Camino Mozárabe stage 3 – Alboloduy to Abla 30 km

Today’s distance 30 km
Elevation gain 817 m
Elevation loss 315 m
Total distance from Almería 69

Last night in Alboloduy there were twelve pilgrims, we five, a Spanish guy who I have yet to see, a German couple, an Italian couple and an American mother and daughter. Interest in the camino Mozárabe from Almería seems to be on the rise, so you’d better walk soon if you want to experience a lesser walked camino.

We arrived at the cafe at 07:00 for breakfast and were on the road by 07:40 and were immediately directed on the the river bed, which is featuring very large so far on this camino. It isn’t great to walk on, the surface varies as shown and is rather like walking on a none too pleasant beach – quite a work out for the legs.

Large stones and rocks, coarse gravel or sand – all experienced every few metres

After around 3.5 km on the river bed we came to the point where we had to take a track rising over 200 metres in 1.5 km on a very rough ground, sometimes no wider than 50 cm with a huge and sheer drop to one side. Our efforts to climb this giant were hindered by a severe blustery wind which was strong enough to blow you off course at times, but luckily not when any of us were on the very narrow stretches.

Then of course, after a short spell on the road we took an equally steep descent into the valley and…you guessed it – back onto the river bed, where we stayed for pretty much the whole stage. We diverted into the town of Nacimiento at around 14 km for a second breakfast. Whilst the others found what they wanted at the bar, I popped to the shop and bought some bread and tomatoes and made up a roll with some reconstituted peanut butter powder and marmite. It may sound disgusting to you, but was actually very tasty.

There are a couple more opportunities for refreshment between Nacimiento and the stage end. Two of us thought we would opt for the second option and found it closed, so trudged on to Abla on the interminable river bed unrefreshed.

The mountainsides are becoming a bit greener now with pine trees growing up high. And there was a point towards the end of this stage where I suddenly saw the mountain ridges covered in snow with the sun bouncing off and making a magical sparkly backdrop to the rather less magical river bed.

The signage once again has been superb all thanks to the sterling work of the Almería amigos.

The albergue here is at the very top of the very high hill that this town is built on. It was opened three years ago and has two rooms, each with theee bunk beds. But only one bathroom for twelve people. There is a good kitchen and washing machine, but no wifi.

I bought supplies at the supermarket and after a couple of glasses of wine in the bar, returned to the albergue and prepared a huge salad and I managed to eat every last scrap, and have an identical salad boxed up to take tomorrow.

Today felt longer than it was, it really is quite draining walking on such a difficult surface, particularly with the wind that battered us all day long, and we all felt very achy when we arrived at the albergue. But the rejuvenating properties of a walk to the bar put us to rights and ready to face whatever tomorrow brings.

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
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27 Responses to Camino Mozárabe stage 3 – Alboloduy to Abla 30 km

  1. Thankyou Very interesting reading Can you tell me WHY you make these journeys? Religious reasons? Because it’s there? Atonement? No worries if the question is too personal. Sorry if it is.

    Kind regards Steve Harding Sent from my iPhone



    • magwood says:

      Good question. I’m not religious. Sort of because it’s there, but much more than that. It’s about the diverse people you meet and pushing yourself to achieve your goal, and living totally outside your normal life style, and probably much more – discovering a country at a leisurely pace, seeing places and nature that you would never see in such detail from a car or bike, being at one with your environment whether that be an uncomfortable river bed, or flower filled fields, tiny ancient villages or bustling cities. You have to do it to know why you do it!


  2. pmschlaate says:

    Hello Maggie
    You are one week behind me. On the fourth stage we had snow. We were three pilgrims, an Englishman, a Norwegian and me. The Norwegian got sick on the 6th day and gave up. I am in Moclin now.
    Buen Camino


  3. Ron Preuss says:

    Hi Mag, from the comfort of my cosy pillows, her in Bundaberg /Australia, looking out on a foggy morning, a steaming cuppa at hand, reading your blog every morning just value -adds to a,great start to a brand new day. Thank You! I am walking with you in spirit! Can’t wait to set off again next year, having completed an “appetizer camino (Porto to Santiago )” in 2016. Any suggestions for my No 2 (about 400-500 km); I am a photographer. Buon Caminho! Stay safe!


    • magwood says:

      Not sure of the distance without looking it up, but you can’t do better for scenery than the Salvador/Primitivo combo, and the Madrid for historic architecture. See my last year’s camino.


  4. sixwheeler says:

    “…reconstituted peanut butter powder…” what the…?


  5. Cathy Platin says:

    I loved your answer as to why you are walking caminos! Life is an adventure if you allow it to be and there are many wonderful people to meet along the way…


  6. Pat says:

    Perfect answer! Couldn’t agree more!


  7. Annie Carvalho says:

    You ladies are MACHINES!! The only way I track 30 km is if Bigfoot was chasing me! Or maybe for a Klondike Bar.


  8. Leona L Sutton says:

    Your day sounds like it was grueling! …and you’re only walking on salad and vino??? You’re my inspiration.
    My first camino began as “I wonder if I can do this?” but as I attended Mass along the way, and like you, meeting wonderful people, experiencing the history of Spain, the beautiful terrain, on reflection, it became a very spiritual and religious experience for me. Penitential at times during the difficult times, pompously thinking it would be easy, pushing myself most days. Bottom line, we all walk for our own reasons, many of those reasons the same or similar, others individual and personal–walk on, Buen Camino!!
    Great photos also, thanks!


    • Marilyn van Graan says:

      As always superb writing and what a joy and privilege to be able to walk once again with you Maggie – yes indeed that river bed was not kind to the feet and legs but a grand day nonetheless with lovely pilgrims 🌻🤣🤣


    • magwood says:

      Lovely comment Leona. Thank you


  9. Katherine Paterson says:

    Sounds like a tough day Maggie, well done.


  10. mary lynch says:

    Maggie as ever, I’m in awe of you. That river bed looks horrid and I suspect I would have given up.
    You are wonderful, all of you. Yes, I want to know what reconstituted peanut butter is also!
    Well done and buen camino xx


  11. Sally Toms says:

    Wow big day. Love to see some photos of the albergues.


  12. Danielle says:

    Always inspiring! But I am worried about your diet… to have the energy to conquer these mountains…


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