Camino Mozárabe stage 11 – Moclin to Alcalá la Real 25 km


Today’s distance 25 km
Elevation gain 499 m
Elevation loss 563 m
Total distance from Almería 269.5 km

I have been asked several times what app I am using to provide the above information, and I apologise for not responding sooner. I use Wikiloc. I find it the most accurate of the various apps I have tried when directly compared to a dedicated GPS unit. It gives the information as shown below, but not the total distance walked from the starting point – I work that out for myself.

Today’s stage began with a very steep loose gravel track down out of the village, with olive trees on either side and into the distance as far as the eye could see. Then came some rolling fields of rich green cereal crops.

High up on towering outcrops of rock we could see a series of lookout towers. Add to the mix sunshine, blue sky and birdsong and the day was off to a great start.

We were on a fairly quiet road for a while maybe 2 km then back on track through olive groves. There was quite a bit of climbing after the road and my legs were telling me they’d already had a mega workout yesterday.

At 9 km there is another stretch on the road. This time much busier and faster but with a wide shoulder, but still rather unpleasant to have huge lorries and coaches hurtling towards you at 100+ km per hour.

But 1.5 km later we were back on track until we reached the small town of Ermita Nueva at 13 km. Nina and I had walked ahead whilst the others stopped off for breakfast in the village where we started. We were expecting the bar to be open for a snack and a drink at this half-way village, but were told it didn’t open until mid day. Meanwhile the bread van stopped and beeped its horn to alert any customers, so I went across and bought a delicious sweet roll stuffed with walnuts and sultanas. Luckily there was a small supermarket in the town and I bought some supplies to see us on our way. I put my rather handsome tomato on a bench whilst I organised my pack and must have knocked it off, and watched in amusement as it rolled down the hill, gathering speed as it went. I finally caught up with it and was pleased to see that it survived unscathed, if a bit dusty. But a hardy pilgrim can’t worry about a bit of dust.

The fields surrounding the track on on the next section look very drab. From a distance all that can be seen is beige coloured soil. But we can see teams of workers bending low to harvest asparagus – it must be back-breaking work. They grow at different stages so whilst some shoots are plump and tall, others are still just peeping through the ground. The pickers have a U-shaped basket, one end open the other end closed. The spear end of the asparagus is placed into the basket towards the closed end, then when it is full the picker cuts all the stalks to the same length, binds then with an elastic band and leaves them standing upright in the field. Then someone collects all the bundles together in piles and then presumably they are taken to the distributor. All this effort makes one of my favourite foods seem very good value for money.

The rest of the stage was mostly on tracks with a couple of streams to cross and our final approach to our destination at Alcalá la Real was on an old asphalt road and then a cycle track.

Where we entered the town it seemed rather drab and modern but as we walked towards our accommodation for the night it became much more charming and characterful with older properties.

Once again there is no albergue available and we are staying in a guest house. Marilyn, Nina and I are sharing a triple room for 55 euros. The owners also run a micro brewery from the property which is a stroke of luck, and even better we are in an elevated position directly opposite the castle that sits on the hilltop at the other side of the town. Mirador Tierra de Frontera reserved via booking.com

So it was boots off, a glass of specialist beer, and a view to die for.

We also have use of a washing machine and as we are the only guests at the property we have free range of the kitchen, lounge and two bathrooms. Result once again

We didn’t manage to find the heart of this town. There were no inviting bars or restaurants that we came across, so Nina and I enjoyed a home cooked veg-fest and a bottle of wine.

And here’s one I made later!

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 Mozárabe from Almeria and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Camino Mozárabe stage 11 – Moclin to Alcalá la Real 25 km

  1. looks like everything is ok overthere…besos

    Like

  2. Katherine Paterson says:

    Jealous of the beer!
    Not drinking at the moment.

    Like

  3. Janice Tyler says:

    Love the asparagus photo. I have often pondered about your use of the washing machines in the various places you stay. If you make use of them when you arrive, then you leave early next morning, do you have to take damp washing with you?

    Like

    • magwood says:

      It’s a bit of an educated guess Janice. Mostly our lightweight stuff will dry overnight, but if I think it is unlikely, I won’t wash anything but the essentials. A washing machine and good weather mean that almost everything gets shoved in!

      Like

  4. lynharrison4wind says:

    That is very reminiscent of the after-dark view of the Akropolis from hotel rooftop terraces in downtown Athens. Magical stuff!

    Like

  5. Sally says:

    I’m afraid I would have left the runaway tomato where it landed! Have a good day tomorrow x

    Like

  6. Am loving your posts however they are playing havoc with my itchy feet! Mel

    Like

  7. azgirlhikes says:

    I look forward to reading your posts each day! Thanks for sharing

    Like

  8. mary lynch says:

    A micro brewery Maggie? I would have stayed a second night. Loved the photo of the elegant feet and the castle. Asparagus is also my favourite vegetable thanks for the information of how they harvest it , back breaking work I imagine. Much love and buen camino xx

    Like

  9. B.j. says:

    Thank you very much for sharing.
    Fantastic, the chronicle of your way ¡¡

    Like

  10. Just gets better and better! xx

    Like

  11. Carel says:

    Your distances are pretty close to what I recorded with my GPS.

    Like

  12. Thanks for the feedback on the tracking app! Will check it out – do u just screen shot it to post?

    Like

  13. Stewpot says:

    What a wonderful and evocative report. Do’nt we wish we were there with you all all. Next you will be dong a real ale camino. Lovely photography. Go well ladies. Penning this after a lovely hot sunny day in Lagos, Portugal

    Like

I would love some feedback - tell me what you think.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.