Almogia to Villanueva de Concepción

Almogia: Weird night


Imagine being the only person staying in an albergue in a small town. Five bunks to my right and above are empty. I have locked the front door and left the key in the lock. Should discourage any strays. 

Outside is a football area, a hard surface and a small net overrun until 21:00 by boys. Then all was quiet. They must all eat at the same time. Now it is one of those ringing silences. Oh well. I’m tired and hope I can sleep and not think about the relative isolation here. 

The Almogia albergue has signs saying no eating in the sleeping area. Made sense this morning! My bread was almost walking out the door on the back of a nest of ants when I looked for it in the morning. The ants 🐜 took a while to realise I wanted them OFF! I ate it quickly so I wouldn’t see any ant remains I might eat, and gave them my almond cakes, made by the local nuns.😇

Leaving Almogia

Or, should I say trying to leave. Yes, lost! Twice before getting anywhere. The sheep or goat tracks down the hill to the right as you leave Almogia seem to cross and cross again. Twice I missed arrows or yellow blobs painted in stones or trees. The first time I took off down a very steep track towards a house. The owners must be very surefooted to use it unless always sober. Up back to the start. Off again. Anyhow a book I have says it’s a steep start. Very true. Down a goat track and through someone’s ploughed trees. Finally you end up on wider tracks, easy to walk in the dry but you can see the type of soils would leave your boots caked in mud and the track slippery with just a little rain. 

All the creek beds are empty and a woman I met on the track said they are just waiting for rain. She had two dogs. As they got close to me one disappeared up into the vegetation! A rescue dog it’s getting more timid all the time. Anyhow, we were speaking in Spanish for a start until we realised we were both english speakers. They’ve lived here, in the back of Almogia, for 20 years and love it. I left as she started on her health problems. 

Short cut, steep and now I have an egg on my upper left ulna. Yes, first fall this walk. Clearly not broken so it’s odd that the lump is so large. Had to wash it with sports drink coloured water. I’m sure that will speed recovery😋.

Villanueva de Concepción, my destination, was visible for about 10km before I arrived. Just over the next hill – and the 5 invisible hills and gullies in between! White buildings, on a hillside but not as steep as Almogia that really is built on the side of a high hill/mountain. 

Well, it was steep when I arrived, tired and looking for the town hall (ayuntamiento) to get keys for the albergue. Who knew it was Sunday? I didn’t. The first two old guys told me where the town hall was. The third was more helpful, told me it was Sunday so no one would be there, where the albergue keys were held and gave me the clearest directions I’ve ever ever got in Spain. First right, second to the left…. First bar didn’t have them but the second did. 

Albergue is fine. This town is odd though. Still not clear where the restaurants are even after asking in the bar. Gave up on them as an option. I’d almost forgotten the Spanish approach. Instead of seeing walkers as an opportunity and helping them spend €€ in their town, keep it how it always was. No maps or guides in prominent places to restaurants, supermarkets etc. Don’t help us spend our money. Odd. Most odd. In the comments book I suggested a map marking restaurants, supermarkets etc. 

So, lunch was spaghetti carbonara from the local pizza shop. The owner is Italian and it was carbonara as I’ve never had it before. An uncooked yolk was on top when he served it. I was asking for it to be cooked when he said ‘no, no’. So I broke it and it was very nice. Much creamier than usual, almost like it was made from fresh cream bacon and the yolk on top. Unlike most food here it wasn’t over salted.

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