Today’s distance 23 km Elevation gain 93 m Elevation loss 143 m Total distance from Almería 493 km I apologise for not saying this earlier – thank you for all the comments I have received, the one-offs and particularly the serial commenters. I really appreciate each and every one, but as you can imagine, don’t often have time to respond. Please keep them coming. This morning, after an extremely good night’s sleep, we walked out of town straight onto a wide compacted sand track, through true farmland with herds of dairy cattle munching their breakfast, and I had to squeeze past a milk tanker that was almost as wide as the track. After 3 km we reach the village of Villanueva del Duque and stop for a morning drink and pop into the ayuntamiento for a stamp for my credencial as I forgot to get one yesterday. The very nice woman behind the counter gave us each a mini bottle of olive oil, for which I would be very grateful later on. We walk past herds of sheep quietly grazing, and goats doing what goats do when a couple of billies have a point to prove. Past lush green pastures of giant holm oak trees. These magnificent specimens must be ancient. They are dotted amongst fields of cereal crops and I think they must be protected by the government, because they will be a real nuisance for the farmers to tend their fields, and I’m sure they would be felled if they could be. I can’t resist taking photo after photo of the stunning poppies and other beautiful wild flowers. Everything looks so marvellous against the bright blue sky. At 10 km we pass through the second village on this stage, Fuente la Lancha and outside the church a woman is struggling to clothe a stone cross in a crocheted cloak. It is an exact fit and takes quite a lot of persuasion to sit in the right place, but the effect is fabulous. What a work of passion it must have been for the local women to put that together. We left as it was being sewn into place. We weren’t sure if it was for Mother’s Day which will be on this coming Sunday or for another festival which was advertised throughout May. Whatever the reason, hats off to those ladies! It is difficult to convey in photographs how huge these old Oak trees are, so powerful against the green of the crops and the blue of the sky We stopped for a break at 17 km and sat on the grass for a boots off and snack break. I ate some white asparagus that I had purchased yesterday and decanted into a pot, and an orange. The last few kms into Hinojosa del Duque are rather less pleasant than the rest of the walk, through an industrial area and a trek along the very long street that leads to the main plaza where the albergue is situated. It is necessary to call into the Policia Local office alongside the ayuntamiento to register and receive a key. The albergue has four bunks, sleeping eight, a decent bathroom, no kitchen but a room with a microwave and a large table. It also now has wifi. There is no charge, not even a donation is required. Thank you Hinojosa del Duque! Oh my goodness, I found a Mercadona in Hinojosa del Duque and bought everything that took my fancy. I shall have to stuff myself to the gunnels this evening and carry the rest of my precious cargo tomorrow. It will be another long day with no facilities. I bought quinoa (again – it’s packed with protein), fresh asparagus, mixed mushrooms, all of which I have cooked up in the microwave for dinner tonight and lunch on the road tomorrow. Plus cherry tomatoes, a mango, blueberries, hummus and two of my favourite seeded rolls. I got a bit carried away in a supermarket that I am very familiar with. Thank you Mercadona! And just to finish off, here is what will probably be the first of very many stork photos.
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Great blog. Pleased to hear you found a good supply of food. The photos are super I love the dressing of the cross, it looked lovely when they finally got the cloak on. How generous of them to offer free accommodation. A good day all round.
Oh Maggie, I just loved the crocheted cloak. What a fun project for the locals. I bet you wish you could have enjoyed some of the festivities. These small local fiestas were always a joy to me during my time living in Andalusia.
Enjoy your ‘feast’ of healthy goodies. You must have been grinning from ear to ear when you discovered the Mercadona 🙂
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I love following you, but not much time now as I am on my own Voie D’Arles. And can’t post photos on my blog from my phone: caminobleu.blogspot.com
So glad you won’t be hungry for a while Maggie! Bravo for Mercadona, their blueberries are SO tasty.
I love the Mercadona hummus 🙂 Buen camino.
Hi Maggie, just letting you know how I enjoy reading your wonderfully informative blogs each morning! It is for me, as if I am walking alongside you. Love the photos, too. Stay healthy and in good spirits! Cheers from Australia!
Cheers Ronald. Always good to hear from Australia.
I do so love a field of puppies too.
Loved your photos today- thank you for sharing this wonderful route with us Maggie.The cross, the poppies& the countryside- all stunning!
Wasn’t that cross something to behold!
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Love your Blog—and the way you write, so descriptive!!!—describing all the sights et al—and the photography is outstanding!!! WOW the poppies!! Take Care—
Many thanks Margaret
You’re doing an awesome job of clicking off the kms and still managing to take beautiful photographs. You were my inspiration 3 years ago when a friend and I walked our first Camino, the Camino Francis. I continued to follow you the next year when my husband and I walked the Portuguese Camino during the summer. Reading your entries has given me such wonderful memories. Hoping I have af least 1 more Camino in me after knee surgery.
Continue your way and I will continue to read and follow you. As always I wish you sunny skies and a muy buen Camino.
Keep it up! Cheers from Texas
Thanks so much for your comment Cheri. Comments like yours make it very worthwhile taking the time to post to my blog each day. Buen camino for your next one!
Hi Maggie, could the crocheted cross be anything to do with the Dia de la Cruz that we have here?
It was very pretty and almost as effective as our flower covered crosses.
That sounded like a very pleasant day and free accommodation at the end must be the icing on the cake. Loved the storks and the poppies.. Much love and buen camino xx
Precious your way. I enjoy a lot, watching your blog, day by day
Muchas Gracias y bienvenido.