Today’s distance 36.5 km
Elevation gain 596 m
Elevation loss 246 m
Total distance from Almería 244.5 km
We left early this morning due to a long day. At 07:00 it was still a little dark in Granada and the very discrete ceramic plaques indicating the way were not easy to spot. The signage out of the city was quite inadequate and luckily maps.me got us out of trouble.
The city streets extended into the suburb of Maracena and it was over 8 km before we reached the city limits. A further km and we finally reached a dirt track, but it was not proper countryside and the track soon turned back to asphalt, with very threatening skies overhead and one or two drops of rain.
Some of the fields we passed by were being harvested for asparagus and Marilyn was given a handful of plump spears that we enjoyed eating raw.
We reach the town of Atarfe at 12.5 km and stop for a hot drink, but don’t stop at the first bar as we did, as there are some more pleasant options in the town square. On the way out of town there is a long trek through an industrial area and then onto road between a railway line and some scruffy fields. It’s easy walking but not enjoyable and we make good time into the next town of Pinos Puente. A rather scruffy town but with very friendly locals.
It is not until we leave Pinos Puente that it feels as if we’re really in the countryside for the first time, but still walking along the road.
It’s almost 27 km before we are directed off the road and onto a dirt track – that was a lot of pounding on hard surface and it feels good to be walking on dirt, through countless olive groves.
We reach the small village of Olivares after 32.5 km and know that it is only a further 3.5 km to our stage end, but most of that distance is a very long and very steep climb, and I mean very long and very steep. Marilyn and I plod slowly but surely up the hill not daring to stop in case we find it difficult to start again. Just take a look at the elevation profile above.
We finally reach the hill-top village of Moclin, perched at over 1,000 metres and I reckon we have just climbed 500 m over 3 km and then find that our accommodation is at the very top of this very high village. We gird our loins for the final ascent and are met by a very pleasant young woman who shows us to our home for the night. And what a home! A 16th century property with heavy beamed ceilings, all manner of artefacts, fabulous decoration and comfortable furniture. A huge kitchen, lounge with corner chimney, beds for eight and a luxurious bathroom. We paid the ridiculously small amount of 70 euros for this, more or less 12 euros per person. Pósito de Moclin reserved via Booking.com – such a lovely experience for the price of an albergue. Result!
I cooked a healthy dinner from the few scraps of veg that were available in the village shop and it has been touch and go as to whether this post would get finished, as sitting in front of a roaring fire isn’t conducive to concentration, particularly after walking 36 km.