplies 7.32€. Spend for the day 26.82€
Sixteen days total spend 412.98€ – damn – euros have outstripped km’s!

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

14 Responses to Camino Mozárabe – day 16 – Castuera to Campanario 21 km

  1. wildscotland says:

    Fantastic Maggie… go for it… What a lady!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David Wolfe says:

    Don’t be to hard on yourself you deserve a decent place to sleep and nourishing food. The upside is another room to yourself tonight Sleep well and look after your feet. Be assured your dinner was better than my disaster xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pretty, pretty countryside. Too bad about sleeping quarter availability. You’re making such great progress. I’m in awe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Margaret Butterworth says:

    I hope George enjoyed his Saints Day. I know this because I am staying with someone named Jorge.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. janpow123 says:

    Lovely photos again Maggie, glad your sleeping on a bed and not the floor! All those lovely peaceful tracks, I am so envious …back here in the UK we are are up to our eyeballs with electioneering! Need I say more?😤 Buenos noches

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carel says:

    George is right. VP stands for Via Pecuaria, which means Drover’s Road.
    http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%ADa_pecuaria

    Lovely blog and pictures again. It makes it nice to follow you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. That blue flower looks like a cornflower. They’re a favourite of mine. I sympathize with the temptation to carry rocks around, as we have quite a collection from around the world – although generally not big enough to put to much use like your terraces.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mary lynch says:

    Having looked at the link with the photos of your terraces Maggie, I am in awe of you. As I have said before your are some woman for one woman. Today’s walk sounded very pleasant. I think you and George are getting good at this!! Buen Camino.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Keith Rocks says:

    Sad about the stork 😦 But well done getting the water to the horse 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lynharrison4wind says:

    Hi Maggie, I’ve just been doing a marathon catch-up session with your blog having got back to the sun after a few days in London with my power suit on. Just loved the pigs, especially the view of all those bottoms and back leg kicks as they bolted for home. Hilarious. You probably made their day too.

    As to the horse and its drinking water, I have to confess to also using water as a training tool when a horse has got the odd idea that it is in charge, not me. I’ve deliberately kept a horse within sight and smell of water but not able to reach it until it got the point. Anybody who after a long day in the saddle is dealing with a horse that has decided it has no intention of walking into a trailer, stable or barn will know where I’m coming from. What a horse will not do for a bribe of food, it will do if kept from water. I can just imagine the perplexed expression on that horse owner’s face when he/she returned. You have probably created a wonderful myth about the magical water-barrel moving powers of the horse breed!

    A question. I’ve noticed that your blogs are longer and definitely more upbeat when the “accumulated elevation uphill” is less than the “accumulated elevation downhill” on any specific day. I think I’m right in spotting a consistency here. Despite your stupendous uphill walking powers, do you notice less tiredness after a day of more downs than ups, so to speak?

    The flower pictures are also changing variety day to day. Is this due to climate or geography, do you think? Perhaps a mix of both.

    Your route, despite being a bit lonely, looks fabulous in your photos. I’ve got such a yen to see some of these areas myself. Perhaps we could do a horseback trip together one day with you as my professional guide.

    Sorry for the long post, but with your footfalls continuously echoing in the recesses of my brain as I go about the far less interesting process of daily life and work, I just had to pop my head above the parapet. I second David. DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. And hello George. Thanks for keeping my hugely admired friend company and well done on Drover’s Road. Excellent deduction!

    Like

  11. lynharrison4wind says:

    @damn – euros have outstripped km’s!
    Hang on. I know my maths isn’t great, but if total distance walked is 417.4 kms and total spend is 412.98, you’ve got four euros change in your pocket, yes? Sounds to me like a cause for celebration: one more crisp glass of white.

    Like

  12. Nancy says:

    Speaking of sleeping, is your bag keeping you warm enough? I bought the same bag for my upcoming Camino in mid-September. I love the feel and weight! (Mont Bell spiral down thermal sheet weighing 430 grams). But it is SO lightweight that now I am worried that I will be cold! Do you sleep in lots of clothes, or is the bag indeed warm?

    Like

  13. Anthony Pulle says:

    Hello magwood
    I enjoy reading your blog to Santiago. Your photos and detailed experiences while walking add spice to the vision you create.
    Actually, I am also on a sort of spiritual journey here in Rome for 2 weeks ending on 28th April when I return to Freiburg. Its not as exhausting as yours, but I walk for nearly 8 hrs daily, from one historic site to another. The magnificent paintings, beautiful paintings and impressive buildings leave me feeling very humble. Appreciating them is all about being thankful for having an enjoyable lifestyle and comming to terms with loss and failures.
    Say hello to David,
    Sincerely
    Tony

    Liked by 1 person

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