Alboloduy to Alba to La Calahorra

Alboloduy is a beautiful little old town. I had more time exploring it this visit.

So far this is not my favourite camino: the contretemps in the albergue Monday evening, a couple of difficulties I knew had to face including walking down a near vertical scree mountain, and, just not doing enough walking.

Bit the bullet today. Got a ride to Abla this morning to ensure I’d be out on my own. Walked far beyond the usual next stage to Huéneja, adding another x km so I had enough km under my belt to know I was really walking and chose a hostale, to avoid albergues.

Rain

Today was wet. Rain was falling when I arrived for breakfast at the bar in Alboloduy at 07:00. And it continued til much later in the day, not heavy, just continuous. Full wet gear day: pack cover plus rain jacket and umbrella.

Got a lift, prearranged, at 07:30 from Alboloduy. I was planning only on a lift part way but in the end went the full stage to Alba, about 28km via the camino.

This stage goes along the river bed, climbs a steep scree slope to the road and then continues as a general track.

At present there is some water going down the river with the rain. The taxi driver kept telling me how dangerous it can be as if there are heavy falls upstream you may not realise the volume that can come down the usually dry river bed. He stopped alongside multiple times so we could look down the steep slope to the river. His last stop was so I could see a gorge you can’t walk through at any time. However, that’s upstream from the camino, there hadn’t been lots of rain upstream and there still wasn’t a lot in the river.

He left me at Abla in the steady rain and I started walking. Passed a couple who will not have enjoyed the day: they were walking slowly already and she was wearing runners as the water poured over the tracks at times. Ugh, snow was visible in the distance.

Abla to La Calahorra

Thought I might just walk to Fiñana, a very interesting place I toured last time. It is on top of a steep hill and has a fascinating history involving the Moores and later the Catholic royals (from 15th/16th century). The romans must have been there too as they certainly had a settlement at Abla. Doesn’t look interesting from down below in the river bed (yes, still no water in this one yet), but it is, up on top.

As it was still early I kept going, up the river bed. Had hoped I’d see the muzzled goats I met there last trip. No such luck! The best I could see was a donkey, who looked at me piteously. Not sure why. I wasn’t stuck standing in the rain for hours at someone else’s whim!

Passed the Canadians along the track. They’d stayed in Abla last night. Nice to see them again.

Still raining….. Still walking….

The next usual camino stop is Huéneja, a cute little town with a creek/canal running through it. The albergué there is in an old school building. As it was still only about lunchtime and I didn’t fancy an afternoon filling in time there, I kept going.

Dólar is a strangely named little town. Maybe I shouldn’t translate it and wonder why but why would you name a town ‘dollar’? It’s cute, high bell tower and behind it some snow covered peaks of the Sierra Nevadas.

Stopped for a quick hot chocolate. Yes, thinking of you JP with your passion for ColaCao. Bought a bread roll to nibble and kept going.

Passed through the next town quickly

and finally arrived at La Calahorra. This town has the most amazing castle on an otherwise bare hill in the middle of it. Visible from way back.

So very impressive and imposing. I haven’t visited the castle and won’t this time and suspect there’s not much more than a shell of a castle there, truth be told. Still, it’s amazing and impressive.

Stopped at first hostile/hotel/accomodation I saw. Got a room with a bathroom for €25 and am happily ensconced. Food wasn’t going to be available until 20:00 or so, the usual time, so I ate some of the food I had with me for lunch. Just don’t manage eating hours here. Years and I’ve still not down many signs of flexibility that way.

Summary of day

A happy 30+km, more the distance I’ve wanted to do. I’m tired but happy I’m in a room alone and have ensured the same for tomorrow when I’ll again do a longer stage than usual. And, I’m going downstairs for some soup soon.

Tomorrow: Guadix. I’m adding some km to the usual stage and hoping for a dry day. My last time there it rained heavily on the way in. So, 🤞.

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