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.
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.