Villaharta to Alcaracejos

Hey, psst. Want to go boar shooting? It’s all on next Sunday at the finca on the (very empty) river between here, Alcaracejos, and Villaharta. I’m happy to not be walking through there as, while I understand the poster now, I wouldn’t have realised what was happening on Sunday 15th!

Long day today. Possibly about 40km when you add in getting to the cafe, the restaurant and then back to the albergue. My Fitbit won’t believe its workload: half a week in a day. 

The walking took us from 05:30 until 14:00. We stopped for a snack breakfast on a little track after 3.5 hours of walking and kept going for another few hours before our next snack. 

The bonus for me: the 2 hard boiled eggs the lovely woman in Villaharta in the Hostal Mirasierra prepared. If you ever visit that town stay in the hostal/bar.  And the sunset last night from the Hostal, over the Andalucían town, was beautiful. 


Leaving 

At 05:30 it was dark! Alleviated a little by the slowly disappearing moon but, dark until about 07:40! Finding our way was generally ok as four people are better than two. Even better, we have Manolo. He is amazing at finding arrows! Truly amazing. 


Along the way the temperature changed from us being cold enough to wish we were wearing gloves to being hot. So hot that the seat in the direct sun, while cute, couldn’t call me no matter how tired I was.  


The old crosses just appear along the way and today we had a very different town ‘laundry’. A well and 4 shallow troughs. I prefer the other system with higher and larger troughs with running water. This looked very primitive. Very. 

We all stopped near some pigs and their farmers. The old guy asked V if I was German. I heard and asked him why he thought I was: skin and hair colour and height. 

We all stayed together for quite awhile. Victoria started lagging. Not surprising. She is doing her first camino, alone, all the way from Malaga to Santiago. She is taking a year off from nursing, rethinking her life. 

So the other three of us arrived and headed into the town. Had a couple of drinks. By then I’d got a response to a message to V. So Manolo left to find her and collect her pack. She wasn’t far away and the gesture was so typical of these guys. Honestly, we’ve segued so easily into 4 of us travelling together. With walking, M is the strongest, then me, B just behind and then V with her very considerably lesser experience. Such a good group of people to be with. Wow!  


A lot of the conversation is over my head. An excited B is 100% impossible but the others take care and use basic Spanish to me so I know what’s happening when it matters. Otherwise I’ve moved into mental chats in Spanish, a positive step. P

The boys are clearly quite funny and they, especially B, flirt so unashamedly with women they don’t know. For example, they turned on the charm with the albergue woman. Very funny to observe and she clearly enjoyed it. 

As did V and I when M insisted on showing us the entire contents of his wash bag. (Would you buy a used tube of toothpaste from this guy?)


Dust

The temperature when we arrived was 35C so you can see it’s hot walking the Mozarabe in early October! 

The bonus is everything is so dry that we get covered in very fine dust, clouds of it, if cars passing don’t slow down. How could it be a bonus? Well, if we had rain so much of the tracks we walk would be extremely muddy so, on balance, this is a good time of the year to be here. 

Albergue in Alcaracejos 

It is new and very nice. B and M have 2/3 of the beds in 1 room. V and I have the same in the other (snoring management 😎). And my first washing machine for weeks. Wow. 

Tomorrow, to Hinojosa del Duque, is 21 or 22km. Don’t mention the day after that. Please. An hour or so after we left this morning I’d decided to catch the bus and to avoid a few days of walking. I think I’d be ashamed now to do so, to be strong enough but unwilling to try, to not have the mental fortitude so, watch this space. 😌

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