Today’s distance 27.5 km
Elevation gain 239 m
Elevation loss 237 m
Total distance from Almería 919 km
It is a cold start to the day with mist rising off the crop fields. We leave town via a green tunnel of trees. The weather remains still and although it rained and thundered a lot yesterday afternoon and evening, the sky is now fairly clear and I’m hoping for dry weather
We remain on the road for 5 km and we see the same views as on previous days – holm oaks dotted around crop fields, and holm oaks dotted around pasture land. The way is well marked with yellow arrows, but I would highly recommend also using some form of GPS route backup.
Once on the track it is mostly a very comfortable walking surface. We take a breakfast break 7 km in a sunny glade – it has already warmed up by 08:30. And as we rest in this beautiful spot – it is an absolute treat to just sit and enjoy the view and drink in the tranquility of this camino stage.
I’ve now eaten muesli three ways (1) with oat milk (2) with peach juice (3) with water. Number three is surprisingly acceptable!
Aurelio has information that I lack regarding an approaching river crossing. Probably not so much a river as marshy land that floods to some degree when there has been wet weather. We decide it is wise to take avoiding action and so at the 10 km point we divert by turning right onto the road for a few hundred metres. Then we take the first track on the left, first track on the right, next left and keep straight on until linking with original track at around 13.8 km
There is a lot of water on the track but always with room to navigate around it.
The route changes from wide track to a narrow path and we are surrounded by beautiful flowers – lavender, miniature cistus, white broom and orchids – the route is entirely tranquil, just birdsong, wild flowers and fleeting thoughts.
We progress to more dense woodland, ducking under low branches, some shrubs and trees entirely clothed in thick lichen.
At just under 17 km we have to cross a stream. Boots off, crocks strapped on, wading just under knee-deep through the icy water. We all agree it was rather refreshing.
The next river crossing is over the Rio Yeltes, a much wider affair with channels of water running through outcrops of rocky stones. Aurelio and I skip and slide across the slippery stones complete with boots. I land in the shallow water several times but my boots live up to expectations and don’t let any water in. Marilyn and Eli go for the boots off option and take their time wading through the water.
We then have only around 3 km to complete our stage and arrive at Alba de Yeltes and find the albergue at the very beginning of the village. An old school house looked after by Aurora tel 0034 618 289 544, or pop into the bar a few doors along and ask them to contact her. There are six beds complete with bedding. A microwave and coffee perculator and good hot shower. There are several bars in the town but it appears there is only one small bread shop that also sells a few other items. Nothing fresh unfortunately.
We eat in the bar closest to the albergue and they go out of their way to accommodate Marilyn and me. Nice town, nice people, nice albergue. Thank you Alba de Yeltes.