The hostal, Pension Sara, in Lucena, was the low point of my trip so far. It felt like a firetrap. Being on the first, and not second, floor was a little better. But… the sheets! Horrible.
During the night I woke suddenly, in a nightmare. Couldn’t work out why it was so horrible. And then realised my hot sweaty bed, with sandpaper sheets had a very nasty rubber undersheet. So sweat wasn’t absorbed by the ‘sandpaper’ sheets but actually made them even more abrasive and being on rubber…… It felt like having creepy things walking over me. Horrible. Just horrible. The good news was it didn’t have the bedbugs I’d expected it might. Couldn’t risk using my sleeping bag!
I left just on 07:30, still dark, but not soon enough!
Had a quick coffee at one of those very blokey cafeterias. Fat sloppy guy behind the bar, loud, equally undistinguished, immobile blobby customers on the other. You know, the ones where they stare at you, initially overtly then, covertly. Ugh. So even leaving Lucena wasn’t pleasant. Missed the later nice cafes through sheer urgency and a desperation to restart life on the usual pleasant footing it had been on before I arrived in Lucena. I’d have waited if I’d known they were there but you can’t be too picky when it’s Spain and most things are still shut.
Green route to Cabra
The walk was a flat easy 8 to 10km along an old repurposed railway line. Where once the olive oil train ran, cyclists now do their thing and others walk and run. It’s excellent, like the similarly repurposed railway tracks in Victoria. Well maintained and very easy. I was glad I’d not just bussed out to Córdoba at first light. This walk improved the task of living again.
I especially liked the donkey and it’s person. I saw a donkey on the left, in an old, small, churchyard. It was chomping on a bundle of dried local grass. Didn’t even look up as I passed. Maybe it knew I couldn’t remember the Spanish word for donkey. A few minutes later, as I remembered it’s a ‘burro’, a guy with a forkful of dried grass for it was approaching, with his two dogs. He said it was his donkey. I’ve seen a couple in this region, one jenny with baby and a few adults. I’d wondered if they were still used but suspect they are like the rest of us, living out allocated quota of life.
If I ever express any interest in returning to this region say the words: Cabra and Lucena. That should re-engender sufficient memories to ensure I don’t. Both have the ugliness of new cities and the veneer of old Spain. And they are old Spain with a cave at Lucena, for example, providing evidence from the paleolithic period, when neanderthals settled there. In its present manifestation I guess they’d move on too, now!
Cabra similarly was the site of very early settlements. Why the current name and what went wrong?