Cabra to Córdoba 

Alternative title: escaping Cabra 

The bus ticket I bought from Cabra to Córdoba isn’t quite what the ticket seller implied. It’s not straight through as I have to change buses at Lucena. Funny, I spent the morning walking from there to Cabra only to be bussed back. Anything!  Just beam me out Scottie.

Bus

Cabra and Lucena both had neurological clinics running this morning judging from two bus mates. The first, on the bus back to Lucena, was a boy of about 10. He was with a woman who kept him in check but he didn’t have a ‘down’ volume button as he delivered excessively loud and monotone observations on the state of the world about him. His mother wasn’t totally dissimilar.

The second, on the bus out of Lucena, had some of the same qualities. She provided all of us on the bus with too much information. She had a general neurological problem, increased tone and other problems plus, was severely emotionally labile. 

Good practise for my Spanish: she spoke clearly and repeated things, a lot. The poor woman she was with, possibly her mother, was repeatedly berated. Twice the woman rang police reporting a lost house key. I think she must have gone to hospital the day before rather urgently and left it in her door. She asked the bus driver 3 times where we were. She asked him to turn down the music, told those seated nearby to shush so she could ring police. (She was the source of all human noise.) Burst out crying, loudly, for no obvious reason. She didn’t draw breath for the whole trip and stopped chatting incessantly only to cry. 

Phew, good news. The police found her key! Alesandro was the lucky policeman who she effusively thanked. Yes, this time the police called her. The end, arriving in Córdoba, couldn’t come soon enough for me or the bus driver. He was getting a little terse. 

Córdoba

Always nice returning to a place you like. And I liked this one more on my second visit, last year, with JP.  

So no problem knowing where to go: my Airbnb apartment was right in the nest of truly ancient streets that wind around and across each other in complex ways. So, go along one street, turn right, immediately go left, whoops, immediately left again and it was the one around the next little dog leg, after, or was it before, the plaza. Make one small error and you end up in Madrid, or possibly Sevilla! 

Whatever, I arrived 15′ early and now have the most delightful landlord, Antonio. We are operating in Spanish and I say ‘operating’ as I hadn’t expected to meet him more than once but I had to contact him to fix the toilet. 

He’d just finished work (jewellery maker) and was heading home at 9pm ish and so dropped in. A silly problem: the valve was stuck and so the reservoir was not refilling. The design is just a little different and I didn’t want to open it in case. (I still hold the record for being the only person who ever opened an electric windscreen wiper motor, cleaned the bushes and got it back together. Took hours. Sheer potential embarrassment drove me so I didn’t have to confess. Yes, windscreen wiper motors are replaced, never fixed.)

So, toilet fixed, two more nights added for which I’ll pay cash (less) and, even better, in €€ not $$. Dammed Airbnb uses your home credit card so you have to change $$ at their rate. A rip off that leaves me open to future options that will let me pay directly in €€.

I am happy. 

Stayed in bed well after the usual leaving time of 07:00. Nice bed. No others above or beside it. No rubber undersheet. Decent sheets. Quiet. Ahhh. 

A quick outing to get more coffee, some fruit, veg and eggs. Had coffee in the market as a drunk guy was begging for something. Stall owner was very abrupt and as he left told me he is a bad guy,  a petty thief. 

Forgot matches. Hair on fingers on one hand plus my thumbnail got singed as I tried to light the gas with a little lighter. Tapers just leave me with a mess. 

So, a quick look around after the shopping, got a stamp from the Mesquite, and, visited the excellent archaeological museum again. Avoided tourist areas.

Nice to be in Córdoba!  And I’m so thankful I didn’t attempt the 40km day into here. But my first day here confirmed I do want to walk further yet. 

The Mozarabe route from here to Merida has a few 40km, or near 40km, days. In this heat I’m looking at options:  bus direct to Merida and re-walk parts of the Via de la Plata; walk the shorter sections to Merida and bus between; do a different section of the Camino Mozarabe, from Almería to Granada. 

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